Ok Time to set some boundaries!

We’ve all been there. The person across the table from you is paying far more attention to their phone than they are to you, Even though they’re supposed to be there to talk with you.

We are becoming slaves to our technology… Some would say the ship has sailed.

This fact crashed through my ability to ignore it, in a major way a couple of days ago while I was having my hair cut. 

Yep, the barber was texting while he was cutting my hair. Uh excuse me? I’m paying for 30 minutes of your time. The expectation is that I’m going to get 30 uninterrupted minutes.  Surely the person at the other end of that conversation knows you’re at work, and what you do for a living.

Needless to say I will not be going back to that shop.

This got me thinking about some boundaries that we should start observing.

  1. If you’re with people in the real world, pay attention to the people you’re with, not the phone. Try silent or do not disturb mode.
  2. If you’re texting with someone, finish that conversation, before you join the conversation with a group of real people
  3. If your phone rings while you’re with friends, and you must take the call, it’s your children, your mom or whoever, excuse yourself and step away, or out of the building to have your conversation. Keep the conversation brief.
  4. If it’s a call you don’t have to take, Send it to voicemail. You can do that by discretely pressing a power, or volume down button.
  5. If you’re Skyping with someone, the rest of us don’t want to be involved in your conversation. So, stop screaming into you phone. By the way, that also includes not turning up the volume to drown out the crowd around you.

You have voicemail on your phone, USE IT!

Imagine a world where we turned on our phones only when we were intending to use them. No more annoying ringtones in public places, people actually speaking to other people on the street (Gasp). No more people walking into fountains, or open elevator shafts, or manholes.

What a concept!

Imagine having sex and not hearing the insistent buzz, ding, chirp of your cellphone demanding your attention. After all are you going to accept a Skype call while you’re nailing someone to the sheets? Do you really need to share that?

If you get someone’s voicemail leave a damn message! After leaving a message, how about waiting an hour or two before sending text messages, or emails, to find out if the other person got your voicemail.

You might also consider setting up a list of preferred people that will have the ability to ring through your do not disturb setting. Like your kids, your mom, and your spouse. I’ve done that and exactly four people have that privilege. They’ll get through first try, anyone not on that list will go to voicemail.

Headhunters, placement agents, etc… 

YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED to call, hang-up, call, hang-up, and call, hang-up trying to bust through the DND setting. Nothing you have to say to me isn’t going to wait an hour. If you’re one of those people and have tried that with my number, I can tell you you’ve been blocked. I have no desire to speak with you.

Just because we live in a mostly connected world, doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to be available to everyone all the time.

Try this as an experiment sometime. Turn your phone off while you’re driving somewhere. I’ll bet you get to your destination less stressed.

I guess I’m just an old guy. 

I like the convenience of the technology, but I refuse to become a slave to it.

If you try to call me and get no answer, it’s nothing personal. I just prefer living my  life in the real world, I’m not quite ready to join The Matrix just yet. 

If you are offended by me not answering your call, just imagine that I’m naked with someone!

That image alone should make you hesitant to call me at least for a couple of hours.