Have phones impacted our social lives negatively?

28

FEBRUARY, 2018

Social Media
Mobile Phones
Distractions

Distraction

Photograph sourced from Pixabay

Hello from hot Perth

It’s supposed to be Autumn but Summer has arrived. We’re having some lovely warm weather and are enjoying our days outside and at the beach. If you’re following me on social media and are wondering why I haven’t posted any photos of these awesome beach days it’s because I don’t have a phone. Well, I don’t have my phone! I am using my husband’s old broken iPhone which has bits of glass falling out every time I pick it up. There are no apps on it, it is only for calling in an emergency. Thus no social media.

How do people survive without phones? The first few days were tough – what? I have to use the computer to check Facebook. That’s crazy!

Two weeks later and apart from not being able to take nice photos I am enjoying being phone free. I’m more attentive to the kids and I notice more of what is happening in my environment. But sadly, I realised that no one really talks or interacts with others anymore.

Do this test, go to a busy public area (McDonalds, a café or a park are best) and watch. You’ll notice that 90% of the people surrounding you will be on their phones or have headphones in their ears. Teenagers message each other from across the table! Parents are staring at their phones while the kids call from the slides, “Watch me, watch me!”, only to be ignored or to receive a slight wave of the hand.

I remember when Miss 12 was a toddler and I used to chat to other mom’s in the park, at playgroup or swimming. That was how I made friends. Now it’s almost impossible to have a chat with others as no one makes eye contact (they’re too busy staring at their phones). This makes it harder to read the signals of imposition or acceptance of your presence. Has this behaviour caused parents to isolate themselves and has it robbed our children of learning social cues? I think it has.

Eye contact is very important with children. By learning to read your expressions they in turn learn about their own emotions. As I share more about emotional awareness in the PIES blog posts you will understand why it is so important for children to identify what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way. These will help them to regulate their emotions later in life and will also help them to navigate social interactions as they grow.

For now, why not go phone free for a few hours of the day, try to talk to others without having a phone with you and see how your social interactions change.

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