Do our Phones Actually Disconnect Us?

Do our Phones Actually Disconnect Us?

Its our fortnightly Cuppa and a Chat time people, grab your brew, get comfy, and as always, feel free to voice your opinion x

This post was inspired by something that I recently did, and thinking about it afterwards, am probably guilty of doing often! I had bumped into my friend in our local town, a friend that I have known since I was 4, but don’t catch up with as often as I probably should. Afterwards, having the gift of hindsight of that encounter, I can see why we don’t catch up as often as we should!

We ran into each other in Morrisons, and did the usual girls thing of squealing and hugging with cries of “Oh look at you, you look great, I haven’t seen you in ages” then had a 20 minute chat, whilst annoying the people having to manoeuvre their laden trolleys around us. Time being against us as ever, I disengaged myself from the conversation with a “we must have a proper catch up, go for lunch/dinner,  I’ll text you” a quick hug and air kiss, we went our separate ways.

As I walked away it dawned on me, why will I text her? Why did we plan to make plans? Why didn’t we just sort the date out then and there, while we were both present? I have every intention of seeing her, it wasn’t insincere words said as a parting shot. We meant it. We will catch up over dinner or a few drinks up the pub. But in all likelihood, texts with suggestions of dates will go back and forth, and another good few months will pass before we sort it and get together.

Why? Has it got to the stage where we would rather fire off a quick text, when we think of it, than have a conversation? Is texting the way we communicate now, so few words (and emoji’s) rather than a phone call? It got me thinking about how actually, our phones, the wonderful inventions that were made to keep us connected and available, could actually be disconnecting us. Think about it, I would lay money on the fact (only a fiver or so, Im not willing to lose a lot) that we have all had times where we send a text to someone, only for them to have the audacity and gall, to actually phone us to reply! I mean, do they not know that we are tucked up under our blanket, tea to hand, watching an episode of Mindhunter on Netflix? Why on earth would they call us! What the hell is the matter with them. We look at the phone, annoyed at its ringing, and, despite the phone being right there, let it go to voicemail……….

WTF! Why? Why do we do that?

As I was thinking about this, I felt a burning blush of shame heat my cheeks as I thought of all the times and occasions that this happens on a regular basis with me. For example, I wake my youngest son up at 745 each morning……….by phoning him! Rather than go upstairs to his room, I phone him, knowing his phone is by his bed. When I was living at my parents house, and before the days of mobile phones, (yes, yes I know those of you that are my younger readers, scary thought eh, no phone ) my mum would come up to my room, open my curtains up, pop a cup of tea on my bedside table, quietly chat about what the weather was doing. It was a lovely, gentle start to the day. My son, has a ringing phone because its quicker and dosent stop me shoving washing into the washing machine, or whatever task I am trying to do before the day starts.

Another example, a friends/relatives birthday. I will have no trouble remembering that its their birthday, but rather than call them to wish them a lovely day, and a happy birthday, I send a text, (and yes, I do of course send a birthday cake and celebration emoji with it, Im not that bad a friend…. ) I will also remind my boys to not forget to send their Nan, Granddad etc a text to wish them a happy birthday. I am encouraging them in that lazy way of conversing with someone. Guilty as charged.

Even our banks text us now to tell us we have made a payment, are near the point of going overdrawn, have a great offer available to us etc.

As a society, we seem to avoid talking to people. Being a woman in my forties, all too often I hear people of around my age or older, say that “the youngsters are always glued to their phones and have lost the art of conversation”. I have just given two examples of how it is most certainly not just the youngsters! We are all becoming lazy conversationalists. We often justify it to ourselves by thinking that a text is quicker. As we are tapping out a text, we think to ourselves that the recipient can just open it and respond when they get a sec. We almost make it out that we are thinking of them, making it more convenient for them. If we are honest with ourselves, in most cases its because we are not in the mood/don’t have time/cant be arsed to have a chat. We just want to say what we need to say, in as few words as possible, then forget it.

Have we made our phone the middle man? Do we now use the avoidance of a call or the delay in responding to a text as a way to put off committing to plans or answering a question?  Do we use texting to chicken out of a conversation we don’t want to have? A simple text cancelling plans,  ‘sorry somethings come up, I cant make Thursday” can make us feel like the consequences will be far more limited than having an actual conversation. Have we made the phone our life screening process?

I have told you how I am guilty of condoning lazy communication with my own kids, but small children are being given this message from a very young age. We have all seen situations where a family are at a meal, the small child starts to fidget or become bored, the parents give them a phone to play on. Instead of engaging with the child, having a book to hand, talking to them, they enforce the message that there is no conversation required, here is a phone. (I must add here, to make myself feel slightly better, that we have a strict-no-phone-at-the-dinner-table-or-when-we-are-in-other-peoples-company policy in our house). I am pretty sure that this is why so many people have rubbish telephone skills. A confident telephone manner seems to be slowly dwindling.

So, what can we do about all this? After my encounter with my friend, I am 100% making more effort to actually pick up the phone to talk, rather than text. I have also made sure that I have my diary in my bag, so that I can make those catch up dates there and then. Small things. Little changes. I am also pretty lucky that my husband is one of the rare breed that hates texting. He still enjoys chatting on the phone with someone and will nag me to answer my phone if it rings. He would agree and pencil in a catch up date with someone then and there. He is so annoying. He is that person that I text, and he phones me back………which I let the answerphone pick up………..Then he follows with a text saying “I know your phone is with you, bloody answer it (angry face emoji)”……………

So, over to you lovely lot. What do you think? Are you guilty of being disconnected from conversation? Do you find that you have become lazy with your interactions? Why do you think that we have all become a little disconnected? What do you think the answers or solutions are? As ever, I love and value your input. lets discuss….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45 Comments

  1. February 4, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    Telling me how your mum used to wake you up reminds me of how my Nan did the same thing – with the dog bounding in at the same time to say good morning!
    In some ways I think phones do make it easier. They’re less intrusive. If someone wants to know if I can do dinner on Friday, a quick message won’t interrupt my day, especially when I’m working. We can fix the details of when and where by text, and then catch up in real life. That’s ok for me. But if that person can’t put their phone down while we’re supposed to be having a catch up … that’s not ok!
    Yesterday I put my phone on in-flight mode for a few hours. I still wanted to use it because my book is on there, but not being connected to all the usual ways for people to contact me was quite refreshing. I just had a chilled out day with my partner. I want to do that more often during the weekend!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 4, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      Awww Kirsty my wake up was the same, our family dog, Sophie, used to come running in with my Mum and jump on my bed. Happy times xx. Yes I totally get your point about it being quicker and easier, thats why we probably all do it. Thats an absolutely fair point. I think for me, Im going to just try to pick u the phone when I dont need quick and easy, if that makes sense? I agree with you a million percent about someone being on the phone at the table, or when you are catching up with them, its so rude isnt it. Thank you so much for popping over and reading, your comment is very much appreciated xx

  2. February 4, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    I absolutely agree with this – the saddest thing is when someone starts to feel more comfortable communicating via text than face to face or even talking it out. It goes unnoticed most of the time but when it happens regarding important issues or decisions, it’s disappointing to see how this hiding behind a screen is affecting a real life communication in a real life relationship. Phones are great and all, but moderation is key as with everything else xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 4, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Yes thats exactly what I think I worry about. We are all getting so comfortable with this fast and furious life, firing off quick texts on the go etc. You make a good point about the important issues being discussed over text. Its crazy isnt it! I know some people feel more confident texting, but maybe that is a little safe, and they should push out of the comfort zone a little? I know I am going to try, not going to say I will be perfect lol Thanks for your input my lovely, very much appreciated xx

  3. Jean
    February 4, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    Hooray, I have been saying this for ages. In the past there we wrote lovely letters or sent little cards, what is nicer than receiving a little note delivered by the postman. Over time letters seem to stop and phone calls were made which in a way was even nicer because you actually chatted, and listened to each other, progress. NOW hardly a word is spoken because of the dreaded text “conversations” and so much can get misconstrued and the meaning of what you actually meant lost. Bring back phone calls or dare I say visits and a proper ol natter

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 4, 2018 / 8:44 pm

      I am so glad you agree! I recently bought a book, that was full of photocopies of letters that were sent to people through history. There is definitely a beautiful thing about a letter, and of course, being a fan of the written word, my ideal. You make a very good point about how texts can be misconstrued etc, thats another fab point. A visit and a natter sounds ideal to me! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to chat x x

  4. February 4, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    It’s funny my little sister said to me, can you imagine not having a phone? I had to explain that they are relatively new in the grand schemes of things.
    I think it has made us become lazy and unable to socialise. We now don’t have to make such an effort with our social skills. And I too am now carrying my diary everywhere.
    Sometimes you can’t beat a good quality phone call. 🙂 xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 4, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Its so funny that the younger generation dont know a world without all this technology. It must be so strange to them to think of it not being around! I think it is a degree of laziness, I can certainly see that in my part. I am determined to be making those small changes, making more effort. Thank you so much for your input and stopping by. I love hearing everyones views xxx

