Traverse City Record-Eagle

Body & Soul

September 7, 2013

Mental Wellness: A few thoughts before cellphones destroy us

My wife and I played Texas Hold ‘em on our phones almost every evening for a year.

It all started with me being terrible at poker at a family gathering. In some ways I felt that my manhood and my academic abilities were put to shame. The next year my final poker hand came down to me and the other family member. Although I lost the hand after going all in, it was luck and not skill that determined my fate.

Cellphones have changed the way we interact with the world, information and others. They keep us connected, keep us from fighting about directions and allow us to remain entertained while sitting in a waiting room, even if the available magazines are terrible.

Yet, they also divide us from others and we sometimes are distracted when we should be engaged. Here are a few tips for navigating social nuances. I won’t be addressing parent’s and kid’s interactions, because that could be an article of its own. Instead here are a few steps to guide cellphone use among peers, friends, co-workers, and spouses.

Set an example

“I’m going to put my phone on vibrate so I’m fully engaged with you.” This is a great way to demonstrate what your hope is for a conversation or time with another person. Others feel liberty to be on their phones if you are on yours, even if your reason is important. Working to personally be fully engaged in conversations helps others to feel permission and encouragement in putting down their own phone.

Talk reflects relationship

Hopefully talking to a spouse is different than talking with an acquaintance. The way we talk to and correct people should be reflective of our relationship with them. Thus, if someone is on their phone more often than you prefer, evaluate your relationship with them and the way you express concern or potential improvements should match that relationship.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot