Seriously, Get Off Your Cell Phone

Cell phones are great. In fact, they’re fantastic. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m obsessed with my iPhone. I take it everywhere with me – it’s basically an extension of my hand. Without my phone, I feel incomplete… and no, I’m not being dramatic.

So, I get it. I get that we all want to spend a lot of time on our cell phones because we can do awesome things on them. We can be in constant contact with anyone, we can keep tabs on all the Facebook statuses, we can secretly play games and make it look like we’re doing something important, we can ogle Instagram pictures and tweet everything. That’s all great. But there are times when  we need to put our cell phones down. Did you hear me? Stop looking at your screen! Put your cell phones down.

One time when we really need to stash those cell phones away? When we’re hanging out with our friends and/or family members.  I have a few friends who insist on using their phones no matter where we are or what we’re talking about. One friend in particular is obsessed with her phone. She is constantly on her phone. She’ll be sitting in a room full of all of our friends and she’ll still have her cell phone out, texting, tweeting, checking out Facebook, doing I don’t even know what. 

My friend has been like this with her cell for a while now, but recently, it’s really started to bug me. A few weeks ago, a bunch of us were hanging out when it started snowing. We all ran out to play in the snow like little kids. As we ran around laughing, my friend literally stood there doing things on her phone. She missed out on our super fun hang-out sesh in the snow because she was on her cell phone.

Would you like it if your BF did it to you? No? Then don't do it to friends! | Source: ShutterStock

Would you like it if your BF did it to you? No? Then don’t do it to friends! | Source: ShutterStock

And when we went to the nail place the other day, she stayed on her phone the entire time we got pedicures. I was in the middle of updating her on my life and she literally just sat there going, “Mm-hmm. Yeah. I know. OMG, I know.” while not once taking her eyes off of her cell. It’s not like my life is super interesting, but come on! In case you were wondering, she kept it next to her while she got a manicure and kept interrupting the manicurist to text people back. I’m not kidding. 

If you’re doing this, please stop. Seriously. I don’t know if you realize this, but staring at your cell phone screen while having a conversation with someone is incredibly rude. Like, it’s so rude it’s not even funny. Would you, or do you, enjoy having an intense conversation with someone whose not looking at you who seems like they’re in some faraway land? I didn’t think so.

Even if you think you’re a talented enough multi-tasker to be on your phone and be fully engaged in a convo at the same time – you’re wrong. Sorry, but you are. Cell phones are a distraction. There’s no way you can read statuses or look at pictures while listening 100 percent to someone else. You’re maybe 80 percent engaged in the conversation. Maybe. That’s being generous.

I mean, wouldn’t you rather enjoy what you’re doing at the moment instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing? Like I said, cell phones are distracting. While staring at your phone, you’re probably missing out on a bunch of stuff without even realizing it. You don’t want to be that annoying person who says, “Wait, what?” after everything that’s said. No one likes that person.

You might as well just say you're bored. | Source: ShutterStock

You might as well just say you’re bored. | Source: ShutterStock

Plus, how do you think the people you’re with feel? I’ll tell you how they feel: like you’re completely disinterested in what’s happening around you. When my friend looks at her phone more than she looks at my face when we’re hanging out, I feel like she doesn’t even want to be there with me. I feel like she has so many better things to do, like she can’t wait to leave and like she’s not even listening to anything I’m saying. It sucks.

So, seriously, put your cell phone away when you’re hanging with your friends. I’m not saying you can’t touch it at all or that you need to turn it off the whole time you’re with them (although doing that once in a while would be good for you). Just don’t look at it the whole time. Don’t check social media sites unless you absolutely need to. You will still be able to see stuff in a few hours. Don’t have lengthy text message conversations with people who aren’t there. That’s basically the equivalent of talking on the phone while you’re with a friend – would you do that? Probably not. So don’t text forever either.

Putting your phone in your bag until you need it will only bring good things, I promise. You’ll be able to fully focus on what’s happening around you. You’ll be able to give your friends your full attention, thus coming off as a better friend who cares about them. Hang-outs will be more fun. Everyone will be happy. Your friends won’t think you’re a brat. It’s a win-win situation, so please, put the cell phone away.

Are you guilty of using your cell when with your friends? Do you have any friends who are constantly on their cell phones? Do you think it’s really rude? Tell me in the comments.


