September 24, 2019

Winnipeg
13° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Devices harming relations: expert

'Breakdown in communication... trust'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/4/2013 (2349 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It's happened to us all countless times -- you're telling a friend or co-worker a story when they suddenly whip out their smartphones and start checking emails or typing a text message.

They pretend they're listening, but you know they're tuning you out.

It's one thing to be rude -- which this most definitely is, according to Lew Bayer, president of Civility Experts Worldwide and a longtime etiquette expert -- but it's quite another to be rude and not even realize it.

The problem? Our growing dependency on the devices we hold in our hands or keep in our pockets.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/4/2013 (2349 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It's happened to us all countless times — you're telling a friend or co-worker a story when they suddenly whip out their smartphones and start checking emails or typing a text message.

They pretend they're listening, but you know they're tuning you out.

It's one thing to be rude — which this most definitely is, according to Lew Bayer, president of Civility Experts Worldwide and a longtime etiquette expert — but it's quite another to be rude and not even realize it.

The problem? Our growing dependency on the devices we hold in our hands or keep in our pockets.

"People find being ignored extremely offensive," she said.

"Our research shows people are in the habit of being dependent on their technology and not even realizing the extent to which they're withdrawing physically and visually and making less eye contact (with others)."

You might think you're just trying to keep pace with the speed of communication but there are very real consequences of choosing technology over people, Bayer said.

"People trust you less. They see you as not listening to them, being inattentive, lacking confidence and having low social intelligence," she said.

Young people are notorious offenders and that's rendering them less able to real visual and tonal cues when they're face to face with another human being.

"We used to rely heavily on body language to understand the whole message. Many people are now oblivious (to that). There's a breakdown in communication and a breakdown of trust," she said.

When somebody is confiding in you, they expect that they'll have your full attention and when they see they don't, they feel resentment, mistrust and a lack of a connection, she said.

There's no magic bullet, but Bayer said having cellphones put away from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., for example, while kids do homework and families eat dinner, is a good place to start.

"We managed to do quite well without this technology as kids. Kids should be able to get through a meal or sports event without having to be on their phone texting," she said.

Many parents tell their kids to put their phones away but if they don't talk about the consequences, the child merely sees their mom or dad as an authority figure trying to control them.

Instead of saying, "get off the phone," try "When you don't look at me and pay attention, it makes me feel like you're not really listening and don't care about what I have to say. And what I'm saying is important for your safety,' " she said.

The dependency on technology has reached the point where people no longer automatically shut off their phones during weddings, funerals or in hospitals, let alone movie theatres.

"It's rampant. It's almost a crisis situation in terms of rebuilding real connections with people. There is quite a bit of research out there about a decline in social intelligence because of a reliance on technology as our primary mode of communication. It's really problematic," she said.

And if you remind somebody they're breaching cellphone protocol, you might want to cover your ears as the common response is rude and arrogant.

"They'll say, 'You're not the boss of me, get over it. I just answered the phone. Who cares?' The lack of responsibility for the impact they're having is a big problem," Bayer said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 7:47 AM CDT: adds fact box

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us