  5. February 6, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I think texting is great, but I think it gets misused as a crutch by many people as well. I work for an international company so we have to do a lot video & phone conferences, it is interesting to see how many people almost seem like they cannot hold a normal conversation if it is not via text or email.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 6, 2018 / 12:29 pm

      Ohhh thats interesting, so even in the work place it becomes apparent! Crazy isnt it. You are so right, I think texting is a crutch and an avoidance. Im making small changes to make sure I dont disconnect too much. Life is busy, but people are important. Thank you so much for reading and leaving me a comment, much appreciated xx

  6. February 6, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Ah Kerry I agree with you so much. Texting is so impersonal sometimes but were all so guilty of doing it because it sseems so easy. I feel so guilty sometimes just waiting for the phone to call and text back.. why do I do that? My mum also used to wake me up for school by opening the curtains (probably a time before iphones had taken over the world). What you said about giving a child a phone to give them something to do is something that really gets to me. I know it seems easier but there are a lot of other options. It does make me sad to think I’m so attached to my phone, the thing that gets me is seeing people out on dates/group outings and both of them are staring at their phones rather than talking. At the moment I’m trying to step away from constantly checking my phone, I figure texts can wait and if it was that urgent they’ll call. My boyfriend is caller and not a texter too! I’m not sure what the best solution is, I guess just sort of recognising it’s something we do and trying to make the effort to be a little more connected/not constantly relying on the easiness of a text xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 6, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      I think you have hit the nail on the head Grace. Being aware, making small changes, and in my case sometimes, not being a lazy cow and actually picking up the phone haha. We all lead such busy lives, I think it has just become quicker and easier to text! Iv promised myself Im going to send my Mum a little handwritten note card now and again, I know it will make her day! Small steps eh? Thank you for popping over to read, and thank you so much for leaving me a comment xx

      • February 6, 2018 / 2:08 pm

        Hehe yes you’re so right, it’s just that first step of understanding and realising you’re doing it. Awww yes, that’s so sweet! Think little things like that are a positive step! Of course Kerry, always love reading these xx

  7. February 6, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    I totally agree! Life become wasier for some through a phone – I remember one huge fall out with Jamie and instead of talking things through he would wait until we were apart and text his feelings. Luckily that is not the case now but it’s easy to see how they can replace quality time and conversations xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 6, 2018 / 5:42 pm

      Ohhhh I have to say, I have done that before…… Especially if I am in the wrong! You are right, we perceive it as easier. Im trying really hard to make an effort to phone instead of text, and make plans with my friends sooner rather than later! Thank you for stopping by and reading xxx

  8. February 6, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    Okay, so first of all, I HAVE to read this Life Changing Magic book asap. Secondly, I love your writing and your topics. I’m insanely guilty of all of these sins, and I think it’s sad how we’re more “Connected” to each other than ever, but really we’re the most disconnected we could be. Thank you for reminding us to take time for real quality connection.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 6, 2018 / 9:43 pm

      Ohhh thank you so much, it means so much to me that you enjoy my blog, I appreciate you saying so, thank you. I have all three of the books she has wrote, and am just starting the third one, “You Do You”. They are all written in a very light hearted way, but talk a lot of sense. Id recommend them xx Thank you so much for stopping by and reading xxx

      • February 6, 2018 / 9:53 pm

        🙂 I’ll be adding all of them to my reading list!

  9. February 7, 2018 / 2:50 am

    I agree with you so much! I think it’s become a culture where we are pushed to NEED our phones and to alienate ourselves from others and only connect using our phone to further perpetuate the cycle. I love when we go out and everyone leaves their phones away and we can hang old fashion style. Those moments are amazing.

    Jani from http://www.mylifeinmedicineblog.com

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 8:10 am

      Hi, thank you so much for visiting! I think you are right, we are made to feel our phone should be with us at all times. I have friends who feel almost a rising panic if they realise they dont have their phone with them. Going out without phones is a great idea! That should become a thing shouldnt it. There would also not be that awful, morning fear that your friend has taken drunk photos of you with their phone hahaha. Thank you so much for airing your opinion, always very much welcomed here xx

  10. February 7, 2018 / 8:51 am

    Phones are the reason why many people use the “ugh, I really hate small talk” phrase. We don’t want to socialise with others physically anymore, when that’s all we ever did back then. And I hate it so much. I enjoy small talk.

