Love the one you're with

This is taken from Week 50 of the “52 Weeks: 52 Ways to Love Your (Wild) Self” e-guide.

“True confessions: It makes me crazy when people I’m with interrupt our conversation to engage with their cell phones. One of the reasons that I don’t have a smart phone is because I think it might turn me into someone who does that. Honestly, I don’t want to be that plugged in. I don’t want to make anyone else feel the way I’ve felt sitting across from someone in the wake of their decision that whatever is happening on their phone is more important than… well… me.

“Because, don’t kid yourself. That’s the decision you’ve made when you answer your phone, or text, or check your email-Twitter-Facebook-stock-stats while someone sits across from you, waiting for you to get back to them.

“This week, if it’s not an emergency, don’t do it. Pay attention to the people in your real, physical world. Watch. Listen. Choose, consciously, to love the one you’re with. They’ve showed up, after all. The least you can do is show up too.”


I’m sharing what I wrote in the guide for two reasons.

The first is that I feel very strongly about this, but I also feel a little hedge-y about it because I don’t own a smart phone, and the reason I don’t is because I fear my own behavior if I did. I realize that makes my higher moral ground not so very solid. That said, I know most of you do own smart phones. You’ve been on both ends of the social equation I’m describing. So, weigh in. I’d love to hear what you think on this topic.


Note: The 52 Weeks: 52 Ways to Love Your (Wild) Self e-book guides you through a year spent (re)discovering (and falling in love with) your most playful, imaginative, adventurous, thoughtful self. Every week has an assignment  adventure aimed at getting you in touch with YOU – your true desires, beliefs, and values.

It’s downloadable now in the shop!



  1. Lana Angel on September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I am in complete agreement – answering the phone instead of talking with Wonderful Me is downright rude. Now, I realize that as a Woman of a Certain Age, I can be accused of incipient fuddy-duddyism, but I DON”T CARE (a benefit of being a WoaCA). Rude is rude.

    After I laid down my quill pen I picked up a smart phone. It’s fun and it could be addictive (Words with Friends, for example), but my friends are more fun – and addictive in their own charming ways.

    But I remain in control of the phone: in public or with friends, I turn the ringer off. If I’m expecting a call, I can put the phone on Vibrate and then, when the call comes I STEP OUTSIDE to take it and do not subject anyone else to a one-sided conversation (pet peeve – yet another one).

    Hmmm… I seem to have gone on a rant. I beg your pardon. Please and thank you. Would you like to have tea? Now where did I leave my parasol…

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Lana, you’re hilarious. And adorable.

      My son, who is wonderful in tons of ways, constantly drifts out of conversations to play his turn on one of a gazillion Words With Friends games. (Watching him do that once, waiting for my turn at his attention again, is when it occurred to me that I’d be terrible if i had a smart phone. That game seems completely, understandably addictive to me.)

      And, yes. I’d love some tea. xo

  2. Laura Marcella on September 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I didn’t have a smart phone for the longest time for the same reason. I recently got the iPhone (an early birthday present from hubby) and I realized, “This thing doesn’t own me. I own it! So if I don’t want it to control my behavior, I won’t let it.” I think that’s what people forget. We let our possessions and technology control our actions, and it’s supposed to be the other way around.

    We don’t have a landline anymore, so our cell phones serve as a home phone, too. I put my phone on silent when I’m out with people, and I don’t even bother bringing it with me if I’m at a family gathering or a friend’s party. What’s the point when everyone I want to talk to is all in one place?

    I love my new phone, but honestly, I could survive without it. So if you don’t want a smart phone, that’s okay!

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Love this: What’s the point when everyone I want to talk to is all in one place?

      My brother-in-law came up from southern California recently and took the boys and I out to dinner. I would occasionally hear his smart phone make noise and he occasionally (but not always) glanced at it, but he never picked it up. I was so flustered by his attention I almost offered that he could deal with stuff if he needed to (though of course, he would if he needed to). It made me realize how infrequently that happens – that someone ignores their cell phone’s many alarms for the sake of the person they’re with.

  3. Ann Marie Gamble (@amgamble) on September 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I changed the ringtones to something specific for certain people so I know without answering that it’s my kids or their school, for example, and I really do need to answer it. Those are also fast calls, though, not chats.

    Someone who takes a chatty phone call or checks their e-mail? Sheesh, I’ve got a book in my purse, also a walkman, also car keys.Things to do, baby!

