Cell phones have obviously brought many benefits to our lives, but some people would argue that non-stop availability has diminished our sense of privacy and lessened our sense of personal space.
Next time you are at a restaurant for lunch or dinner take a quick glance around the room at the other patrons. How many of them are talking with their companions while they are texting, or doing something with their phone? I bet you’ll see tables in which all people at the table are using their phones in some way, shape, or form. While our cell phones and mobile devices offer us many freedoms and have eliminated that need for grungy payphones, there is valid concern that they may be wreaking havoc on our personal lives.
Where are the Professional Boundaries?
Think back to what role cell phones played in your professional life a decade ago, things have drastically changed. Now you can access your email accounts at any hour of day or night. This can be a disadvantage because you may not truly ever “end” your workday until you are sleeping. Many business men and women check their email the second their alarm clock (in many cases, this is their cell phone alarm) goes off and even in bed before they go to sleep. Weekends, days off, and vacation time is interrupted by business related cell phone use.
With many of us working on the go and using our cell phones for both personal and professional use, our clients have direct access to us on our personal time. What happens when you are out to dinner with your husband or wife and one of your most important client’s calls—do you take the call, do you wait until after dinner, or do you wait until the next business day? Many times, we take the call.
How Your Personal Life is Impacted
When landline phones and desktop computers were our main communication devices you would go about our evening at home and maybe check the computer a few times. Now, cell phones are not only with you at all times, but they are in your hand, on the desk or table, and you are probably glancing at its screen more often than you realize. Cell phones go with us everywhere—movie theaters, restaurants, birthday parties, and dates. Here are some areas of your personal life in which cell phones are most likely infringing.
Friends and Family—Studies show that when a cell phone is taking your attention away from the person or people you are socially interacting with it decreases the quality of your time together. This could be because you are both distracted with your phones, or that your friend or family member is looking to spend quality time with you, but feels that you are distracted by your phone.
Dating Life—Texting is changing the social norms of dating. It used to be when you met someone new you had a couple of phone calls and met for coffee or dinner. Now “quick text” options reduce the quality of your conversations and encourage laziness in communication. Texting is not only replacing conversations, but the in-person dates too.
Sleep –Many people have eliminated their landline phones altogether, meaning that our cell phones remain on all night long in case there is an emergency and someone needs to reach us—in fact 75% of all people sleep with easy access to their cell phones. This means if a client or family member texts you on the west coast at 8p and you live on the east coast where its 11p you may already be asleep Now you are wide awake, and so is your significant other. Another concern with cell phone use while in bed is that the bright glow from the screen can affect our ability to fall asleep.
Cell phones afford us the ability to work on the go, multitask, and provide us with many time saving apps and features—music, calendar, access to email, access to social media, and much more. However, if we do not take time out to “disconnect” we may find that we lose the balance in our lives all together.
This piece was written by Mickey Crichton, a freelance writer based in the city of San Antonio, Texas. Mickey writes on cell phones, gadget insurance, gadget repair, computers and other related subjects; those considering cell phone insurance may want to learn about Protect Your Bubble cell phone insurance.
Image credit goes to JonJon2k8.