WORDS Megan Smith
Whenever I’m hanging out with my friends it seems like they would rather play on their phones than speak to me. This is a trend I’ve observed with other groups of people too. I find this behaviour really rude, am I being unreasonable?
Having recently shirked my Luddite ways and upgraded from a dumb-phone, I certainly understand why everybody is so obsessed with their phones. You’ll never get lost again with GPS! You’ll never be bored on the train when you can catch up with the news on your phone! You can prove your friend wrong when debating the birth country of Fabio! Yet, no matter how tempting it is to stay glued to your phone, O Captain, My Captain, social protocols still apply.
There is nothing unreasonable about asking your friends to actually pay attention to you when they’re in your presence. Can you imagine what their reaction would be if you pulled a book out in the middle of a meal? What about if you procured a piece of paper and started writing a letter, longhand, while they picked at their salad? I’m sure if you kept popping off to a payphone to make calls your friends wouldn’t be very pleased either. If these square-eyed individuals really are your friends then I’m sure they won’t mind if you ask them to put their phone away for an hour.
If you’re a non-confrontational soul, you can just fiddle with your phone as well and throw out an “I’m sorry, do you mind if I use this for a second? I’d feel terribly rude if I sat here ignoring you without asking first”. Hopefully your friends will pick up on the hint and put the Apple product down.
It’s easy to seethe when the only dish your friends are interested in is the one they’re picking a filter for on Instagram (if they choose ‘1977’ they should be sterilised). But you can’t help that your friends are stupid. Just be polite and don’t forget your manners, it’s more than you can say for your pals. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my phone. If you own a smartphone and you don’t check it every ten minutes, it ceases to exist.