WORDS by Grace Dobinson

How many times have you gotten half way through a totally important conversation about that cute guy from work with your bestie, only to notice they aren’t paying any attention at all? With their eyes glued to that little screen, it’s hard not to slap that little phone out of their hands and into their coffee.

Even though we are all guilty of it, it’s well and truly time we put down our phones and actually talk to each other. The digitised environment in which we reside is like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of technology and communication. In the palm of your hand rests instant contact with the entire globe. But in that same hand lies endless annoyance from all those around you. It is as if as soon as the smartphone appeared, people decided that they no longer felt the need to look each other in the eye.

In order to combat these downright rude habits we can’t seem to quit, we’ve made a list of rules for you to follow so that, hopefully, all our phones can stay far away from our coffee cups. 

1. All phones in

The most simple and effective way of ensuring boyfriends of the world do not ruin Friday night drinks with the girls is to play the ‘all phones in the middle’ game. The rules are very simple: everyone must put their phones in a pile, and the first person to give in to temptation and check their messages must buy the next round. If it’s all about the Benjamin’s baby, then keep your bank account safe from harm and make sure you don’t lose this game.

2. Shame-game

Be completely upfront about it. Tell those tech-heads that you will not keep talking to a head of hair. Name, blame and shame your phone-y friends, and maybe next time you hang out they will have learnt their lesson. Bonus rule: if you’re going to dish it out, you can’t be a big old hypocrite. You’re both going to have to get off your phones and, brace yourself, talk to each other.  

3. 5:2 diet

Whilst the 5:2 diet, which recommends basically starving yourself for two days a week, is completely idiotic, unrealistic and unhealthy, it may be the perfect solution to our small screen dilemma. Take the challenge, and set aside two days a week in which your phone use will be kept to an absolute minimum.

4. Phone free zones

Make certain zones phone free. Don’t ruin a special night with your boy because Kim Kardashian just posted three new pics of North to Instagram which you cannot stop gushing over. Leave the phone out of the bedroom, and wait until the morning to lose your mind over that adorable little noggin’.

5. Tune out before bed

At least an hour before heading to bed, ban yourself from all screens. It may seem like an archaic idea, but why not read a book? Take a bath, journal, listen to music. Give yourself an hour of technology free me-time before bed. It will help you sleep and give you a much needed opportunity to properly wind down after a busy day.

6. Let it ring out

Case and point: there is nothing more obnoxious than talking on the phone whilst being served by someone. If you’re buying the groceries and your pocket starts vibrating, ignore it. This is why they invented the "missed call" notification and voicemail functions, know when to call someone back at a more appropriate time. Because nobody likes 'that guy', so don’t be 'that guy'. Let’s start a revolution of polite telephone etiquette and bring back a bit of old-school manners.

What bugs you the most about incessant phone-aholics?

WORDS BY:  Grace Dobinson

When Grace is not studying for her Bachelor of Arts degree, she is planning overseas adventures, journaling and sipping wine with friends. This open-minded, carefree gal includes conquering the Inca Empire and having coffee with her ultimate girl crush Lena Dunham on her bucket-list.