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How to Unplug Without ignoring your Friends

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What have you noticed when you are out with friends for dinner?

“Most of us are usually on their smartphones.”

“She seems not interested in what am saying. She is not in the moment.”

“They are too bust taking photos everything and post them on social media instantly.”

It is a bit saddening that we have reached this time when people equate using technology most of the time as being connected. If we come to think about it, this excessive use of our phones even when we are out with friends is like being disconnected. From the regular use of phones to just keep in touch with people who matter to us, the trends have shaped new habits – everyone tends to check on their messages every bit of the day. There are so many reasons why people do this.

One of the biggest reasons why people nowadays are just too scared not to check on their online messages is this mentality – if you can’t reply within the next two hours or so, you are not a good friend. It seems that people rely too much on instant messaging and would do what it takes to get back to messages wherever they are… unfortunately, even when they are in a real moment in front of friends as well. So while they have planned the “meet-up” for many weeks, they have never thought that on the very day, they’d just sit around a table and some food and not pay attention to each other. They should have just stayed at home and throw a virtual party!

On the brighter side of things, there are ways to unplug without ignoring your friends:

  1. Using BRB status message

BRB or “be right back” can give your friends the idea that you are doing something important and would really love to get back at them.

So while outside to meet friends or to be in a meeting, you can just choose that BRB status message and enjoy the moment with your current company.

Through this, you are unplugged but you are still there, they can see you online – it’s just you are doing something of great essential as of the moment.

Perhaps, it may even mean something really good to your friend. It may mean that when you are ready to chat or to write back, you are coming back with lots of stories.

  1. Turning your phone to silent mode and check on it when going to the wash room only

So you have decided to go out with friends (and perhaps they are people you haven’t met for a long while).

Before you go out, it is important for you to condition yourself that you will be spending an hour or more with people – to listen to their stories, to speak your mind out…. To exchange spontaneously…to laugh together.

Why not turn your phone to silent mode while with friends? Turning it to silent mode allows you to still receive messages. Only limit yourself to replying when there is a need to go to the wash room.

By doing so, you will not miss out on the fun of your meet-up. In these little breaks, you can write back and tell them that you are out and will get back to write longer later.

Setting the mood to socialize fully rather than being there but not really there is way better.

  1. Turning your phone off or leaving it at home

This means will not give your friends any idea that you are ignoring them.

Since you are offline, they would think that you are away or you are busy doing something else.

Once you get them familiar with your way of unplugging but not really ignoring, they will realize the value of it.

You may even be able to inspire them do the same in order to enjoy and relish the moments with friends.

If you think about it, you can always get back to friends’ messages or calls when you are free.

When you are not, they will not take it against you as long as you let them know about it clearly when you are available.

So there you go, 3 of the best ways to unplug without having to ignore friends.

It is high time to educate others about being in the moment, paying attention to what is with you, and appreciating friends by sharing to them your time mindfully.

The moment you are able to make some changes in your habits, you are also making a difference in the lives of others.

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