    I like this post

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 12:46 pm

      Hi Saydee, thank you so much for visiting x. I couldnt agree with you more, small talk is how we introduce ourselves to each other isnt it. Its the breaking of the ice. Im glad you enjoyed the post too, thank you for taking the time to comment xx

  11. February 7, 2018 / 9:28 am

    I am super guilty of preferring to just send a text and avoid all conversation.. But– I also feel that social media like facebook leaves me with little to no conversational topics because people put so much of their life up there that I have nothing to ask about or to be catched up on whenever i meet someone I haven’t seen in a while!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 12:48 pm

      Ahhhh thats a great point actually. I hadnt thought of that. You are so right, people put their whole lives up on social media now days dont they. Thats a great point! We already know whats been going on. Thank you for adding that view xxx

  12. February 7, 2018 / 10:16 am

    I hear you yes I agree. Plus it’s too easy to do. I am from the dinosaur age (much more than yourself) we did not have a landline in our home. When quite a few of our peers did. No phone ringing. Strange now when I think about it. But sometimes I think it has a healing place in the mind – to be just free of it for awhile. It can help I feel – just for awhile. We lack (at least some in the younger generations) in having that “one on one”. – but often it can be family culture. A discerning parent will find ways to work to find ways to be in harmony with the challenges of technology and inspiring their younger ones to be innovative in exploring human relations and hands on activities.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Ohhh Deborah, Im with you, we had a landline, but my Dad used to take it off the hook for a few hours every day because it got on his nerves. I totally agree with you about being free of technology heals the mind. I have social media free sundays, and I am convinced that its one of the reasons that I am so positive and motivated on a Monday. Iv had a day of clarity of mind, and as you say, healing. Great comment, thank you for taking the time to add your view xx

  13. February 7, 2018 / 10:48 am

    I actually hate phone texting, I use it on super rare occasions, I usually just call a person because it is easier to me than to type. Most of my friends find this super weird and non likely, but that’s the way I’m. I feel like a lot of people are guilty of texting habit. xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      Yayyyyy! I love that you prefer to call. How funny is it though, and a sign of the times, that your friends find it strange. I hope you always continue to call, and not text. Thank you for reading xx

  14. February 7, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    Back when I was in junior high/high school I would always talk on the phone with my friends.
    Now it seems like texting is the way to go because if you call someone they could be busy (at class, work/meeting, movies, etc) or they could just not be feeling like talking on the phone. If you text someone then they can answer at their convenience. I know I’m guilty of this & if someone calls me & I don’t answer for whatever reason, I’ll end up texting them instead of calling back b/c what if they’re now busy?
    However, with my boyfriend I will normally call him because it is much quicker than texting & I will get an immediate response (like if he just left to go to the grocery store, I will call him if there was something else we needed to add to the list or if I just picked up our daughter from daycare I’ll call him to let him know we’re on our way back home)

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 7, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Hi Karalee, thanks for stopping by xx. I agree with you 100% that there is always times when its just easier and quicker to text, and I too am guilty of it. I think I have just noticed recently that for me, I seem to always text as it saves having a conversation, and I know many people are the same. Its a shame that we are stopping talking to each other isnt it. I am making small changes to try to bring some balance back, thats the plan anyway haha! Thanks for your comment x

  15. sgmart187
    February 8, 2018 / 1:33 am

    Ha! The first thing I thought of was that we used to draw straws to see who would have to wake up my little sister in the morning. Short straw got it, and usually a pillow hard to the face. She is NOT a morning person.
    I think that technology is a great tool and texting and phone calls should both be used for balance. My husband and I text frequently throughout the day, its more convenient for him. If I realize he needs to get milk at the store on the way home since I can’t get out, I can send him a quick text and he feels no pressure to get back to me immediately if he’s working with a client or up to his elbows in piranhas or lion-fish or corals or whatever crazy beast he has to deal with that day.
    We also have a phone down policy at meals and on date night, in fact all technology stays put away unless we’re using it for our date. Its really important to shut down for a little while and focus on each other.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 8, 2018 / 8:53 am

      Ohhh now I feel the need to know all about your partners job! That sounds interesting! I am 100% with you on the phones down rule, we have the same rule. There is nothing nicer than chatting at the dinner table is there, catching up on everyones day. I think convenience is the key word, we all seem to crave and need convenience, which I suppose is where texting is the one. Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment, much appreciated x

  16. February 8, 2018 / 7:36 am

    Love your chatty posts so much hun!

