Do you ever get interrupted while you use your device?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Sometimes, we just like to get lost in our devices. There are points in the day that we take our smartphones or tablets in our hands, and just focus on what’s right in front of our eyes. We block out the rest of the world. For that length of time, there’s nothing else except whatever that crisp display is showing us. But while it’s great to get lost every once in a while, sometimes it just doesn’t work out, does it?
Sometimes, there’s a rubbernecker in the area who just has to rain on your parade.
“Hey, what ya’ got there?” Or, one of my all-time favorites: “What are you reading?”
How do you know I’m reading anything? This is my smartphone, strange person! It can do more than show me words on a screen! (For the record, I’m usually reading something. It’s just a lucky guess.) I just like this interjection the most because it dates back quite a ways, in my opinion. You know, back when people used to hold actual books in their hands and read those? I know, I know – scary. What makes it worse is that now people have even more reasons to interrupt us while we’re getting lost in something else, because there are so many questions!
When the iPad launched, the first one way back when, I was carrying it around with me in my backpack. I had my headphones connected to it and I was listening to music while I waited for family to show up at some get-together or something. I think it was an Easter event, maybe. Anyway, as I’m waiting there, just listening to my music, some lady walks up to me and waves my attention towards her. I take out my headphones, say hello, and then she asks me, quite plainly, “Is that an iPad?”
I don’t have it in my hands. It’s tucked away out of sight in my bag. How on Earth, of all the devices I could be listening to music on, did she guess it was an iPad? When I told her it was, she asked if she could see it, and so I obliged her wishes and removed the tablet. She actually took it out of my hands and started playing with it. I guess I should be lucky she didn’t just turn around and take off with it. (Thanks, strange lady!)
While that situation was a little crazy, I deal with interruptions when I use new gadgets every day. This has just started recently, as I’m now within distance of my father, who loves new technology but has absolutely no idea how it works. None. At all. I talked him into getting a TouchPad once, and it’s just been bad ever since. Now that there’s a Nexus 7 within his sights, the moment I start doing something on it, the avalanche of questions bears down on me.
Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad. If I grabbed the Nexus 7 and barely had the device turned on when the questions started, that would be fine. No, it has to be like 20 minutes after I’ve started doing something. Maybe after I’ve loaded a book on Amazon’s Kindle app, or started playing Dead Trigger or something. It’s never when I’m not doing something. It’s right when I really start doing something.
I hate getting interrupted when I’m using a device. And it doesn’t just have to be a smartphone or tablet, either. It’s equally as bad when I’m on an eReader like Amazon’s Kindle, or Barnes and Noble’s nook. In fact, it may be worse in those particular situations, just because interrupting someone while they’re reading just to ask, “Hey, what are you reading?” is painful. And it’s mean.
Don’t be mean.
I know that there are times when you have to know something when you see it. I understand that. I asked someone in a Verizon store last week how his iPhone 3GS was holding up, but I waited until I noticed he wasn’t actually engrossed in something. (He was switching from AT&T to Big Red to get the Galaxy S III.) It just takes a bit of perception to find out if someone is actually doing something on their device.
Do you get interrupted when you are on your phone, or tablet, or eReader? How about your smart watch? Nike FuelBand? What are some of the questions you remember as standing out when it happened? Have you had crazy situations like I did with the iPad and that strange woman? Let me know in the comments!