By: Jessica Moore
Not only is July a hot summer month full of events, it’s also national ice-cream month, hot dog month, grilling month and countless other food and activities we love. In that long list of reasons to celebrate July one in particular stood out to me.
National Cell Phone Courtesy Month!
It’s easy to let our digital lives take control over our physical lives. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Texting, Snapchat, Emails, Spotify, YouTube, Mint, Periscope, Shopping Apps, Pinterest, Games, Postmates, Jet’s Pizza ordering app and thousands of others we use constantly.
It's important to connect with people in your neighborhood, your city and state, across the country and worldwide. The trouble is that the more we connect on our screens the less we are connected physically. That's when things get weird, like when you find 'Tinder Hell'.
We are, more than we have ever been, disconnected.
Luckily Charlotte has the perfect recipe to blend the physical and digital. Come to the next #isntabeerupclt event and you'll see what I mean.
I agree that it is nearly impossible to escape entirely from social media and apps that make our lives easier. While trying to make everything easy, we are forgetting how to interact IRL. We often forget to be in the moment. We often forget our audience and how we should be extending them the same courtesy we would expect in return. You know, that Golden Rule our parents taught us?
It's time to take a much needed "vacation" from our cell phones.
There is a lot of digital noise out there affecting you, know when and how to clear it away with these few small pieces of advice.
Let's face it, we all get bored at work. A lot of companies block sites like Facebook and Pinterest. If you work for one of those companies, you resort to your cell phone. Now when I say at work, I really mean in the restroom.
I'll admit I've taken my phone with me a few times but never again. It's not sanitary and I will always be cautious now of touching another person's phone when they want to show me a photo. Please also try and refrain from having a phone conversation. It's weird.
This is likely one of my biggest offenses being a food writer & photographer. I put my phone away after I take the pictures though! If I'm at lunch or dinner with my dad, there is no way I would have my phone out texting with other people or checking social media in the middle of catching up over a meal. I'm very close with my dad so I used him as an example.
Anyone who is important to you, respect the time they took out of their day to be with you. Unless you're on-call with work or need to be available for emergencies because you have kids, leave the phone in your purse or pocket.
I'm short so it's already difficult for me to see. When I can't see because you're holding up both arms to take a 5 minute video of your favorite song, I wonder if you even know or care how many people you're blocking?
Just so you know, your video isn't going to be amazing. The sound will be choppy, the quality will be sloppy and you probably won't go back to watch it. Nothing is as good as when you're deep in the groove at a concert, so just enjoy it! I'll put on my brutal honesty badge for a second... Almost everyone who is not at the concert with you doesn't really care about seeing your video on social media.
It's one of those "had to be there, it was amazing" moments that you cannot accurately capture in cell phone video. And can I stand in front of you next time?
This may seem an unrelated moment to address because you might be alone at home, therefore you aren't affecting anyone. But this is when you might be ignoring your own needs? I limit myself to an hour or so a night to interact on social media or texting with friends.
I don't want to waste hours of my life doing things on my phone that add zero value to my QOL. I leave my phone on the kitchen counter 99% of the time, not on my coffee table and not on my nightstand.
Do yoga, go for a walk/run, sit on your porch and read a book, catch up on a TV show, mediate, do the chores you keep pushing off. If you have an iPhone, at least use Nightshade from 7pm onward, it resets to normal at 7am.
In The Car
Sometimes riding in silence is welcomed and OK, especially if you carpool or are on a long trip. Unless you are texting with someone we are meeting up with, picking out some tunes to play, or giving me directions, let's talk instead!
Our physical time with each other is limited and precious. Let's make the most of it alright? If you're talking on the phone and pull up to a drive-thru, please put your phone on mute so the loud scratchy sound from the speaker doesn't make your friend's ears bleed on the receiving end
Don't text and drive and if you're texting at a stop light, pay attention!
In The Theater
I go to the movies often. The ads prior to the trailers are incredibly boring so I'm almost always on my phone checking the latest on IG or replying to texts because I know I'll be unavailable for the next 2 or so hours. If I pay $15 for a movie, you better believe I'm giving it my full attention.
If you must be on your phone, turn your brightness to the lowest possible because you're annoying everyone. Side rant on candy wrappers: Just go all out OK? There is no slow or quiet way to open a box of candy or bag of nachos. And for goodness sake, chew with your mouth closed!
In The Mall
Watch where you're walking rather than forcing everyone to walk around you because you're looking down at your phone. If you're talking or texting and need to check out, put your friend on hold and respect the person servicing your needs.
Most people have worked retail or in the service industry at some point in their lives. These people have to deal with the rudest customers on the planet, you shouldn't be the one to make their day worse! Also, decrease your chances of getting robbed of all your purchases. Please don't sit in your car texting!
And why are you walking around the store with music playing on speaker, where are your headphones?!
- Don't take your phone into yoga or any other exercising class.
- Keep your phone on silent in all professional settings like meetings and luncheons.
- Leave your phone face up. It makes others think you are hiding something.
- If someone has headphones in it usually means they don't want to be bothered.
- Don't invite people to play mobile or social media games.
- You, Your, You're, There, Their, They're, Definitely - spell these words right.
- If someone asks what you're doing on your phone, that's a sign to put it down.
- Bluetooth ear pieces. Are you THAT important or just lazy?
- Handing a stranger 5 phones to take your group photo. I thought we liked sharing photos?
- Group texts (insert eye-roll emoji).
I truly love my iPhone 6 and use it all the time. My thoughts expressed here are to help remind myself, and hopefully you all, to be courteous to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.
Connect more with people physically than digitally. We are human beings and need human interactions. Your worth has nothing to do with your digital fingerprint.