    I am so guilty of the whole messaging conversation thing. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a friend on the phone. terrible isn’t it. Me and my sister are terrible for messaging to make plans to chat on facetime, she’s calling this morning actually – but she does live in Oz so I’m hoping that’s a good reason for making plans to speak haha… I do find being able to whatsapp companies good though, especially living in Spain where there’s abit of a language barrier so being able to whatsapp my location is good and not try to explain it in my very poor Spanish lol…
    But on the social front I always hesitate to call a friend or family because I always think I’m going to interrupt them and that they’ll be too busy and I guess I just don’t want to be a bother. xx

    Heather http://www.suncreamandsparkles.com

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 8, 2018 / 8:57 am

      Awww I am so glad you enjoy these posts Heather, I always find I enjoy writing them x. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to interrupt someones evening, Im the same. Even that is crazy though isnt it, most people are probably glad to hear from their friend/family member. I think we have all become so fast paced and crave convenience, that we assume everyone is the same. I can see where communication with your sister and companies care helped by messaging, thats where it really is useful lol. Thank you so much for reading and commenting my lovely xxx

  17. February 12, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    I agree with everything you have just said, and I, like you am guilty as charged! I have always hated using the phone or speaking in person to someone (I blame a confidence issue;-) so much so that when I worked in London (many years ago) I would prefer to send an email across the room rather than get up and just ask that person a question directly. I think we definitely think that we are multi-tasking by firing off texts, all the while carrying on our daily business and that you just can’t do that when you to have to (shock horror) answer the actual phone and talk to the actual person 😉 My eldest is 11 and he has just had his own phone and seeing how he communicates with his friends on it has been a real eye opener. Preferring to text and not call, it’s a vicious circle I think and the one thing I don’t want for him is to not be able to be confident on the phone or asking someone directly. I’m definitely going to take on board what you’ve said and try harder to make more time to actually speak to people rather than just text all the time. As always, LOVE your posts and can’t wait for the next one xxxxxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 12, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      Ohhh you make a great point about the confidence side of things. I totally understand that it can be so easy to text when our confidence is low, but at the same time, not pushing out of our comfort zone can make us even less confident. Technology, a blessing and a curse eh? You are doing a great job with your son even noticing how he uses his phone, some parents wouldnt. Thank you so much for chipping in my lovely, as always, great points raised. Thank you too for the lovely compliment too, I love that you love reading xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 15, 2018 / 9:04 am

      Oh Deborah thank you so much! Thats so kind. I will have a read xx

      • February 15, 2018 / 9:52 am

        Your welcome. My questions to you are at the bottom of the post – I changed them
        a little from the questions given to me 🙂

  18. February 18, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    GUILTY! of everything you’ve mentioned. I’ve never been one for chatting for ages on the phone and now because of texting I’m even worse. It’s funny because my dad will always say “I’m not answering your text, if you want me ring me!” and he’s right! I do the same with my kids too Kerry. Their bedrooms are on the middle floor so if I’m on the ground floor or our bedroom on the top floor (makes my house sound like a mansion lol!, its not) and they can’t hear my shouting, I’ll just whatsapp them cos I know they’ll have the phone in their hand! So in answer to your question, yes our phones connect us, with the whole wide world, but they disconnect us from the joys of every day life and that’s the sad truth.
    Another great cuppa and chat folks. Loved reading everyones comments too.
    Much love
    Steph
    http://www.pricelesslifeofmine.com

    • kerrylifeandloves
      February 18, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      Ahhhh Steph, thank you so much for joining in. Its a pretty sad state of affairs we have got to really eh! You have worded that brilliantly, “connects us to the world, disconnects us from everyday life” Fab. thank you for your input my lovely, so glad you came over xxxx

  19. April 4, 2018 / 3:02 am

    WOW – this truly got me thinking, we need to make way more time to TALK in person than via the written word and texting.
    Thank you so much for leaving your link #SeniorSalon. I hope your Silver friends will also come over to participate and when you have a moment please read another posts or two left and share as well. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you again.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      April 4, 2018 / 7:40 am

      Thank you for reading xx. I think that we can feel we have interacted with people because we “like” a picture on their socials or send a text. Its almost like a false connection isnt it. Thank you for stopping by xx

      • April 4, 2018 / 1:21 pm

        As you I am making a definite effort to do less text and more real talking. Have a great talking and connecting day

        • kerrylifeandloves
          April 4, 2018 / 3:14 pm

          You too, its good to be aware of how much we actually talk to each other isnt it xx Thanks for visiting x

I love reading your comments x