Here are five cell phone boundaries that I expect of my children. And, I use the word expect, because I also expect them from myself – they are acts of responsibility, courtesy, and limit making. It’s being intentional with a tool and remembering to put people first. Always. ~rachel
We live in a digital, fast paced world, where it is extremely easy to allow the constant frenzy of media to distract us from the real important – the relationships that are right in front of us. It’s a minute here, a second there, just a moment, and before we know it, those times are gone.
Here are Five of my Simple Cell Phone Rules.
1. Do not be on your phone while you are paying. I’ve been behind the counter when this has happened. Years ago, I used to be a visual merchandising manager for Pier 1 Imports and often would find myself helping out in a pinch behind the register. Let me assure you there is nothing ruder or more insensitive then someone talking on their phone, not acknowledging you, waving their hand at you, while you help them. From that, I learned, put the phone away. So if you are ever chatting with me and I say to you give me five minutes and I’ll call you back chances are I’m getting ready to pay. Put the phone down. Look the employee in the eye. Greet them. Thank them. Those things matter more.
2. Don’t text and drive. And besides it being dangerous, it’s not legal in most states. And yet, still yet, I see it happening all the time. The other day, as I was waiting on the off ramp from the interstate I noticed that the car in front of me seemed distracted – yes, I said car. Distracted in the way that the speed was all over the place, swerving around, and more. I told my daughter I bet she’s on the phone. Sure enough. As soon as we got over the bridge, and I followed more erratic behavior then I noticed this gal was looking down, texting, and not paying any attention to the road. We are talking a matter of life and death here. No text is worth it. Read my personal story -> Read. Save Lives. Do Not Drive Distracted.
3. Don’t keep checking your phone while at dinner. Tell me if this scenario isn’t the truth – you go out to dinner, there are couples all around and instead of holding a conversation they are looking down at a 3 inch glowing screen and smiling. Put the phone down, look up, and smile at the person across from the table from you. Now, grin, the exception I have to this rule, for myself, is at blogging/social media conferences, and yet, even then, I do try to intentionally put the phone away. The tweet can wait. The conversation and opportunity to learn about someone else cannot.
4. Instagram some moments. Save others just for memory. I’ve done it. It’s a great family moment and instead of simply being in the moment I become intent on getting that one perfect instagram shot. I’ll try, they’ll move. It’s blurry. We’ll try again. Just one more shot. I’ll move them so the background gets better. One more, I’ll ask. And then the moment, the time with just family, well it’s lost. It became this moment of me trying to celebrate family but not for ourselves but for everyone on my twitter/instagram/fb feed to enjoy. But, at what cost? At losing out on the time? Sometimes the phone, the camera, the picture taking just needs to stop. Let people breathe. Enjoy the now. Keep some memories as just memories.
5. People first, phone second. Bottom line rule that encompasses all the above rules. People in front of you demand, deserve, and need respect. I love my phone – well sort of, I really need an iphone but I’m one of those stubborn people that is waiting for the contract to expire so I can get the phone cheaper and my phone right now I joke needs to be put in the museum of history because it is so ridiculously old – but I love my friends, family, and people around me more. Be willing to put the phone down, to look up, to smile at the amazing people that surround you. The messages, emails, instagrams, tweets, fb updates, pins, and all of that can wait. Life cannot.
The phone is an amazing tool – interaction, connection, relationship building – but it simply needs to be managed or it will manage you.
What are some of your phone rules?
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Such great reminders Rachel! Thank you for all the ways you encourage us moms to find joy in our lives. You are a blessing!
Great rules! I totally agree with your 1st rule. Even if I’m in a drive-thru, I still will not have a phone to my ear or be looking at a text, I just think it is extremely rude. Also, I appreciate your rule 4 – I needed to read that! My family knows I’m the queen of wanting to take pictures, but I need to remember that some of the times I just need to put the phone/camera down. Thank you!
I know what you mean about putting it down while at dinner. I’ve seen that so many times. There are several relatives we have that, when we invite them over to dinner or go out to eat with them, they sit there enthralled with their phones and having private conversations with each other about whoever is on their phones. Inevitably, my husband and I feel left out-and we are the ones who invited them over! Why did we bother, if they aren’t going to put down their phones and just visit with us? It’s like they don’t know how to have a conversation, so they cover it up by hiding behind their phones. That is sad. And rude. And mental note to myself not to ever do that to people. Thank you for these rules of consideration that remind us that relationships are more important than cool technology. 🙂
Also – NO. PHONES. AT. THE. DINNER. TABLE. Makes me nuts when I see my kids looking at their laps while we’re having a meal together.
Thanks for sharing, especially the reminder that is rule #4.
(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤… Jennifer
My number 1 rule for myself (single, no kids), is “when you’re with someone, be with them!” This means I will only answer a call or text when I’m with a friend or family member if it’s urgent. And I mean urgent! Don’t be with your phone when you’re with someone in person. It communicates that other things/people are more important than them, and that’s never a message I want to send to my friends and family, or even acquaintances.
Such a great “guide” for phone educate! Thanks so much for sharing!
So my girls say” The daddy’s on the bus go text, test, text, text, text. The Daddy’s on the bus go “Text, Text, Text.” all through the town…
These are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them.
This is so good….such a great reminder! I especially loved number 4. I think this needs to be said more often 🙂 Thank you!
These are all great reminders. We have a no phone during dinner rule. It doesn’t matter who is calling, it can wait until dinner is over. Family dinner is a no phone zone…period! Also, no phones while driving. NO texting or talking…just put it away until you are at your destination.
Yep – pretty much same rules here too. It is hard to keep the phone a tool to be used and not a device controlling us – my reasoning for keeping my data at archaic minimums and I refuse to go home to get it if I forget it (unless wisdom prevails).
I have an iPhone, because I needed it a couple years ago and I’ve kept it because of the simplicity of using it, but have chosen to not use it to it’s capacity. I leave my house to get away from the computer… 😀
Love the rules and agree with all of them. The phone can control your life if you allow it. I have made a conscious effort to not let it control me because I want to be aware of my life. I don’t want to waste my precious time on the phone and not with my family. We have to remember to be in the moment! Thanks for this post – enjoyed it as usual!
THANK YOU! Nothing is more rude & annoying than friends texting, facebooking, tweeting, etc. when we’re hanging out. I’m thinking, “Hello??? I thought you were here to hang out, not live on your phone!” This article was incredibly refreshing to read — I agree with every word you wrote.
I love those rules and try to stick to them.
But I think for rule #1 you should add that this is something that goes both ways. As a customer, I expect that same courtesy from the person at the register: to give me their full attention and not answer the phone (or talk with their colleagues) while ringing up my purchase.
Great expectations to follow! …as I post this using my android, while my mother is across the room talking to her half-listening daughter… shame on me! Normally I’m better than this! Your blog is too addictive! 🙂
Double AMEN! Great rules for sure and we should all know them and abide by them! Blessings!
Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
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I had been out for dinner with a friend and she was glued on her phone! It made me feeling uncomfortable it was like she didn’t like being with me. And also it is so annoying when someone checks her phone in the middle of conversation when it is us who do the talking, right?