    But to come at this from a different angle: my hearing is getting bad, and to be in a room (or on a street corner, as it turns out) where a lot of conversations are going on at once makes it hard for me to understand what anybody is saying. (Not to mention how hard it is for me to understand you when you call me on my cell–if I had a smart phone, would the speaker be better?) To take a call might be not only ignoring the person you’re “with,” but disrupting the people around you.

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      My phone has different ring tones too. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I was thinking more about text messages and email (or whatever it is someone is doing when they’re not actually talking into their phone) than phone calls when I wrote the passage above. Dealing with every email and text as it comes is a sore spot with me.

      Good point about how hard it is to hear in public spaces. And invariably people on their phones talk louder than people sitting across from each other at a table. I’ve started bringing ear phones with me when I go to coffee shops to work, not for what I can hear from my computer, but for those times when someone nearby is talking on their phone.

  4. Teresa zm on September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I admit that i do check when the phone rings just in case it’s one of the kids. But if not, i don’t answer. I also try not to be on the phone when transacting in person at the store, drive thru, etc. Do unto others i say.

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      I usually check too, but I most often don’t respond (and then get in trouble because i forget to respond later). The downside to staying in the physical moment!

  5. jb on September 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I’m with you. Answer it only for emergencies. Or, if you know you have to take a call for some reason, tell the person you’re meeting with so they know to expect it. Back-in-the-day, when I worked in cubicle-land, people would come to my office to ask me something and be shocked that I would ignore my ringing phone. I’d explain that they took the time to walk over in person, so they got my full attention. (Voice mail had been invented for a reason, after all.) I think they thought I was nuts.

    Love your doodle and I’m thrilled that “52 weeks” is available for sale in your shop! Already spreading the word. 🙂

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      They probably did think you were nuts, but in an astonishing, wow sort of way. It’s so unusual to have someone do that, it’s a little bit unnerving. But it’s also hugely validating. Yay you!

      Thank you on the doodle love! xo

  6. Becky on September 28, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I hope it’s okay if I’m a wee bit long-winded on this one as I feel I am the poster child for… well, for many things but right now we’ll just focus on the smartphoneaholics:
    1) I’m all wrong about the 52 weeks thing, I was waiting for like the starting gun so we would all begin but that’s not right at all is it?

    2) Okay, smartphones. I have been the worst, the worst! For a while a few years ago, I spent a lot of time on my smartphone. Talking on twitter, DMing, Facebook messages, texting — I needed it, I was just engulfed in it. Now, I know it’s because I was a woman trying to ignore her life. Slipping into the ether, online friendships, required nothing more than quick typing. But… I was way too “addicted” to the ignoring of my real life, if that makes sense. I slept with my phone next to me, I set it so it would ding or vibrate if someone wanted to talk. It was (thinking back now) completely strange, I mean, I seriously was ignoring my 3d life but felt like I needed to be in constant contact with these tiny little avatars in the ether world.
    I had to physically put a stop to it, and it was hard. I started placing the phone across the room at night, small steps honestly. But, I truly felt like it was my lifeline to a world of people who cared so breaking that connection was a long process. Now, of course, the stupid smartphone wasn’t the reason I was ignoring my life but it was a catalyst to perpetuating the ignoring, if that makes sense.
    Anyway… I seriously could go on. Now, I leave my phone in my car if I go in to a restaurant or coffee shop, I turn it off, I disengaged from the need to be constantly engaged with the ether world friends. I use it for work email while I’m working but rarely use it for personal email. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone and will never give it up, sometimes Siri even calls me “the great and powerful Oz” — but, now, Siri and I know how to spend time with the people who matter and how the off button works.

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I think a lot of people go through periods like that. I guess that would be the extreme version of what I was talking about. So maybe that’s something people should think about – why they feel compelled to plug in constantly, to check compulsively. The issues may be deeper than simple Words with Friends addiction. I’m glad you’ve found your balance.

      I may at some point, do a group version of 52-52. Not the whole year, but a Spring’s worth, or maybe 6 weeks. I think that would be fun if there are people interested in doing it as a group.

    • Becky on September 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Nah — not balanced. Just perfectly askew. Balance is temporary, thank goodness. Being a little off center makes the world (the 3d world) look wonderfully different.
      … and honestly, I think it (the connection people have with their smart-phone-ether-cyber-space) is way more rooted in an absence of something or a need to escape something — not always of course.
      Also, I’d love to participate in a 52/52 thing. I haven’t started yet. Of course, maybe #53 should be don’t wait on others to make your move towards self-love.
      I did it again, sorry, long-winded. I appreciate being in the conversation.

