Posted at 1 p.m. April 3, 2017

Face-to-face becomes face-to-phone

Technology overtakes interpersonal communication

Tara Halfhill Photo Editor

Going to dinner or sitting down for lunch used to be a time to relax and talk to a friend, colleague or family member about personal topics, work and when the next family reunion is. I have noticed that has changed. When I go out to eat now and look around, people have their noses buried in their cell phones or tablets.

It is sad to see a family sitting at a table with all of them engulfed in digital technology. I miss the days of hearing families laugh and talk while enjoying a meal. Sooner or later, people will forget how to communicate face- to-face or how to properly deal with sensitive situations because they rely on technology.

For example, what do parents talk to their children about at the dinner table anymore, or do they even sit at a table together anymore? How do you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Do you sit him or her down and tell them face to face, or do you text them? This raises questions about discipline and morals in our society today. We are walking a line between the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things when there should not even be a question on which side we should walk on.

Without face-to-face communication, we undermine the character and depth of connecting. We miss visual cues, facial expressions and changes in your partner or child’s tone in their voice.

The way you can connect is by putting your phone down when you are with someone because it offends people when you are always on your phone. Always being on your phone is an addiction and you miss out on a lot by relying on it. By always being on your phone, you build a wall between you and other people when you should be building a bridge.

Phones were made for communicating with people, not avoiding them. Therefore, the way that we reconnect is to put our phones down and start talking face-to-face.

Without face-to-face communication, we undermine the character and depth of connecting. We miss visual cues, facial expressions and changes in your partner or child’s tone in their voice. Eye contact is important when you are trying to get your point across to someone. If you are a parent who is constantly on your phone, then you are inherently ignoring your child, or you could be ignoring your life partner if you are in a relationship.

Smartphones have a way of blinding us. They have a way of making us believe whatever is on their screen is more important than the user’s child, partner, friend or family member. The word “attention” is, after all, an ambiguous and subjective term. It is right along with terms like “trust,” “selflessness” and “pro-social behavior,” three other traits phone use has been shown to impact.

Let us all challenge ourselves with the first task of putting our phones away when we are out to dinner with family and friends, and for God’s sake, if you are going to break up with someone, please sit them down and do it face to face and not by text. The next time you go out to eat or to an event, put your phone away and notice how many other people are on their phones, you will be shocked.


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