iPhone People…

Are smartphones killing polite conversation? Personally I find that my attention span seems to get shorter and shorter the smarter my phone is, when there is a lull in the conversation it’s sometimes easier to quickly check Twitter or Facebook than it is to try and re-engage the conversation. Perhaps there is a hope in the back of minds that something on Twitter will be usable as a starter for the next short burst of conversation. The cycle then repeats it’s self ad nauseum…

I acknowledge it’s rude, I’m not sure that there is an equivalent pre smart phone behaviour, I guess if you always carried around a magazine or a book and popped it open during a lull in the conversation that would be similar, somehow that is less socially acceptable though, I’d never consider reading a paragraph of a book midway through a chat with someone but for some reason I find siren song of Twitter almost impossible to resist. I’m sure there are studies that could be conducted on the subject of why in our heads we think it’s okay to glance at Twitter or Facebook despite that fact that it’s essentially telling the person or people that you are talking to that they are not worthy of your full attention.

Perhaps it’s something that has evolved around the way we use our phones? If you receive a text message, I’d say it’s perfectly acceptable to quickly glance at it and if required quickly respond, maybe in our heads that’s how we justify it? On the other hand I’m sure most of us have been in a situation where someone is blatantly having a really heated conversation with someone else via text message, I think there is a point where is just crosses the line, I’m not sure where that line is and I think that’s the issue. Is there a rate of text message replies per hour that makes it rude? I think it’s a bit subjective, but it’s very easy to slip from being polite to whomever has texted you by providing a prompt and swift reply to being rude to the person who you are physically with. Twitter makes it easier to cross that line I think…

Don’t even get me started on people who pull out their phones and play games in the middle of conversation…

Via Suicide Geeks.