In this technology-obsessed age we live in, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty much glued to my phone. If I accidentally forget my phone at home, I feel incomplete… almost like I don’t know how to function anymore.
There’s no denying that we’ve all come to rely on our devices for almost everything. Smart phones have changed our lives, but it’s also changed – and not necessarily for the better – the way we interact with others. How annoying is it when a friend spends an entire mealtime with their nose in their phone?
There should definitely be some rules for when you’re taking your devices to a party. Don’t be that guest who pays more attention to their phone than to the actual people around them. Here are some guidelines to being a polite guest.
- Put your phone away: Keep your phone in your pocket or purse. Of course it’s okay to take it out to snap a quick picture of your host’s gorgeous decor or with your friends to remember the moment. And it’s fine to text the babysitter to check up or if you suddenly remember something. But other than that, keep your phone out of sight. Don’t lay it out on the dinner table where you can be distracted by your phone’s flashing screen.
- Resist the urge: Keeping your phone out of sight will keep you from being tempted to answer to whatever is happening on your screen. Only use your phone at a dinner or party if it’s related to the event itself (i.e. taking a picture to remember the event). It’s not okay to check a work email or read your Twitter feed.
- Keep your phone on vibrate: It’s just plain rude (and embarrassing!) when your phone’s loud ringtone goes off during a nice dinner party. Keep it on vibrate and only answer if you’re truly concerned it might be an emergency (for example, a call from your babysitter). If you must answer, politely excuse yourself to do so.
- Ask before you post: Snapped a pic of your host’s beautiful floral arrangement or delicious homemade dessert and want to share it on social media? Most people won’t mind, but it’s always more gracious to check first before posting online. Especially if the pictures you want to post are of pictures involving other people.
We should remind ourselves from time to time to put down the phone and spend some quality time with others. You’ll be glad too to get a break from technology and enjoy some good old fashioned social time. Whatever is on the screen can wait.