One of my pet peeves is poor mobile phone etiquette – is that at the top of anyone else’s list?
There is nothing more annoying than being out somewhere, enjoying yourself and relaxing, and someone nearby decides to have a very loud phone conversation, not realising the timing and volume of the conversation is completely inappropriate.
In restaurants I find it is common, and once I was in a beautiful little New Age crystal shop browsing, and a young man answered his phone and proceeded to detail his late night exploits in very loud, very rude language at the top of his voice. Kind of ruined the ambiance of the store I can tell you!
What I have also noticed is how joined at the hip many people are to their phones. Quite often of an afternoon William and I will go for a walk along the beach where there are many people walking, jogging and riding bikes. The amount of people I see riding their bike with one hand and talking on their mobile with the other – or walking with the phone attached to their ear is incredible.
I’m sure there is nothing that is THAT important that can’t wait half an hour while the person enjoys their walk or ride. Being a keen people observer, I wonder why they can’t let go and put their phone down and just be present to the moment. To feel the sun on their skin, the breeze in their hair, the sound of the waves on the beach and the feel of using their muscles in physical activity.
By being endlessly distracted from the present moment, when do they really live? Do they live their whole lives being switched off to what is actually happening? And how does that play out in the rest of their lives? Are they so caught up in “doing”, that they forget about “being”?
What did we do before there were mobiles?! We lived at a slower pace, that’s what we did. And even though there are always wonderful advantages to moving forward and embracing technology (am I showing my age?) we also have to take charge of how we use it and not let it rule our lives.
So put that phone down, take some time out and really be present. You will be glad you did.