Off the Hook


Dear Dharma,

Help! I’m in a love triangle. My best friend is beyond obsessed with her cellphone and I feel like it’s affecting our friendship – which is totally crazy, I know, but totally true.

She’s on it all the time regardless of whether we’re at dinner, chilling at home or at the movies (which drives me insane!). I could understand if she was brokering huge deals over email for work or something, but it’s mainly just social media. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but she just laughs it off and tells me to get with the times.

Any advice?

Leave a Message

Dear Message,

A sign o’ the times for certain, and not necessarily a good one.  I hear so many complaints about this, so many observations of how telephones have taken over our lives and the negative effect on social behaviour and relationships… and yet, so many people are still doing it.  You have to hope that the tide will eventually turn and tuning everyone out in favour of how many Likes you have will become a major faux pas, like white after Labour Day.

In your friend’s case, she is using this current trend to justify bad manners and insensitivity.  It would be one thing if you didn’t care that her attention was divided between you and Facebook, but you’ve expressed that you do, and she continues on.  To top it off, she makes you out as the bad guy, and a dinosaur nonetheless.  Not cool.

If this truly is a big deal for you, and it sounds like it is, you have a couple of options, the first being to bring it up again.  “Suzy, I know you’ll think I’m silly for bringing this up again, but is there any way we can unplug from our phones while we’re at dinner tonight?  I would so much rather have a good time with you, then sit and watch your screen time… you understand, right?”

Hopefully she will make the effort to accommodate this incredibly reasonable request, and things will get back on track.  If not, that brings your next option into play, which is to curtail the amount of time you spend being ignored by her.  I know she’s your BFF and all, but how much enjoyment do you actually get by sitting there watching her play Angry Birds?  It seems to me that your time could be spent doing pretty much anything else and it would be more productive.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!



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