Can you hear me now??
Knowing that : 83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone it's obvious that cell phones can certainly help us to stay in connection and communication. But can too much cell phone digital relations be harmful to our interpersonal relationships? According to Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex, even just having a phone nearby and not checking it can cause tension in interpersonal relationships. From their studies, they found that a cell phone nearby two people casually talking can make a topic less meaningful than it normally would be without the phone nearby. I'd imagine that because 42% of cell owners use their phones for entertainment from boredom - it can be assumed that maybe conversations aren't as deep when a phone nearby because you basically have another more interesting and distracting entity silently sitting in on the conversation the whole time - unbeknownst to the human engaged parties. The research team discovered that with a phone out of reach, sight and mind that more meaningful conversations were had and better received among each other. I'm thinking that the next time I want to have a real conversation with my team or my employee one on one I'm going to ask that they not bring a phone into the vicinity. This may help us retain our closeness and meaningfulness in our communication. I certainly am considering that when my hubby and business partner and I talk about business, family, or each other maybe we find a cell phone free location to do this in so that we can literally see each other eye-to-eye.
HOW TO TAKE A BREAK?
Set Hours of Cell Phone Usage and Stick To Them
So many people schedule out "Gym Time" "Play Time" "Date Nights" "Work Time." Learning the need to remove cell phone addiction from our diet means we have to be intentional about the time we spend on it and near it. Decide that you will use your phone for a certain set of "awake" hours during your day and choose to not just quiet your phone for the other hours but actually hide your phone for the other hours. I practice this in my home and it works out great. During dinner time, I want quality, undisturbed relationship building with my three kids so we put our phones in another room. We purposely turn the ringer off and we don't answer text messages or emails until we are done. It can be taken as rude to other people that can't reach us at that time but it is the time we designated for family and we decided that we wanted to be intentional about setting those hours. We do the same thing for family time and bedtime. We move the phone out of the room and on silent so that we are not at all disturbed - and even more importantly so we are not tempted!
Decide what works best for you but its obvious that we need to and have to be intentional about taking good care of ourselves. Whatever you decide, I hope you do what works best for you and for your family so you can live a happier and healthier life!
UI Global Brands Founder
Lifestyle and Business Coach