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Putting Down the Phone and Making Connections

 

Phone scrolling: thumbs running up and down, head bent down, eyes intently focused on the screen held in the hand.

I’m guilty of it, and I see it everywhere I go.

One of the most common places I see it is during wait times: at the doctor’s office, at a restaurant, even in the car at red lights. We are attached to our phones.

Last week I had to wait for a prescription to be filled at our local grocery store. After I sat down to wait, I instinctively reached for my phone. But as I was reaching for my phone, I stopped and zipped up my purse because of the book I am reading. Let me tell you about it.

Recently, I started reading Hands Free Mama by Rachel Stafford. Throughout the book she encourages moms to give more attention to the people around them than to electronic devices and to-do-lists. She also challenges her readers with specific tasks.

One of the first tasks was to make real connections with people during wait times instead of getting on the phone to answer emails, look through social media, text, ect.

We are attatched to our phones, but sometimes it is good to put them down and connect with the real people in our lives.

My first opportunity to make a connection was given to me that day at the pharmacy. After I zipped up my purse, I started smiling and talking to my 8 month old son in his stroller. A couple minutes passed and I looked up to see a young lady with down syndrome watching us. I smiled at her and she quickly smiled back at me. I guess she decided that was her invitation to come sit beside me. The next thing I knew she was introducing herself to me and “oohing” and “ahhing” over my son.

In the next 5 minutes I learned about her 7 year old neighbor Cheyenne who used to be a baby too, her chickens, her cat that died, her two dogs, and her bus driver whose name also happened to be Emily.

All the while Caleb was getting the biggest kick out of her and gave her the biggest grins and giggles which she thought were just great.

Then Sarah’s mom came by with a full grocery cart. “Well, there you are! Are you going to finish shopping with me?”

Sarah had to show “the baby” to her mom and then told me how nice it was to meet me, patted me on the shoulder, and walked away. Before walking down the aisle she turned around and saluted me. I saluted back, she nodded as if to approve of my salute, and  headed down the aisle to finish shopping with her mom. By that time my prescription was just about ready.

As I was driving home, I realized that I probably never would have met Sarah if I had been on my phone. My head would have been bent down, eyes glued to the screen, oblivious to those around me. I’m glad I didn’t miss that opportunity. I’m glad Caleb got some extra attention. I hope that Sarah was glad to have met me and had a nice chat too.

I have a special place in my heart for individuals with special needs because my older brother has special needs. I know not everyone would have been comfortable talking to Sarah, but I hope that those who saw me talking with Sarah saw that those with special needs are a great blessing.

This connection would not have been made if I hadn’t made the decision to zip up my purse. I’m so thankful that I did.

Since then, I have had more opportunities to make connections during wait times, and it is getting easier and easier to leave the phone zipped up and simply enjoy those around me.

 

Read about my Phone-Free Day.

Linking up with Shine Blog Hop.

The Deliberate Mom

10 Comments


  1. //

    I'm guilty of this too…more so with my computer than my phone. I want to work on being a true hands free Mama, so thanks for this reminder, Emily! PS Babies are universal conversation starters, aren't they?


    1. //

      It has been a great reminder for me too, Kristen. Yes, I have learned that I cannot be "invisible" with a baby!


  2. //

    Wait times are hard! But what a sweet story. It will be a great reminder for me when I'm out next time. I know I've lost the art of small talk, thanks to my phone. It's just easier to look at Facebook than to chat and get to know someone… sigh.

    Katie @ Cup of Tea


    1. //

      Yes, wait times are hard. It has been a challenge for me, but definitely worth it!


  3. //

    I have heard about this book on several occasions and I really want to read it.

    Yes, we are attached to our phones, aren't we?

    Yesterday I was on the subway with my daughter and was about to read for my phone. I resisted the urge and we ended up talking about so many of the things that she was seeing and hearing while riding the train. A man sat down across from us and we said hello. There was no conversation other than that but if I were looking at my phone, I probably wouldn't have greeted him… and sometimes, a simple smile and "hello" can completely impact a person's day!

    Loved this.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo


    1. //

      That is great you were able to enjoy the train ride with your daughter! Yes, sometimes an unexpected smile is enough to brighten someone's mood. I am always thankful when others have taken the time to simply smile and say hello. Thank you so much for hosting! I have enjoyed checking out other blogs.


  4. //

    So True! This book sounds really good, I think I am going to have to check it out! I am horrible about being on my phone all the time. I think I miss out on things with my kiddos, because I am to busy looking at my phone! Some of the best conversations come when I am hanging out with my son and my phone is no where near us. Thanks for sharing this!


    1. //

      Stephanie, it is so easy for me to get on the phone too, but I'm working on changing that. This book has been a great encouragement to me. I hope you are able to check it out!


  5. //

    I, too, feel I am on my phone too much around my kids. I make an effort to not be. If I am, I will explain what I am doing: sending a message to my husband, grandma, etc. That way they know I have a task at hand. I'm not playing a game or something lol.

    I will say, I do enjoy my phone when I am in a waiting room, etc. As an introvert, small talk with strangers gives me intense anxiety, so my phone is an "out." But I fully understand how other enjoy talking with others.

    This was an extremely thoughtful post. Pinned! Stopping by from the ShineHop!


    1. //

      Thanks for visiting, Katie! I think it is great that you let your kids know what you are doing when you have to be on the phone. Yes, small talk is definitely easier for some people more than others. I think the hardest thing for me is just breaking the ice, but some are naturally good at it. 🙂

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