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Five Reasons to Put Your Phone Down

I adore my iPhone.

We can manage endless amounts of deeds in the palm of our hands, no matter where in the world we may be.

But for most of us, this comes with a catch. So, these are my five reasons why I try to keep my iPhone at bay while out and about.

(I must say, Instagram ups the ante on this challenge!)

1. Be Present with People

It sucks when sitting across from someone at dinner whose thumbs are going crazy on their touch screen while I’m trying to connect with them. Sure there are exceptions, but in general it’s just downright rude and gives the impression that you’d rather be spending your time elsewhere.

When in the company of others, I keep my phone in my bag. While there is a world of friends and colleagues sitting just inside that lock screen, I’ve dedicated my time to the person I’m physically with.

Be present with those around you and I can guarantee you’ll all end up having a much better time.

Furthermore, we’ve all had/heard of those “right place at the right time” moments… But if you’re walking around with your head stuck in your phone you could be severely limiting your opportunities.

2. Practise Active Listening

Passively listening to the transcript of a conversation is one thing, but actually connecting with what someone is saying takes your interaction to a completely different level. Pay full attention to the person who is speaking — not only will you be more likely to fully comprehend the full message being delivered, but you’ll also make that person feel acknowledged and appreciated.

I’ve written about active listening before, which is a big problem these days being surrounded by endless distractions.

3. Multitasking Dumbs You Down

Christine Rosen published an interesting article in The New Atlantis, The Myth of Multitasking, which explains that our brains are not fully capable of making high-level decisions while multitasking — such as texting and conversing, or driving and talking on a cell phone.

Performance and memory are significantly reduced while multitasking.

As Lord Chesterfield wrote back in the 1740s: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” To Chesterfield, singular focus was not merely a practical way to structure one’s time; it was a mark of intelligence. “This steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius; as hurry, bustle, and agitation, are the never-failing symptoms of a weak and frivolous mind.”

4. Nurture More Meaningful Relationships

While I love social media for opening up a multitude of connections that I otherwise wouldn’t have made, as well as keep in touch with friends and family from all over the world, we simply cannot beat personal interaction. We share energy with people, which disappears through technological communication.

Particularly when addressing something emotional, it’s easy to hide behind the shield of a text or email; and while that does allow us to thoroughly think about what we’re saying, this can open dangerous doors to misinterpretation.  So next time you open iMessage in autopilot, ask yourself, “Is this the type of conversation I should be having in person?

5. Enjoy Every Moment

One of the most powerful stress-relieving tools is to fully live in your every moment. If you are constantly distracted by immediately reading every message or email received, then you’re kind of missing out on life.

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

If we are too goal-fixated we forget to embrace the journey — which is where our most valuable lessons and later-appreciated detours happen.


LG x

This is a #regram of a post I made on PrettyBroad.com last year. 🙂

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Eddie Clear
    April 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Excellent piece. The phone should merely be a tool, not a conduit to life’s greatest pleasures, and treasures. BE in the moment.

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