Posting, tweeting, swiping, ghosting, chatting, liking, sharing, snapping and on and on… Navigating technology can be baffling, and the rules aren’t always clear. While cellphones have become a staple of our daily lives, they can make or break our connections with other.
Take a first date. What does pulling out your phone say to your date? What does it say about you? Unless it is an emergency, what could be more important than creating a connection and seeing if a second date is in the cards?
According to a survey conducted by digital media website Mashable, only 12 percent of respondents considered it okay to take out a phone during a date. Slightly more than a third said it was only acceptable if the date leaves the room, and one-quarter say only in case of an emergency. A small but significant group (12%) actually considered it okay. A separate survey found that 30 percent of women and 25 percent of men would not want a second date if the other person excessively stared at their smartphone. This ranked highly among other pet peeves such as excessive drinking, use of profanity and being too forward. There are, however, some instances when using your phone is acceptable. These include showing/taking pictures, using Venmo for reimbursements and equesting Ubers.
Aside from being rude, the distraction of a cellphone poses another challenge. Eye contact is one of the most effective ways to have a connection with a significant other, and it helps us absorb and retain information about others. Pouring your attention into your phone might mean you miss out on Mr. or Mrs. Right. Better to silence or turn off your phone and not miss out on your future.