    • j on October 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

      I think it would be fun to do a 52-52 thing too. Once the new site is up and running. But, yes, by all means start playing now. I really did design the guide to be as fun as it is self-revealing and self-celebratory.

  7. Pam on September 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Now that I have a smart phone, I see how a person could get into checking it all the time, no matter what else he or she is ostensibly doing. I haven’t gone that route, but then again I don’t play Words With Friends. (That probably helps.)

    I haven’t had much experience with someone ignoring me in favor of the phone, but it seems clear that to ignore your in-person companion in favor of an electronic device is discourteous. Unless you’re texting life-saving instructions to someone, let it wait.

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      The advantage of having a honey who doesn’t have a cell phone! I finally had to ask Chad to turn off his alarms at night because the sounds would drive him crazy until he checked to see what was happening. And the checking drove me crazy.

      I should say that to someone someday. “Unless you’re texting life saving instructions to someone, let it wait.” Ninja cellphone police! 🙂

    • Pam on September 29, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Maybe the best bet is to bring along a book & when the person starts texting, we start reading. “Hmm? I always read when I’m waiting” –*innocent look* (Hahahahaha!)

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 8:41 am

      THAT is why I love you. (So doing that.)

  8. laurabergerol on September 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Judy; I totally get this, but having gone through a hurricane in the last month, I need to tell you how important smart phones can be. I had no electricity for five days, it was hot as hell, and while Isaac was here (two very long,days) the winds were fierce, the rain whipped against my windows and shook them, and the spaces where my house is not well sealed poured in water. Add to it huge tree branches that snapped, sending chunks of wood hurtling into my yard, and at times against my windows, and you get a sense of my discontent. The only contact I had with the outside world was via my Iphone and I am so grateful I had it. Once or twice a day I would go to a neighbors to charge my phone and I would reach out to the world; to see what was happening. Those small glimpses were my window on the world and they kept me going. I agree that people are way too tethered to their phones, and we can all let go more often, but I am grateful for my smart phone.

    • j on September 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      But that is an emergency! That’s a perfect example of when I think it’s absolutely vital to have a connection to the extended (virtual) world.

      And just to be clear, I’m not at all against smart phones. I think they’re amazing and wonderful, and if I had one, I’d use it all the time. I just think if you’re sitting across the table from a real live somebody that you care about, and you get a text message, 90 percent of the time, your reply does not have be immediate. I actually don’t mind people checking to see what’s incoming, I just mind when everything has to be responded to immediately. While I wait.

      And yeah, I especially mind it if the thing you have to respond to is your turn on Words with Friends.

      Hurricanes are a whole other terrifying, I-can’t-imagine-it, sort of thing. xox

  9. June O'Reilly on September 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Love Love Love the drawing :~)
    I’m going to post first then read the other comments
    I don’t think it has anything to do with cellphones..
    it goes way beyond that…
    it goes to how we were raised and how we interact with the world
    I was raised to look people in the eye… to listen… to be present
    maybe it was easier way back in the olden days LOL because we didn’t have so much technology… 3 boring channels of TV and no video games
    we had to interact with each other , make up the games , those of us who couldn’t sit still…. didn’t.. we were out getting all that energy out of ourselves, creating, interacting, and playing with each other.

    I don’t have call waiting.. or if I do I don’t know how to use it because really whoever I’m talking to is where I am…of course there is the , I’m waiting for a very important call I may have to interrupt our chat to talk a call….. but that is something you say up front.

    I can only change me…and I can say this it rarely happens to me… could be the people I choose to spend so much time with are truly present… it does help that when you are playing guitar… you have no room for a cellphone LOL

    have an awesome day… and if you come over to the smart phone the cool thing about it is it just opens a whole new door of inspiration…. well it has for me…. and you know how deeply you care about this subject….so you wouldn’t be one of those people.

    have an awesome day

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      I’m not sure I think it’s about how we were raised, exactly, because I think kids, generally, are present. In fact, I think that’s one of the sad things we lose as we grow older, our natural ability to stand fully in the moment we’re in.

      You make an interesting point, though. No one does this with you. I can’t help but wonder if that’s because you are very good at being fully present and that the people you’re with unconsciously respond in kind. Makes me want to think about my own role in the times I’ve felt as though I were playing second fiddle to another person’s cell phone…

      I absolutely love when a comment on my blog turns my thought process upside down. Thank you for that!

