I notice this as a trend with my friends and me. More often than not, most of us sit at social events with our phones in our hands. While we do manage to have conversations together, we spend a significant amount of time scrolling through our phones as well.
This isn’t bothersome to the friends who are connected in all areas of social media, but to a person like my sister for instance, this habit is annoying. What do you think?
Our phones are not accessories, but psychologically potent devices that change not just what we do but who we are. A second path toward conversation involves recognizing the degree to which we are vulnerable to all that connection offers. We have to commit ourselves to designing our products and our lives to take that vulnerability into account. We can choose not to carry our phones all the time. We can park our phones in a room and go to them every hour or two while we work on other things or talk to other people. We can carve out spaces at home or work that are device-free, sacred spaces for the paired virtues of conversation and solitude. Families can find these spaces in the day to day — no devices at dinner, in the kitchen and in the car. Introduce this idea to children when they are young so it doesn’t spring up as punitive but as a baseline of family culture. In the workplace, too, the notion of sacred spaces makes sense: Conversation among employees increases productivity.