I feel you. It’s incredibly annoying when you’re trying to have a conversation and she suddenly checks her phone. Even worse when she looks back up and says, “Sorry, what were you saying?”
I just had lunch with a guy who kept checking his phone while we talked. It made me feel that not only what I had to say was less important, but that I was, too. I wanted to bang him on the head with the ketchup bottle and be like, “Hello??? Lunch meeting? Me?”
I think we text while hanging out (TWH) because we’re so addicted to feeling connected. It’s true that girls love their friends, but TWH is about our obsession with needing to feel involved, loved, and paid attention to. That little ping or vibration of an incoming message is like a quick hit of feeling connected. That’s why there’s such an overpowering urge to check the message. I’m pretty sure people don’t think about what they ‘re doing. They’re feeding the need. It’s not personal. But that doesn’t make it okay.
TWH has become so normal that it can make you feel needy or pathetic to ask someone to stop. But can I just say? Trying to have two conversations at once makes the time we spend together less focused and, ironically, less connected. I think it’s hurting our friendships.
Imagine this: you’re hanging out with your friend and she suddenly – in the middle of your sentence – turns around and starts talking to someone else. Would you let that go? Probably not, especially if it happened three times in ten minutes. When a friend is TWH, that’s pretty much what she’s doing.
So how do you ask her to stop? I’d let it go the first time, and maybe even the second, but after the third, I’d say something like, “Hey, do you need a few minutes to call someone? I don’t mind waiting, it’s just easier if we could focus on each other.” Or: “Do you mind putting your phone away so we can talk? It’s kind of distracting when you check your phone.”
I have definitely been guilty of Crackberry checking at the dinner table. But I forget all that when my girlfriend checks her phone while I’m talking to her. I get all self-righteous like I’ve never done it a day in my life. So check yourself: if you’ve done it, too, admit it when you ask the person to stop. And remember it the next time you get the urge.
Have you told a friend to stop TWH? Tell me about it.