  10. lunajune on September 29, 2012 at 6:44 am

    one last thought about it…… when I come in the house… I turn it off.. and don’t turn it back on till I walk out

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Good for you! With boys out and about, I definitely don’t do that.

  11. Estrella Azul on September 29, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I feel the same way.
    Having a smarter phone, I, too, check my e-mails sometimes, but not when I’m having a conversation with someone. Unless I’m doing it while they come up to me, but then I make a point of it to get back to it later when they’re gone.

    The Chef does this though, and it’s driving me nuts. Any tiny window of opportunity arises and he’s instantly on Facebook or checking sports pages… even if we’re out with friends, so not just with me next to him. Sad thing is I suspect he’ll continue doing it until I stop asking nicely to cut it out, and simply walk away when he does it next!

    (On the laptop, writing, I am known to ask my mom/the Chef to ‘just let me finish this one paragraph’ and then lose myself in what I’m writing… But that’s adorable, right?)

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      I like that you have a “smarter phone” as opposed to a smart phone. Like yours is somewhere between my not-too-smart-at-all phone and, say, an iPhone.

      Chad doesn’t randomly check his mail much, but he hears the little alarm and cannot resist it. Or if he sees that he got a new message – in email, FB, Twitter… whatever – his mind can’t rest until he checks it. And resolves/replies. I’m with you. It drives me crazy.

      That said, I had to laugh at your comment about when you’re writing. I do that too. And yeah. It’s definitely a whole different adorable (double standard) thing. 🙂

  12. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) on September 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This is so exactly how I feel that I could tell my friends I wrote this and they’d believe me. I have the same motivations for not giving in to the smartphone craze yet, and everyone around me thinks I’m being ridiculous. But I try to explain this to them, and they don’t understand what’s the big deal. So I guess my moral high-ground isn’t any more stable than yours, but I 100% agree–for what it’s worth.

    And I think it’s a great idea to make the guide downloadable for old curmudgeons like me who don’t like email subscriptions but still want a healthy dose of J. =)

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I think we might be twins separated at birth. Except I’m the book snob and you’re the reasonable, logical, let’s-not-decide-before-we-read-it bibliophile. 🙂

      Thank you for the guide encouragement. xo

  13. Nicci on September 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for the downloadable copy. I appreciate and recognize the time and angst it goes into doing that.

    Your post this week is interesting b/c it may seem like a simple request but it touches on a very complex issue that is consuming us in this strange new world: a conflicted world with its addiction to technology and its hunger for the silence of going “off the grid.” Technology, combined with the birth of the social media culture, is making our world smaller by the minute. It’s all at once revolutionizing and scary.

    My husband is constantly on his phone. When he’s not talking on the phone, he’s checking email or websites, or Facebooking, or playing games, or whatever else. My sons (of age 4 and 2) know how to work the iPhone more than I do. It drives me nuts but it’s part of the new culture that I’m struggling to accept. It’s also becoming part of the downside of the “work-from-home” culture where your bosses and clients think they can call or text you at all times of the day because we’re wired in via our smartphones, et al. In the beginning of my “work-from-home” lifestyle, I struggled with being on call 24/7, but now I’m more disciplined and hold a very strict “office-hours only” policy. Anyone who reaches out after those hours go straight to voicemail. I’m still working on implementing that policy with my husband.

    This is a conversation I’ve been having all summer with various friends…the addiction to smartphones, facebook, twitter, social media, what have you; the constant chatter of the otherworld that we never really touch but consumes us with its seductive voice and come hither stare. Imagine how pathetic it was when I found myself sitting in a room with friends who have to text me to get my attention, or Facebook me from across the table with a link to an article to get a point across. It is very maddening and sad that our own voices are being drowned out by our smart technology.

    Speaking of SmartPhones: I have one but my husband makes fun of me b/c I don’t update it and I only use it to text, check work email and Facebook. It’s a wasted concept on me b/c there is a bounty of it that I don’t use. I could say I’m an snob, but I’d be lying b/c I’m not that ironic. What it really comes down to is that I’m afraid my smart phone is smarter than me. 🙂 I used to be the tech guru at my previous employment and when the machines started to get smart with me, my favorite line was: We have to be smarter than our smart machines; let’s just disable that smart part of it.

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Ha! I fear my not-very-smart phone is still smarter than I am!

