Editorial: Put the phone away — just try it

Have you ever been at a restaurant with someone who won’t stop looking at their phone?

While today’s technology can be a wonderful way to keep us all connected and up-to-date, knowing when to turn it off is important too.

Have you ever been at a restaurant, sitting at a table and eating with someone who won’t stop looking at their phone? How does that make you feel? Ignored? Annoyed? Under-or just plain un-valued?

Online dining company OpenTable launched a campaign (rather ironically) on social media this week asking people to put their phones away for Mother’s Day.

RELATED: Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

We think that request should extend to any time you’re dining with someone else. Constantly checking your phone is not only rude, it’s often hurtful. It makes you not much fun as a dining companion of the person you’re with might as well be alone. Every time you hit your screen you’re telling the person you’re with that you have something better to do, something more important than to give them your full attention.

It’s bizarre when you think about it, more an act of someone addicted than normal behaviour. After all, what are you afraid will happen if you don’t look at your phone for a couple of hours? Will life as you know it end? Will the planet stop spinning? Will your social media friends shun you forever?

Or, rather, will you bring yourself back to the here and now. Real life, filled with the real people who love you. The people who deserve your consideration.

We bet you’ll get more out of your experiences with your phone put away than you would frantically trying to be here and there (wherever “there” may be at any given time on your social media feeds) at the same time. Likewise, you might find it beneficial to you to extend this phone-free time; where before you’ve always been so preoccupied trying to capture the moment in photos or video that you only see a beautiful vista, your kid’s soccer game, or the outing with your buddies through the tiny window of your smart phone screen rather than in the full technicolour experience granted you by your very human eyes. Once you try it, you just might find you like it.

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