In our tech-saturated age, it seems like we are more connected than ever before--except for the people in our direct proximity. It’s a balancing act to be able to keep up with the demands of social media and personal text messages without seeming rude to those in your immediate proximity. Generally speaking, the rule is that the person in the room gets first dibs on your attention when they seek it. We’ve all been on the other side of that situation and know how frustrating it can be when someone interrupts our interactions with others with a long phone or text conversation. Today we’re going to talk about some other ways a cell phone can be used to communicate--or miscommunicate.
We send and receive texts and emails on our cell phones and tablets multiple times a day, but it’s easy to misinterpret a text message or be misunderstood because such messages don’t carry inflection, and the facial expressions which can turn a word like “What?” from a query to a declaration of indignation.
As a rule, the easiest way to avoid unnecessary conflict is to make a deliberate choice to perceive messages in the best possible light. While this may not always reflect their actual feelings, it can be much easier to erroneously believe someone isn't a jerk than have to apologize later for misinterpreting a person’s words.
When it’s okay to disconnect
There are some who say it’s okay to not reply to a text when you’re driving, at work, or in a formal or personal social setting. But, it’s okay not to respond if you’re in any situation where taking your attention away from the present moment is a problem. We do not always have to be connected. There are exceptions, of course. A parent responsible for a minor child, for example, should be available when it’s necessary. If you initiate a conversation, do so with the intent of either finishing it or excusing yourself. Replying to a text message or phone call when you have an opportunity is also kind. We are advocates of kindness.
Ghosting has gotten something of a negative press because it can be so painful. The stark fact is that in such an age of connectedness, the decision to disconnect isn’t necessarily a bad one. People have been doing one version or another of ‘ghosting’ since time began. It just seems more brutal because we now can connect so easily. Most of the time, if a person doesn’t interact with us, it’s because they don’t want to.* The exception is when a person’s phone breaks. But we can repair it and have it working again in no time!
We have all had someone say or text something nasty or rude. Those types of things don’t always require a reply. Sometimes, the person texting is just angry and frustrated and say words they don’t mean. Perhaps they do mean them, but their level of frustration doesn’t necessarily demand that you egg them on with a heated reply. One of the most significant skills a person can learn is the ability to not engage with a person who is attempting to hijack their emotions.
Navigating a balance between device usage and being in the moment can be awkward and a struggle at times, but with the intention to be considerate and a mind to keep things in perspective, we can be socially savvy and not hurt anyone’s feelings, which is the whole point of etiquette in any form. Our phones are a part of us, but they should enhance, not impede. our relationships with others.
Call us at 480-695-6756 if you need a highly-rated, expert cellphone repair company to repair your iPhone, Samsung, PS4, XBox, iPad or tablet.
*A note to those who say, “He could be lying in a ditch somewhere. Those of us who have had friends and family who ended up in a ditch can tell you that bad news travels very fast. Before you even know they were lying in a ditch, someone will contact you. It’s actually the weird opposite of how we think things work.