It likely comes as a surprise to absolutely no one that we live in a digital age.

We take photos of everything that moves — we wouldn’t dare miss a chance to post something fun or interesting on our Snapchat stories. We even turn on our locations to track our friends by their phones because we would be out of our minds to go somewhere without them.

Millennials were born and raised on the crutch of technology. While in most cases, this allows us to communicate with one another with more ease, there are cases in which technology very openly obstructs communication with those around us.

We all have a friend (or, to some of our misfortune, many friends) who, regardless of the situation, will answer a FaceTime call during a private dinner between the two of you. They'll send a text while you’re in the thick of a conversation or even shush you so that they can hear the phone call they’re making when you’re alone together.

This is disrespectful in every sense of the word.

When you make plans with someone, the general understanding is that they are choosing to take time out of their lives to spend with you, so that the two of you can indulge in something old and archaic that our ancestors called conversation, wherein you can delight in the company of being with one another. Regardless of which version of the iPhone you now have or just how strong the Wi-Fi connection is, the physical presence of another should always trump the abstract existence of that person with the incoming call or text.

To make or take a phone call by another person while you’re in the presence of someone you made plans with first is openly saying to the original friend, “You matter less to me than whatever this other person has to say.” You are openly choosing one person over another, and the second person doesn’t even have the energy or ability to come find you in person themselves, which is another punch in the face at the original companion. 

According to a recent study by CNN, the average American spends over 10 hours a day looking at a screen. You spend so much time looking at screens each day — why choose to do that while you are in the presence of someone you truly care about, doing something that the two of you do for fun?

Partaking in this digital communication with an outside source while in the presence of someone tangible is not only disrespectful and illogical, but it is plainly rude. If you want so badly to hear that outside person’s weird dream or painful recount of their day, go to them and get that account firsthand. Anything else is just discourteous.

And hey, if you choose to ignore the warnings, you might just lose the friends you had in the first place. Who would you call then?


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