Get Your Face out of Your Phone

Friday, July 29, 2011

So, I am not going to BlogHer this year ( despite being honored to be a Voice of the Year Finalist) and I am perfectly fine with it.

Despite my teaching a certain Other Blogger how to schmooze bartenders ( without showing your boobs) so they give you free drinks and continue to serve you after the bar is officially closed, I am - at best- a once an every other year kind of gal. Maybe next year when I will persist in  wearing the Velvet PhD Tam the entire time, despite any temperature.

I've been reading and seeing posts here and there about what to wear, what to do etc when going to a Blogher conference...indeed ANY conference.

And here is my Tip:

Get Your Face out of Your God Dammed Phone.

It is true that I am not a Phone Lover.  I don't like to talk ON the phone if I can avoid it...and I do Avoid it. My best friend has actually had her husband once call MY husband to demand that I call her back. I frequently either misplace my phone, or simply fail to charge it. I had a Kin forced on me two weeks ago and I whinged enough that I sent it back since I hated the cluster-fluffed touch screen.

Kris Kringle! If I want to use a phone, I just want to use an as designed by Alexander Graham Bell phone. I don't want to navigate through 15 screens and get asked about shit that I do not care about. ( as an aside, I passionately hated the collage of photos on the Kin at the start up. I am 41 years old. I do not need a random collage of pictures of people I do not know staring up at me for the 12 minute start up.)

Now, here is where this ties into BlogHer....

Bloggers: You are Not that Important. You are not so important that you need to stare at your phone like it is going to deliver the position of the Holy Grail to you. The President isn't emailing you to ask for debt ceiling advice and you had no part in finding Osama Bin Laden. There is simply Not that much to which you must absolutely be privvy that you can not peel your eyes away from the rectangular glowing device.

If someone is talking to you, LOOK AT THEM. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT WITH THEM.  I teach this to preK kids, fer christ sakes. A Conversation involves Eye Contact so I know you are hearing me. When you are staring down at an illuminated screen you give the impression that you could care less what I am saying. You are also giving the impression that you are too Important or Busy to acknowledge me.

(*cough, cough - I had this happen to me last year - with people I have known since 2006.  If I see you Once a year, give me the consideration of 5 minutes of time to genuinely connect. We don't have to skip down a hall and hold hands and be bestest friends all conference, but sincerity goes a hell of a long way in my book)

And guess what? You aren't that amazing. Despite your branding, your book deal, the palm fronds and Hosanna's when you rode your donkey into the conference hall - You ain't ALL that. In the words of Ben Folds, There is always someone cooler than you...and there will be someone cooler next year, or in two years.  The people you are offending? They are going to remember that - Forever. No matter how big our bloggy world seems? It isn't. It is ridiculously small. We all know each other - especially those of us around forever.

So show a little courtesy.  Show a little human connection. You don't have to tongue kiss each other ( unless you want to) but if someone is talking to you, do NOT look at your phone. If it isn't someone you want to hang out with, say "Thanks so much - It was Great Meeting you! I'm sure I will see you around!"

Just stop staring at your phones. It's annoying. And rude.

10 Baleful Regards:

Dawn said...

I am assuming my "meh"'s are from the rude mother fuckers who can't look up from their phones long enough to have a conversation.

amira said...

Forget BlogHer, this is a general rule in all of life. Whether phone or any other device, look at the person you're talking to or is talking to you!

Rude is rude.

And congratulations on being a finalist!

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Yeah, I never did properly learn how to schmooze drinks, did I? Who will teach me now that you aren't coming this year? ;-)

Congrats on the Voices of the Year thing!

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Thank you.

I needed this kick in the ass to remind me to actually LOOK at people instead of always being concerned with what others are doing. Yes, I will be using my phone to take pictures of myself and you (or whomever I'm with), but I give you my solemn oath to pay more attention to the people around me than the people in my phone.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

LOVE this. I admit I need the reminder as I am guilty!

I'm also a once every year or two blogher attendee (not there this year either.)

Steph

Jessica Nunemaker from little Indiana said...

LOL! BlogHer or not, this is advice EVERYONE needs.

I am SO tired of this obsession with cellphones. Really, people, your 2nd graders don't actually need them.

I haven't done BlogHer yet. In many cases, it sounds like I'm not necessarily missing all that much. ;)

We've got BlogIndiana out here and I think I'll give that a go and see what I think before I throw down for BlogHer. For the record? I probably wouldn't even bring a cellphone. That's just the way I roll.

Dawn said...

Some of it is Habit, I think. Bloggers may not be as comfortable in Social situation, so we are monitoring the external, manageable contact behind screens.

But, if you have decided to GO somewhere and SEE something, then do it.

I've been known to ignore the ringing phone in my purse, if I am in conversation with someone. I am pretty sure my Kid hasn't been taken to the ER, so the random "What do you want for dinner" question doesn't need to be immediately answered.

I went out for drinks with a dear friend this week - and we noticed that we were the only two people in the bistro who weren't staring at screens while sitting next to other people ...staring at screens. It is a bit dystopian, really.

And then we get pissed at our kids when they can't peel their eyes away from a screen to acknowledge us.....

Thanks for the congrats, Amira and Kelli....And Kelli, Next Time I am at Blogher, we are perfecting the schmoozing technique. I will pass on my gift to you yet, Dammit.

Lena said...

OMG.

YES YES YES.

That is all.

~ L

Jaelithe said...

Hey now, some of us HAVE given the White House advice at BlogHer.

(Not that they took it. Sigh.)

Anyway, my mobile phone sits like a rock in my purse most of the time. There are some days when I even forget to charge it. I love the internet, but when I'm out of my house I like to actually experience what's happening around me.

Dawn said...

Lena, Why Hi there! Haven't seen you for ages!

Addendum:
I mean , you are also THAT amazing, which is why I want to talk to you and have some kind of interaction. I get freaked out by the overstim that is BlogHer too. I think it is really what I miss about 2006 - That sitting by the pool. All talking. No cell phones. No tweeting. Just connecting.

J: well, getting an audience doesn't mean more than getting an audience. Don't I know THAT from my time in Government. And I feel exactly about my phone as you do. It is There for if I need help or am late, or Em telling me she is walking home from the pool. Otherwise, I try to forget about it and enjoy what is in front of me.

 
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