Are you spending more time with your Smartphone than with others at events?  How often have you attended an event and noticed people standing off on the sidelines engaged with their Smartphones instead of interacting with others? Sometimes they even gather in small groups to text as if it is a texting circle, and simply ignore everyone else. And, they often text each other within the group! Have you experienced this? Or is this you?

Unfortunately, Smartphones and other hand-held technologies provide people with an escape route from interacting with the people around them. There have been numerous occasions when someone wants to approach someone but detoured because they did not want to interrupt their texting. Yet we attend events to meet people … to network! Go figure!

We are all dependent on our Smartphones for messages to some degree; however, when you go to an event, turn it off or put it on pause. If you find you cannot focus because you are preoccupied with who was trying to reach you, excuse yourself from the event (or group) and check (or respond to) your messages privately and briefly. Consider the following:

1. How do you react when you encounter someone texting at an event that you want to approach?
2. Do you just go ahead and interrupt or do you ignore them?
3. If you are the one engaged with your Smartphone, how do invite others to interact with you when you notice their approach while texting on your cell?

If you are in the middle of a text and someone is clearly approaching you, the etiquette thing to do is to make eye contact and offer a “just a moment” gesture letting them know you are ending the text (or call) and will be right with them. Realize that you are always noticed. Others will observe your gesture and appreciate your priority is not your phone. Set a better example, always!

Please share your thoughts.

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