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
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Music

polyphonic

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…