Our phones allow us to find “the best,” “the funniest,” “the craziest,” as we constantly search for something better or funnier in the endless supply of material on the Internet. But have you ever thought about how much time you spend looking for more stuff ... just checking and scrolling?

When we’re constantly looking at and checking our phone, others often feel like we’re looking past them to see if someone better will show up. Have you ever felt like a third-wheel because someone was so immersed in her phone that she missed the plot twist in your conversation? Or you pour your heart out only to get the inappropriately-timed response of “that’s awful?” We all know that feeling. It can feel like your friends are looking for something “better” than you.

Let’s all try harder to show up for each other!

Start with empowering yourself to be a friend that’s present. If this isn’t a trend that’s practiced in your tribe because everybody is always on his/her phone, introduce it! Respect your friends by being present when you’re together. Pay attention to others that are with YOU! Stop being (and looking) distracted. It’s a fact that we all feel more lovable when the people in our lives are (emotionally) with us when they are (physically) with us.

Hint: Learn to feel comfortable putting your phone away!

That’s it. Bravely detach from it for a short time (or a long time/or more) and notice ALL that you’ve been missing. When you look for less on your phone, you give and receive MORE from your relationships. Here are a few things to try to get you started:

  • Evaluate. Are you a “phone checker addict?” What’s your record time for not checking your phone?
  • Stop hoarding other people’s experiences and go create your own.
  • Look people in the eyes and let them know that you see them.
  • Try leaving your phone at home when you have plans with a friend.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings… you may be missing out on more than you realize.  

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” –Mark Twain


by Alison Conner, Ph.D.

Dr. Conner is a Psychologist in Fresno, California who specializes in behavioral and mental health for teen and young adult girls. She is a member of our expert panel and provides consultation and content in the area of mental health, particularly the intersection of mental health, healthy relationships, and healthy sexual development. 

social media, cell phones, friendships, parenting tween

Comments (2)

  • anon

    Dr. Connor, I would like to post your information on my Facebook and also send to family & friends. Will you allow me to copy and paste your article. This is so true for our children and also for many adults. Thank you, Eileen Tiso

    Apr 10, 2017
  • anon

    Thank you Alison, for this powerful reminder to be present with each other.

    Apr 10, 2017

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