Phubbing: Look up! Listen…

Phubbing is the definition for snubbing another person in favor of one’s cell phone or now their watch. Have you been the victim  of phubbing or are you the culprit? Dining out has become an increasingly troublesome experience for me.  As I observe table to table, no one is talking to each other.  Parents aren’t engaging with their children, couples aren’t focused in conversation with one another, and some folks aren’t respectful enough to tear away from their device and look up to acknowledge the waitstaff.

Give me a break.  What has happened to us? And we wonder about the behavior of our young people and their inability to control, restrain, or refrain from undesirable behavior. When in the presence of someone else, shouldn’t we ask for permission to check our email, text, or missed call?  If not, keep it in your pocket.

One thing is for certain.  We are who we behave.  Between stimulus (cell phone or the watch ding) and our response is what we choose as our behavior – which screams out to the person their level of importance to you. Risky.

How do you respond when you get the “ding, buzz, whistle, bell” on your device?  Does it control you or do you control it?

Think about it.  The minute your device alerts, does your mind begin the “who is it” brain distraction causing you not to be fully present? Or when in a meeting and everyone present has a device in hand tapping away while you are trying to share important plans, results, updates? How  does it feel? We’ve lost sight of the damage we are doing to our relationships. We shouldn’t be surprised at the contentiousness of the workplace, home environment, little league game, or at the checkout counter in a store. Every person has the need to connect and belong in their DNA.

Are we setting the best example for the younger people in our lives – those in our circle of safety – our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, next-door-neighbor kids, children of our friends, or our students? Are we willing to call one another out on our disrespectful use of technology?

Think about it.  When someone is speaking to me, they should be able to expect my complete attention. If I am expecting an important message, I let the person know up front so they are not offended.  If the “buzz” happens, simply ask for permission to take the call and be fully present when you return.

Are we willing to hold a friend, family member, colleague accountable for phubbing us? Vulnerability. Another risk.

Dr. Joyce Brothers has said, “Listening, not imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Flatter those who need your ear. Keep that phone in your pocket. Be the one who LOOKS UP first!

Elevate your relationships and see what happens…

Cynthia

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