Author Topic: Put your phone down!  (Read 3136 times)

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SmarterPrimate

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Put your phone down!
« on: May 07, 2013, 10:24:54 AM »
Of course, I wouldn't say that, but do I even say anything at all?

My best Friend comes over once a week, we order dinner (or I cook), and watch our favourite show together with my husband, and occasionally one or two other people. The issue is, Friend spends probably 80% or more of the evening on his iPhone. Occasionally he plays a game, but more often than not he is texting with other people. I feel like I have been extremely patient (this has been going on for a year or more), but I am coming to the end of my rope. Plus, it’s starting to affect me in the sense that I feel like I am not good enough company anymore, and I wonder why he bothers to come over at all if we are not going to interact. He literally sits like a bump at the end of the sofa, hunched over his phone. Last week, I put a plate of fresh, hot, home made waffles in front of him (his proclaimed favourite) and he basically ignored the plate for about 10 minutes. By that time, my husband and I were well into our meals. (Of course, normally I wait to eat until all guests are present and ready to eat as well. I’m not keen to wait on someone who is physically present, but mentally occupied with an electronic device.)

EvilPrimate wants me to return the rudeness, and pull out my Ereader when friend pulls out his iPhone, but honestly I don’t think he’d even notice. Plus, I know that’s not an eHell approved method. What can I say/do? Anything? Nothing?

(Bear in mind, Friend is EXTREMELY quick to take offense at the slightest notion. Look up “touchy” in the dictionary, and you see his picture.)

Lynn2000

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 10:29:35 AM »
It does sound annoying. Is the show you're watching airing "live" or is it DVD/streaming/etc.? In other words, could you pause the show when you see Friend glued to his phone, and when he finally notices say something like, "Oh, I saw that you were texting, and I didn't want to start the show and distract you from that, so I'm pausing it until you're ready," in a cheerful, helpful tone. Like you might if someone had to take a phone call or use the bathroom or something.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 10:46:01 AM »
I would simply not invite him anymore.  His behavior sounds irritating, mostly because it seems he is not multitasking but rather focused solely on texting people who are not present. People have different styles of "relaxing" and it seems yours does not match his.

SmarterPrimate

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 11:08:30 AM »
Lynn2000, that is a very good idea! The show airs live, but we record it and watch the recording to skip the commercials. I'm totally going to try your idea! Any advice for when the show is over and it's not time to end the gathering, but he's still sucked into the little blue screen?

I appreciate the sentiment TurtleDove, but that is out of the question. I think I mentioned Friend is actually my Best Friend - for almost 20 years. This is "new" behaviour, and if I stopped inviting him over bluntly because of it, he would definitely notice and would open another whole can of worms. I also mentioned he's a bit touchy  ::)

Sophia

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 11:14:48 AM »
I would say something to him ahead of time.  Tell him it drives you batty when he ignores you guys to play on his phone.  I think pausing the show would have worked really really well 10 months ago. 

JenJay

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 11:20:59 AM »
I'd approach it from the other side, as if I was concerned he was bored or no longer enjoyed the show. "So, be honest with me here. Is it boring coming over to our house to watch Show? I've noticed that you spend the whole time on your phone. Are we bad hosts? Are you getting tired of Show? We can start doing something else at another time if you'd rather." I'm not suggesting you are boring but it'll get him to take a look at his actions without putting him on the defensive.

If he says "No, you guys are great!" then makes some excuse for why he's on the phone so much you can gently point out that you feel like he doesn't enjoy hanging out with you.

Cosmasia

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 11:25:39 AM »
I think JenJay's advice is definitely something to try.

I also want to say that I too have experience with being close friends with someone who is... touchy. To say the least.
But touchy or not, if you're best friends then you really should be able to talk about stuff, shouldn't you?
If JenJay's advice doesn't work or you don't want to do it, then you really need to find some way to sit him down and ask him what's going on. There's must be some sort of way to talk to him.

If he does take it badly then personally I'd tell him that I'm sorry he feels that way (non apology basically) but I stand by my opinion.
Whether he's really your best friend will then show sooner or later. I've had to blow up at my touchy-friend before and after a bit he came wounded back and shockingly survived being criticised.
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Softly Spoken

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 11:29:00 AM »
Ack, had to change a bunch because of new posts. :P

Expanding on what JenJay beat me to...

To ignore you and the food you bothered to cook for him for 10 minutes? Ridiculous. But if this is a new behavior like you said maybe he has an addiction. People get wrapped up in their gadgets and sometimes need someone else to point it out.

I think you need to ask yourself what you want. If you actually enjoy Mr. Textmeister McTouchy's company when he isn't glued to his phone, then you need to say something. You aren't a restaurant or a lounge where he can entertain himself and be waited on, and IMHO the "best" status of your friendship is being threatened by this behavior.

