Have you ever arrived for a meeting and found that everyone in the room has their nose buried in their phones? You don’t need me to tell you that our relationships with phones range from an extension of self to full-blown addition. You know this, I know this, we know this. Whether I’m in a meeting, standing in line at the store, or riding on the elevator I’m always intrigued by the number of people consumed with their phones. It’s a strange social phenomenon because it’s something we’re both frustrated and guilty of. Let’s also be honest and acknowledge, once and for all, that it is also not a generational issue. In fact, go to the grocery store, an airport, or classroom, you’ll find that it crosses all types of identity lines.
For those of you that enjoy challenging the process or simply have a competitive spirit, check out my phone challenge. Here are 4 ways to increase human interaction and stop being the annoying phone person:
1. Find a parking spot.
Whether you’re at home or work, identify a place to park your phone. This will detach it from your clutch and require that you put some effort into retrieving it. Imagine if you took your keys all the places you take your phone. Yikes!
2. Grab a seat
If your phone is basically an extension of you, help it find a seat when you’re in meetings or gathered with other people. How silly it would be to sit on a table, the floor or a leg when you’re engaged in a conversation with others. Help your phone out and either place it in a seat or anywhere out of sight.
3. Interrupt to space
When you find yourself in a space where people are gathered and everyone is looking at their phone do something remarkable, start a conversation! Ask a question, share a compliment, or tell a story. Whatever strategy you take, know that you’ve won if you can fully engage at least one person.
4. Model the way
It doesn’t matter if you’re modeling for your employees, supervisor, or children. Sometimes we can be such hypocrites, so take the challenge yourself and model how you believe people should use their phones in public spaces and around others. Are your expectations realistic?