Put down your phone and live

women dating cell phone
Are you where your feet are, or are you on your phone? Credit: Getty Images

The point of having friends isn’t so that other people don’t think you’re a loser. I know that may sound a little extreme, but if we’re honest, having a Facebook account can come with a certain amount of pressure to project an image of popularity. We can get so obsessed with showing our social media selves having a good time that we don’t live in the moment and actually have a good time as it’s happening.

Living in the moment means really experiencing whatever you’re doing. At the risk of sounding too crunchy, it means tuning in, taking in what’s around you and staying engaged. Ask yourself this: Are you where your feet are? Or are you so busy taking pictures, posting them on social media sites and monitoring the likes and comments that you’re not really interacting with the people around you?

Although smartphones enable us to stay in touch in seemingly endless ways, they can also undermine our friendships. It’s not enough to simply “have friends” — we have to actively engage with each other. It’s not uncommon to be surrounded by people but still feel alone. That’s what happens when we’re not really connecting.

Connecting means confiding in our friends when things aren’t so great. It means asking real questions about what’s going on in their lives, what they’re excited about, struggling with or considering. It means making ourselves vulnerable, and having conversations about how we really feel, not regurgitating answers we think we’re “supposed” to say. And of course, this all starts with making the commitment to cool it with phone fetish.

Sure, it’s nice to be able to look back on fun nights and important events. But when your experiences revolve around taking pictures of them, it’s a sign you’re not present in what’s actually happening (and I’d argue not really enjoying yourself.) So take a few photos when you first meet up with your friends, but then put your phone away. It’s a mistake to end up with a bunch of images of times that could have been a lot more fun had you actually been focused on the experience at hand.

Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based relationship expert and therapist. She is the author of ‘Are All Guys Assholes?’ for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no. You can follow her on Twitter@ambermadi.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.