      Have you ever been in a restaurant and noticed a table where all the eaters are on their phones? Not talking, but doing whatever people do when they’re not using their phones as phones. It always strikes me as funny. And ironic. And sad. (Like life, I guess!)

      I do think we need to designate times, or spaces, where the phone just has to be ignored, or, if not ignored, only responded to in cases of emergency. Otherwise I truly believe we risk losing track of our physical, in-person relationships.

      And, I wish I wrote this: “our own voices are being drowned out by our smart technology.”

      Well said.

    • Nicci on September 30, 2012 at 5:05 am

      Ah, yes, the dinnertime table of cellphone users–it’s a parody of our lives. Love Tall Pajama Man’s probablyemise: “set up a site that was available to your neighbors, so you had a place where you could talk to them…” I lament the awkward neighborly conversation, eye-to-eye contact, friendly handshake, conflict resolution, and most importantly the will-be-missed opportunities to just have a nice cold beer at an impromptu backyard barbecue. I also totally agree with Estrella and you on the writing thing too. I’ve caught myself in mid-conversation with my husband saying (hand to his face) “Wait, let me finish typing out my thoughts before I lose it” as he sat there grimacing. Payback’s a little bit like that. Although, he did tell me that I don’t have to hand type it into my phone b/c if I just talk to Siri she would type it all out for me. Really? I don’t know about you but my thoughts inside my head and my thoughts out loud never come out to be quite the same thing. I’m waiting for the Siri who can just read my mind!

  14. Tall Pajama Man on September 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    ThIs is interesting in light of an ” invite” I received to a new social media network. The probablyemise was simple, but kinda ridiculous: set up a site that was available to your neighbors, so you had a place where you could talk to them…

    Now, while I am a die hard smartphone user, I don’t want it to get in the way of real relationship. My ADD does kick in when I am with people, but I try to keep it in check so I can “be with” the one I am with.

    • j on September 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      As one who has been with you a time or two, I can say that you have never made me feel like I’m second fiddle to your smart phone. (And I do know how much you love your phone!)

      So is “probablyemise” a weird smart-phone auto-correct, or is it just a new term for me to learn? 😉

      • Tall Pajama Man on October 3, 2012 at 5:55 pm

        ah, drat! i so try to catch them before I publish. Now i gotta figure out what I was trying to say 🙂

    • j on October 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Haha! My phone is not smart enough to even offer a correction. But I have to admit… I’m weirdly fond of “probablyemise.” xox

  15. C. Fassett on October 1, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I’ve never been one who needs to answer a ringing phone, (much to my mother’s consternation!) If I’m with someone, I’m with them. Whoever is calling during that time can wait. If someone I’m with doesn’t give me the same courtesy, more often than not, I’ll simply go silent, sometimes in mid sentence. Most times, they don’t even notice. And when they do finally look up and take notice, they find me simply looking at them. Next comes a few moments of awkwardness — on their part — as my silence grows, and my gaze doesn’t waver. After I feel they’ve received my point, I simply say, “Choose.”

    Is that harsh? I don’t know. And perhaps I’ve lost all tolerance for this kind of thing.

    I’ve witnessed families and relationships falling apart because of all this you are discussing here. I’ve witnessed entire neighborhoods that used to be full of life — of people coming together for cookouts, and get-togethers, of old women who met at the mail box to get the latest gossip — steadily grow quiet and isolated in it’s streets. Streets that used to have the sound of children laughing and playing. I witnessed all this from my front porch in an incredibly short amount of time. What are the people and children who live in those houses doing? They are sitting in front of their computers, or on their phones, believing they are connecting with each other. Their neighbors come and go, and one day they think to ask me, “What happened to so and so?” (Someone they used to visit with often, back in the day)…and I answer that they moved….a year ago. To see the shock on their faces…I could almost hear them thinking…”how did I not notice? How did a year go by and I didn’t even notice?”

    It is a siren’s song.

    Needless to say, I don’t own a smartphone when my little flip Go Phone will suffice for my simple needs. My preference is to connect in 3D.

    • j on October 1, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Yes, your point (and Nicci’s) is well documented. We are, at once, more connected and more isolated. I’ve noticed it in my neighborhood too (although, I have to admit, as one who has wrestled shyness my whole life. I was never very good at initiating 3-D contact beyond a smile or a wave).