Maybe you could politely show him the docking station/plug hub where you and everyone else put their electronic devices during social time (and if you don't have a place you should make one asap). Offer it like a perk - charge your phone while you are hanging with your friends. I would compare it to having a basket in the entryway with slippers to help get people to take off their shoes. Talk about it like it's a given instead of asking and having him argue. If you are watching TV, treat it like a movie theater - ask him if he remembered to turn off his phone so it wouldn't interrupt the show. If he says he can put it on vibrate, you say fine but point out that the screen is distracting. Don't be mad or defensive - you have a perfectly reasonable request/expectation and you are in your own home.

I think the phone during dinner is much ruder than the phone during TV time. Conversation and personal attention are expected during a meal and optional during a movie.

If he is touchy yet your best friend who you don't want to lose, approach it as concern for him. You could mention that you are kind of bummed that he doesn't seem to enjoy himself when he comes over. If he asks why you think that, you can point out - "Well, you spend all your time on your phone so you must not be enjoying our company, our food, or the shows we watch." You aren't accusing him of bad behavior or criticizing - treat it as an inquiry into his well-being and the well-being of your friendship. You said he didn't always used to do this. Point out to him that he used to be more social with you and remind him how much you enjoyed talking to him and sharing activities with him. Ask him (with genuine curiosity and a desire to understand) why he likes to spend all his time with you talking to his other friends. Maybe joke that you expect him to message you a bunch when he is with them to keep it even - pointing out in a round about way that they are getting time and attention you should be getting. Tell him how awesome he is as a friend - and then challenge him to live up to that. If he wants to prove you wrong, he'll have to put the phone away because having it out and ignoring you is indefensible.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 11:35:18 AM »
I guess my point it that you want him to change behavior that he likely does not believe needs to be changed.  If everyone is watching TV, why shouldn't he be doing whatever he wants to do, so long as he is not preventing anyone else from watching TV (like, if he were doing jumping jacks in front of the screen).  I am guessing that any passive aggressive "pausing" of the show would not go over well with him.  I think you can ask him to not be on his phone while he is at your house, but I think it is valid that he probably doesn't see the harm and will not comply.

I am guessing the OP either needs to stop inviting him, or needs to be comfortable with the fact he will likely be on his phone a lot.

SingActDance

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 12:25:43 PM »
It sounds PA, but is something that my group of friends will do to each other in this situation. If they're texting, quietly send them a text message that says "Be present with us in this moment." Usually it results in a sheepish grin from the "offender" and a more fun time for all once the phones are put away. I did this once at a party when a friend wouldn't stop checking Twitter. I quickly pulled out my phone and tweeted, "@Friend, stop checking your Twitter! Also, please grab me a beer  :) "
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hobish

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 02:12:22 PM »
It sounds PA, but is something that my group of friends will do to each other in this situation. If they're texting, quietly send them a text message that says "Be present with us in this moment." Usually it results in a sheepish grin from the "offender" and a more fun time for all once the phones are put away. I did this once at a party when a friend wouldn't stop checking Twitter. I quickly pulled out my phone and tweeted, "@Friend, stop checking your Twitter! Also, please grab me a beer  :) "

:) I was thinking along those lines, too.

There are a few people i hang out with who are, as we term it, "furniture." They are beyond not being a guest, they can drop by whatever and basically act as if they live there. We're cool like that. With them, i would not feel bad at all whipping out my phone and answering a text or even playing a round of Drawsomething. Especially when watching tv i really don't have a problem with people messing around on their phones; sometimes that can be as social as tv watching. It sounds like SmarterPrimate's friend is taking it to extremes, though, and using his phone to the exclusion of anything else going on.

PS - SmarterPrimate - I love your handle :)
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Oh Joy

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 02:44:00 PM »
How about something gentle and casual, like "I know it's just us and I love that we don't have to use company manners together, but I'm starting to feel bad about how much you're on your phone when you're here."

Best wishes.

Calypso

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 08:41:28 PM »
It sounds PA, but is something that my group of friends will do to each other in this situation. If they're texting, quietly send them a text message that says "Be present with us in this moment." Usually it results in a sheepish grin from the "offender" and a more fun time for all once the phones are put away. I did this once at a party when a friend wouldn't stop checking Twitter. I quickly pulled out my phone and tweeted, "@Friend, stop checking your Twitter! Also, please grab me a beer  :) "


I like this! "Friend, at the risk of interrupting your texting time, your waffles are getting cold."  ::)

I don't know, though. Anyone who can ignore hot homemade waffles may be too far gone.... :-\

ladyknight1

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 10:22:19 PM »
My youngest sister is the same, and touchy. I stopped inviting her over because she is glued to her phone.

Venus193

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Re: Put your phone down!
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2013, 07:14:56 AM »
Posting for ideas.  My friend's niece does this all the time.