I’m not sure how many times I check my phone in a day but with some quick mathematics, I would say:
- I’m awake for roughly 18 hours a day
- On average I would check my phone 2 times an hour
- I definitely use it every day whether for searching, emailing, messaging, calling etc
- That’s about 36 times a day I would check my phone at minimum.
Then if I like a girl or I’m expecting an email or just shopping for something and I’m using an app or Safari it’s highly probable that this number could soar to at least three times or more to that number.
And I know I’m not alone. Whilst I realise that I personally live in a world that is more prone to using technology every second of the day and there are many people out there with jobs and lives that prevent them from being as persistent, it would be safe to say that even in this modern first world most people would check their phones at least once or twice a day, even if it’s to turn off an alarm.
So this whole blaming anything but yourself as a reason for being a poor communicator doesn’t gel with me – unless I know you’re in the outback living under a dead bull carcass and your phone is next to me on the bench.
Since moving to California, I’ve been privy to a kind of lifestyle that I’m not really a big fan of. Many people here tend to create hazy commitments, RSVP to multiple events at the same time and then choose the ‘best thing at the time’ as a means of selection criteria.
In essence it’s the ultimate in self-gratification as the sentiment is ‘why do something I don’t want to do?’.
Now while I’m normally all for this type of thinking as a broadstroke, I think it becomes a problem when it comes at the cost of others time, money, effort and most of all – their feelings.
We’ve all been there – we’ve responded to an event then a week later (or even on the day) this much better thing comes along and we somehow down play our prior social commitment with either some piss weak excuse, a palm off or worse – a no show.
What sucks the most is when you know people who are notorious for being flakes who then quite indignant when others bail on them. We all know who they are. We know our short list of reliable mates who will be there rain, hail or shine – and the ones that will leave you holding the baby. Perhaps it’s just a sign of the times?
I personally believe many people are just generally inept when it comes to communicating the truth.
Today I had a friend of mine say to me in relation to someone pursuing her for a dinner date: “Why don’t people get it? If I don’t reply to a text, I’m not interested!”
Now having pursued girls before in my life, I’m familiar with the old I won’t reply to your text trick.
Sometimes people are genuinely busy and I always give others the benefit of the doubt – to begin with. However when a couple of days or more goes by and the person you are texting (and it isn’t your frail grandma who doesn’t know how to charge her phone) hasn’t replied, it’s natural to start thinking ‘nice, are you’re ignoring me?’ You don’t want to look needy but all the same you’re thinking, ‘I made the effort, at least you could respond with a yes or a no.’
As social animals, we require reciprocal communication in order to maintain harmony. Without it, any animal kingdom starts to fall apart.
My friend was visibly annoyed that this person had texted her and felt nagged however my retort was that she had contributed to the situation by failing to respond. Whether it was ‘no thanks’, ‘I don’t like you’, ‘I don’t want to’ or just ‘I’m busy’, she was contributing to her own stress.
Now what made me laugh was that she didn’t want respond in this way for the fear of offending the person. I’m pretty sure last time I checked, if you were talking to me and I just stood there and pretended that I couldn’t hear you, you’d be definitely be more miffed than if I bluntly said to you, ‘I’m just not interested sorry’.
I find it fascinating that people fear being honest, authentic and sincere. They think that somehow bullshitting to your face is a better outcome for all. Being directly open with who you are and what you’re about doesn’t have to mean you’re being rude, offensive and abrupt. It can mean you are capable of calmly and happily stating what you are/are not into and with great respect to others – you won’t misled them. Remember misleading someone ends up with feelings of shame, guilt, betrayal, embarrassment, being cheated and doubt which just makes people sad and angry.
I’m not sure why people are so scared of being themselves. Are you afraid of people not liking you or judging you for having a belief system? By failing to respond as a means of passive aggressive communication, you are already pissing them off. You may as well be up front about it and save everyone the stress.
Sure you won’t be popular with everyone, but take it from me, being authentic wins you the friends most only dream about and culls the crap ones from your life. It’s a perfect equation.
Be a real and authentic person and you will automatically leave the world a better place.