The right and wrong times to use our phones

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: November 22, 2012

There’s always a time and a place for everything, and while we have plenty of uses for our phones throughout the day, there are probably plenty of missed opportunities where we have had our noses stuck in our phones when we probably shouldn’t have (like when I mentioned maybe some of us are addicted to our phones). I know there’s plenty of times I shouldn’t be on my phone when I am, and I’m having to make a conscious effort not to do that so much anymore.

My son being a toddler is an insane little ball of energy on the regular. I’m constantly chasing him around the house one way or the other, and one of his favorite things to do is call people from my phone and when they answer it’s my turn to explain that my son just called them, not me. However, when all is quiet and he’s content watching TV or looking at books, it’s not uncommon that I’ll take that opportunity to bring out my phone and start reading. I’ll get so distracted that sometimes I don’t notice when he says “Mama,” although I’m conscious of his whereabouts. He deserves my undivided attention though and he shouldn’t have to repeat my name more than once to get me to respond.

During dinner, it’s not uncommon to see phones sitting right next to dinner plates and being picked up as soon as they buzz and light up. I’ll see couples on their phones at the same time during dinner. I’ve even been known to do that when I'm with someone. It was only recently that I started leaving my phone in a different room or in my purse while at dinner so I wouldn’t be tempted to pick it up and pay more attention to it when my attention should be focused on interacting with whomever I am with and enjoying each other’s company. Give or a take a few situations, there wasn’t really any reason I needed to respond to anything sent to my phone right away anyway.

School is the next biggest problem, which isn’t exactly surprising. I’m more surprised at college students who have their phones out in the classroom, browsing on Facebook or playing games when they should be paying attention to the professor lecturing at the front of the class. High school it’s expected, but in college you’re literally paying thousands of dollars to sit there and play on your phone. I’ve mentioned before that I thought phones could benefit students in the classroom, but I can see where it might possibly lead to problems. It’s essentially the same as having a computer in the classroom, though. That debate could be tossed back and forth for hours, really.

The most irritating situation is people who text and drive at the same time. This is what really got me started on this article, is that too many times have I almost gotten into an accident where the other person was too busy on their phone in one way or another that they weren’t paying attention to the road. Just think, if I had been texting or talking at the same time we would have certainly crashed, because neither of us would have moved out of the way. It’s those situations that scare me right out of picking my phone up at all. It’s not even other drivers you have to be worried about, either. You can't forget the pedestrians and animals that jump out in the road. I mean, pedestrians should know not to jump out in the middle of the road, but just because they shouldn't doesn't mean they won't. You literally always have to be paying attention, and you just can’t do that when you’re using the phone. I plead that people wait until a red light, or at a stop to text “K” or “TY” back to your friend. It’s just so dangerous.

So readers, what are some situations where you’ve seen phones being used when they shouldn’t? What about situations that maybe you wouldn’t think you WOULD see a phone being used in ten years ago, but is completely acceptable now? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Image via Yahoo