Why even just checking your phone is distracting

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Posted in: Beliefs
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  • Linet

    I just wanted to say that I agree with your cell phnw story. I too have a friend who is always on her cell when I’m the only other person hanging out with her. It makes me feel like she is not interested in being there and wrose, she’s the one who asks me to hang out!

  • Mollon

    You are so right! It’s very rude.

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  • Barrygee

    I have a friend exactly like this….it’s actually upsetting me because I feel like she doesn’t want to spend time with me…like I’m an inconvenience getting in the way of her life. She moved away a year or so ago and so in order to maintain our friendship I have been prepared to go visit her on a number of occasions….it’s a 350 mile trip to go see her and for me it’s expensive and time consuming so the least she could do is stop using her phone constantly…stop texting, commenting and posting on Facebook and just pay attention to me for a bit. She can see those other new friends any time she wants but I’m here right now and have gone to a lot of effort and expense to be here…and I’ve done it all for her because I want us to remain friends. Is it s hard to put the phone down for a day? Am I not important enough for her to just pay attention to me after I’ve gone through all the trouble to see her? It really aggravates and upsets me and sometimes I sit there thinking “should I just go home?”…she’s always been a bit that way but before she moved away it was less of an issue because I could see her whenever but now it’s a case of seeing her a few times a year I think she could just put the phone away and enjoy the real company instead of those virtual friendships just for a day….is that too much to ask?

  • Stacy

    My friend does this too and it is so rude, i rarely hit her up anymore to hang out because i already know that she will be on her phone the entire time! When we watch movies she’ll be like “omg what happened!?” When i tell her about my life she will reply with a short answer, no suggestion, no advice, no opinion. Just a “mmmhmm”. We do not need friends like this they obviously got one…their cell phones.

  • ShayShampagne

    Reminds me of this guy at my job.! We work in a warehouse so we have to be fully alert of whats going on cause you could easily messup. He is in charge of packing the boxes and such and me & a few other people package the products in the box and send them down to him. Not rarely, not occassionally, not a few times, not sometimes but ALL THE TIME he is on his phone. TEXTING. He will even hide his phone in the box.! He’s gotten caught by our supervisor plenty of times. He also messed up quit a few times. Its only a matter of time that he’ll get fired.
    Some people should SERIOUSLY stay off the phone….

  • missUlove

    wow,I totally agree,i have one friend who’s also inseperable with her cell. once I asked her, when she was texting god knows who in her cellphone again: “Dont you hate that, when you are talking with someone and she is texting on her phone at the same time she’s talking to you, totally neglectiing you?”
    and she replied: “yeah, I know right!”, while, may I tell you ,texting on her cell.

  • miss v

    this article is so right i know i hate it when people try to talk to me and thier fone at the same time its so annoying

  • LittleRedWolfGirl

    I used to have a friend who was like that. If it wasn’t her phone, it would be her computer. I’d be over at her house for a hangout, and she’d just be on the computer the whole time. I couldn’t help but read that “Wait, what?” line in her voice, because I heard her say it so many times. It was so annoying.
    This is one of the reasons I’m glad I no longer have a smartphone. Believe it or not, I actually downgraded. The thing I miss most? Google maps, because I spend a lot of time in San Francisco, and it’s nice to be able to look up the location of a place whenever I need to. But the thing is, I manage without it. I DO have limited internet access on my phone, meaning I can check my Facebook, but it takes forever to load and the features are limited to basically reading my newsfeed and posting statuses or comments, things that I can easily wait to do until I get home. I usually only use that feature when I’m by myself and bored, trying to pass the time because I forgot to bring my book. The other huge plus? I only have to charge it about once a week! The Android I used to have was at the point where it would be half drained 15 minutes after I took it off the charger. It just wasn’t worth it anymore.
    This article does make a great point. We, as a society as a whole, have developed a scary dependency on cellphones. I feel like the younger the age group, the worse it is, because they grew up with it, whereas people my age didn’t get this stuff until towards the end of high school. It will not kill you to leave your phone alone for a few hours. Phones were designed for CALLS, not all this crazy stuff. You can live without it.

  • basschick

    i agree with you!!!

  • Kate E

    Ugh, I cannot agree enough! I have had friends over where I literally took their phones away and put it in a very high place (I’m 5’11” hehe). It bothers me so much, especially when they are the ones to ask me to hang with them!