12.28.2011

Pardon me, would you please pass the iphone?

Today, six friends and I are writing a series called Put the Phone Down.  Our hope and prayer is to draw to your attention the importance of one-on-one relationships with those around you without the distraction of a phone and/or computer.  In closing, you will find a list of ladies with their own Put the Phone Down topic.  Mine- Be a Listener- is just below.  I hope it inspires you toward more meaningful relationships.

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Today's cell phones just remotely resemble their predecessors.  At large, they are referred to as anything but an ordinary "phone".  And it's not the gadget itself that is so wonderful (as it is carelessly tossed aside for a new and better model every three months), but the "society" and status one can achieve because of the access it grants.

Just fifty years ago, families sat down to dinner with a napkin on their laps and a prayer on their lips.  Now they sit down with a phone in one hand and a fork in the other.

Cell phones were created to give us a better means of communication, yet there is an even greater breach of communication because of them.  Perhaps we can reach a greater number throughout the day, but what about meaningful interaction and conversation?  Humans were created with a need for close contact with their own, and quick texts and brief calls don't meet that need.

Let me give you an example: when a person is visiting another's home, he/she usually discards his/her coat/gloves/hat/scarf/shoes.  This action alerts the host or hostess that the person is making him or herself comfortable and is intending to stay awhile.  If they kept their coat, etc. on, that would also send the message that they were present, but not planning on staying any longer than absolutely necessary.

How much more would it mean to the hostess if we were to leave our gadgets- whatever they be- at the door also?  What type of message would that send?  I see it as "I'm here to visit you, and to devote my entire visit to you, and you alone."  What a gift; the gift of time!

When we have our phones in hand, we are connecting ourselves in a small way to those away from us, and disconnecting ourselves in a large way from those near to us.

You cannot have a meaningful conversation with the person across the table while you text idle messages to the person miles away.

You cannot be a good friend, a good listener, or a good guest with a phone in hand.  

Contrary to popular opinion, you are not showing kindness to the individual you're texting, but showing the person you're with disrespect.  And I can guarantee that the texted individual knows he/she will also be ignored for the myth and mystery of the gadget when it's "their turn" to be in person.  So many times it seems that the phone is the attraction, and not the person being texted... makes me wonder.

It takes unselfishness to give the gift of time... yet we fool ourselves into thinking we are selfless by giving miniscule portions to those who are not with us, ignoring the one with whom we are.  Not to mention the air of self-importance one exudes as they constantly grab for their phone and check for new messages.

It can be fun; it can be convenient.  But it will never take the place of one-on-one.

How did chit-chat become the main course of conversation?  And why are we content with it?

All across the globe, idle hands send idle messages, resulting in a mass of lonely individuals, neglected job-sites, and neglected homes and family members merely for the sake of texting those who are not.

And on the receiving end, you'll find the same.  It's time for a change.  It's time to Put the Phone Down and be real.  Be here.  Be now.

Be a listener.  Be a friend.
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Please join the following ladies as they share their topics also:

Raising Mighty Arrows- Be a Wife
Little Natural Cottage- Be a Teacher
Growing Home- Be a Mother
Jill's Home Remedies- Be a Homemaker
For Journey's Sake- Be a Friend
Becoming Lydia- Be a Witness

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10 comments:

  1. Bravo, Heather! You hit the nail on the head with this article! May I have your permission to forward it on? This is a must-read for everyone!

    "When we have our phones in hand, we are connecting ourselves in a small way to those away from us, and disconnecting ourselves in a large way from those near to us." ...my favorite line.

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  2. Heather, great post! Thank you for sharing and for joining us. :)

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  3. Your message is right-on, h. Rae! Thanks for the challenge! :)

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  4. I love this: Contrary to popular opinion, you are not showing kindness to the individual you're texting, but showing the person you're with disrespect. So true! Challenging thought. Good job, H. Rae!

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  5. Well said, my friend! Love your quote: "Just fifty years ago, families sat down to dinner with a napkin on their laps and a prayer on their lips. Now they sit down with a phone in one hand and a fork in the other."

    Also love the idea of discarding phones and other media "gadgets" when visiting with someone. What a courtesy!

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  6. Thank you for your kind comments, Ladies! Your posts were also fantastic (though I haven't seen yours yet, Niki)! Jacinda, you have my permission. Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Oh I love this!! My phone is always on me. There are times that I try to ignore it's beeping when I am with someone, but maybe it is time to just put it away. Great encouragement!

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  8. Ahhh YES, this is truth! Quality of conversation and not QUANTITY needs to be understood… Those little chit chats you mentioned DO take time and when the day is over you wonder what was accomplished and what relationships were really built up by them…

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  9. You said this so well...true friends listen. I like to remember 50 years ago also

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