Talk to the person in front of you.

"Duh", right?  But how many people do you know that will spend their time at a party or an event or even a dinner table pecking away at a smartphone?  Here's what's wrong with that:
  1. Your interactions will remain superficial.  Nobody will open up to someone who's half ignoring them.  You will never make a close friend this way.
  2. You insult those who took the trouble to physically show up and spend time with you.
  3. You train people to use the phone to contact you, which in the future will both interrupt you and trivialize your interactions with them.
Give your undivided attention or stay home.  The former if you want to be human - the latter if you want to be alone with your phone.


  1. Hi Jeff:

    I agree that there are few places that are now considered sacred enough not to drag out a smartphone to check your emails or social networks.

    I went out on New Year's Eve and we had dinner, drinks and a band. We were there for 5 hours (FIVE HOURS FOR ME WITH NO ELECTRONIC DISTRACTION!!!!!!) I had a great time. Only a mom pulled out her phone briefly to check on her preteen. That seemed OK.

    It was fun getting to know these people better and it would have been weird if we thought we were so important or busy that we couldn't enjoy being out together on a holiday without checking in on somebody.