It started awhile back. Noticing that my friends couldn't spend time together without everyone having a phone in their hands or on the table. Every subject of conversation was not complete without someone using their phone to look something up, show an email, or finding a youtube video we were talking about. It started making me frustrated. In response, I started correcting my own behaviors: my phone remains in my purse when with friends at dinner, trying to call people more than tweet, text, email, facebook them, and generally just making sure my "social media life" isn't impacting the people that were tangibly right in front of me.
I feel like I do a good job being present and engaged when I am with people. Most of the time. I will be the first to admit I have days where I can't get off facebook, or evenings where I am texting, emailing away and my presence is half-assed. However, I have made an effort. I have recognized that the never ending stream of information about people, their lives, news, worthless crap could go on all day, and yet what really matters to me is spending quality, focused, and intentional time with the people who deserve all of me.
Even on phone calls, I am trying to be more focused. Giving the person on the other end, intentional (albeit sometimes brief), meaningful conversation. In-person, I strive to make sure I don't make someone feel the way I feel when someone is choosing to pay more attention to the things happening on their phone than me.
We obviously live in a world where technology drives much of our lives, but I want my relationships back. I want to also feel like I am not asking too much of people to put away their phones and to have intentional, dedicated time with me. I'm tired of feeling like I am asking too much for phones, and computers to be put away. I am also tired of feeling like I have lost the ability to have a life outside of these "social" tools. I want to feel happy, invigorated, challenged, and connected after I spend time with someone or give someone a call. I want to take back control of having meaningful conversations that actually mean something, that contribut to my life, and made me think. Right now, I feel so stressed about not being funny enough, or engaging enough to deserve some one's full attention. And that. Is. Just. Sad.
Jenni's post today over at Story of My Life spoke to me with words I had been miserably failing to utter. I am glad she said something. I am glad I am saying something now. I want to join her in taking the effort to make my time "more intentional". I hope that you will all hold me accountable. Tell me to stop texting you and to call. Tell me that gchat is not an acceptable form of communication for speaking with your best friends (at least as the ONLY form of communication). Ask me why you've seen 11 tweets in 10 minutes. Tell me to put my phone away, or to go home if I have more important things to do. And tell me that it is ok for me to feel like I deserve the same from others.