The Friendship Versus The Phone

Via Splitshire

Photo Via Splitshire

It’s amazing how one email, text, or tweet makes you feel like you’re the shit. You have people who NEED you. Is it work, friends, a significant other? Is it time sensitive? Someone is waiting for your response. Trust the urgency. You’re important. What’s not important is the person sitting on the other side of the dinner table or partaking in any real life activity at hand. Fuck that guy. There is no way they’re going to give you the validity or self-fulfillment you feel from the constant chatter of your phone.

So often I’ve been at the receiving end of being ignored.

We’re at a high-end burger joint. I think she’s checking Instagram to see if anyone’s commented on an artistically angled snapshot of her food. Granted it’s a beautiful twelve-dollar hamburger, and someone should definitely document it in order to justify this kind of purchase on a budget like mine. But she chose the wrong filter, exercising green and red tones similar to bile and blood. It’s strange how watching someone do this for ten minutes doesn’t bother me as much as it would have five years ago. What used to be an offensive gesture has morphed into a social norm. I’ve calmed down a bit on the issue and conceded that it rarely has anything to do with me (what a terribly boring companion I make) and everything to do with a drug-level addiction my generation has to constant attention- the feeling of being important, having something better to do. This mass ADD forces me to be interesting at a rate far beyond my capability. Alas, someone pulls out a phone.

Occasionally, there will be the imminent threat of a boss, emailing about god knows what at 9 pm on a Saturday. Here I understand. It happens, especially since technology has made any employee accessible far beyond work hours. We’ve become slaves to our jobs and to our smartphones. A generous amount of anxiety comes from the attempt to not immediately answer what could potentially be an urgent message. I’ll even admit that when I leave my cell at home it feels like I’ve lost an appendage or my mind.

I miss conversations where I had the right to bore my counterpart, to have an interaction full of awkward pauses, and the pressure to keep a conversation going. Where are the days of eating in silence while staring at one another? I’m kidding… mostly. I’ll just always think of it as poor manners to be on your phone while out with someone, unless you specifically told them that you’re waiting for something important. And I never know if it’s bad manners to call the person, who is glued to their phone, out on it. I don’t think Facebook or Twitter justify you being an asshole.  Call me old fashioned, but it’s true.

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2 thoughts on “The Friendship Versus The Phone

  1. jamzwj says:

    Tocqueville has been laying his eye upon your blog, and his points of interest lie especially on both this any your previous entry.

    “It is believed by some that modern society will be always changing its aspect; for myself, I fear that it will ultimately be too invariably fixed in the same institutions, the same prejudices, the same manners, so that mankind will be stopped and circumscribed; that the mind will swing backwards and forwards forever without begetting fresh ideas; that man will waste his strength in bootless and solitary trifling, and, though in continual motion, that humanity will cease to advance. Men are much alike, and they are annoyed, as it were, by any deviation from that likeness; far from seeking to preserve their own distinguishing singularities, they endeavor to shake them off in order to identify themselves with the general mass of the people, which is the sole representative of right and of might in their eyes.”

    “The desire to use knowledge is not the same as the desire to know. I am quite sure that, here and there, some men possess a burning and inexhaustible passion for the truth which is self-supported and a constant source of joy, without ever reaching any final satisfaction. This is the burning, proud, and disinterested passion for what is true which leads man to the abstract springs of truth from were they draw their basic knowledge.”

    “The more social conditions become equal and the less power individuals possess, the more easily men drift with the crowd and find it difficult to stand alone in an opinion abandoned by the rest. However the powers of a democratic society are organized and weighted, it will always be very difficult for a man to believe what the mass of people reject, or to profess what they condemn.What concerns me in our democratic republics is not that mediocrity will become commonplace, but that it may be enforced.”

    Liked by 1 person

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