      I don’t want to condemn the whole culture, though. My world has opened up dramatically because of our ability to connect with each other in ways that don’t require us to share the same physical space. I LOVE my online community and wholly believe they expand my mind and heart daily. That said, when you’re sitting with a real, physical, right-there-in-front-of-you person, the virtual world can wait. This is what it means to choose love, every day.

      (So, no. I don’t think “choose” is harsh.) <3

  16. Anna (@helgagrace) on October 1, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I don’t have a smartphone for similar reasons, and it does irritate me when other people check theirs when we are out of the house.

    • j on October 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Not to make you nervous about someday, but my wonderful couldn’t-love-them-more sons are the worst offenders. 😉

  17. Kellie J. Walker on October 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Oh, wait. I think I found it…

    I’ve been on both sides of this. Actually, I think I’ve technically been on all three sides of this. Let me ‘splain…

    Side #1: I worked in sales for the last 10 years of my job. Each person on the sales team was issued a BlackBerry aka CrackBerry. The sales VP I reported to worked on the West Coast. I lived on the East Coast. I was expected, especially at the end of the quarter, to respond to any call or email related to work within an hour up to the time my boss knocked off from work. That meant, on a regular day, I was keeping an eye/ear on my BlackBerry until at least 9pm Mon – Fri (and, sometimes on Sat/Sun if I was working a big deal at the end of the quarter).

    I was the worst offender re: not being present when I was out with my friends during the week and part of the weekend. They were just shy of conducting an intervention when I pulled my head out of my ass and decided to take control of my life.

    I bought a personal cell phone and told my friends/family to only use that phone. They were never to call me on my work number unless it was a true, 911, somebody’s dying type of emergency. No one. And, I mean NO ONE, at work had my personal cell number. I left my BlackBerry turned off, at home, after 6pm Eastern. I never checked it on the weekend unless it was end of quarter and I was working a deal.

    And, drum roll, please… I didn’t take the BlackBerry with me on vacation. I remember the ‘could have heard a pin drop’ silence on the phone when I informed my team I was going on vacation for 5 days and wouldn’t have my BlackBerry with me. They were truly, utterly stunned.

    Side #2: After I left my corporate job and got a personal smartphone, I was (and am) very careful to not let it interfere with any face-to-face engagement. I’ll usually turn it to silent and leave it in my purse. The only exception is if there’s a possibility I’ll get a call I need to take. In that case, I’ll put it on vibrate and leave it on the table until I get the call or until it’s clear the call isn’t coming in.

    Side #3: My dear husband has a smartphone AND a tablet. I’ve frequently had to ask him to put both away while we’re together so I can have his complete attention. He’s not the only friend or family member I’ve experienced this with. He’s just the one I see the most. 🙂

    I don’t think your moral high ground is shaky at all. You’re just being honest about how you think you’d handle the situation if you had a phone. You not getting a phone to prevent it from happening is no different from me making a decision to turn mine off and leave it in my purse. Both are ways to manage the constant tug at our attention.

    So love that you brought this up. And, LOVE the doodle. <3

  18. j on October 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Why, thank you, lovely lady!

    I’m so glad you found your comment, though all attempts were in my waiting-for-moderation folder. I don’t know why the moderating function has become so sensitive lately, but a lot of comments have been going there from people I know have commented on ZS before. GRRRR…

    Now, the topic at hand.

    I confess to having done that too. Expecting a text (everyone knows my aversion to the phone, so I’m usually dealing in text messages), I have sometimes laid my phone on the table until the message comes, but for the most part I try not to deal with (reply to) the stuff that comes in when I’m with someone in person.

    Chad and my boys are definitely the ones who do this to me most. Although The Boy’s phone is not smart, so at least he isn’t playing Words With Friends while I wait! But June does have me trying to ascertain if I have a role in this because I’m, in my own non-smart-phone-way not being present. Further analysis is need. In the meantime, thank you for granting me solid ground, girlfriend!

  19. cmw on October 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Just to be clear, it’s the notification (mostly the little flag with the number next to it) that seems to drive me to look. Many times it ends up being junk mail, but the little flag treats it all with equal importance.

    Given our conversation this morning, I realize that it is also the vibration (sorry about waking both of us up very early!) and the little “ring” for EVERYTHING incoming that announces to me the nuts-driving flag is lit up.

    It all sounds like excuses, but it’s more of going into solution mode, because I have been on both sides too. You have compelled me to modify how and why the phone nags me.

    Hopefully you (and others will notice!)


    • j on October 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Ha! Mission accomplished. 😉

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