Being Ignored by a Smartphone User? You’re Not Alone

A new study finds that smartphones are ruining our relationships.

Here’s the scenario: You’re at lunch with your best friend.

You: “I can’t believe it. I just found out Mark is having an affair. What am I going to do?” Sniffle.

Your best friend: Giggles and finally looks up from her iPhone. “I’m sorry, what did you say? I was just watching the most hilarious cat video on Facebook. Do you want to see it?”

Sound familiar? Sadly, you’re not alone.

While it may seem that smartphone rudeness has become a commonly accepted cultural norm, chances are, it’s had a negative impact on a relationship in your life, whether you’re the one committing an “electronic display of insensitivity” or EDI, or you’re on the receiving end.

Joseph Grenny’s recently released “Digital Divisiveness” study found that 9 out of 10 people have experienced damage to personal relationships as a result of insensitive or inappropriate use of technology. And 1 in 4 people said EDIs have caused a significant rift with friends or loved ones.

Sadly, the problem seems to be getting worse, not better. And no place is safe from inconsiderate electronic use. The study found EDIs are occurring at the dinner table, during customer service interactions and even at church.

If you’re like me, and you choose to ignore the issue as it’s occurring, we’re a part of the problem. According to The Blaze:

Solutions? Well, Grenny noted that ignoring EDIs isn’t one of them. “These are areas where we overwhelmingly agree we shouldn’t be using technology. There is a social norm, there is consensus, yet we don’t adhere to it,” Grenny told the Daily Beast. “Silence is permission.”

If you’re looking for ways to nip bad smartphone etiquette in the bud, either for yourself or maybe for a friend who could use the advice, check out our story here for six easy solutions.

Do the results of Grenny’s study surprise you? Tell us about your experiences with EDIs below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • eyeRollz

    I’ve been at lunch with friends and relatives that I’ve travelled a long way to visit and been left sitting ignored during the entire meal. At least once I got up and walked out then texted them to tell them how rude they were and don’t forget to pay the bill.

    • Sherrie Ludwig

      Good choice! Hope they smartened up.

      • eyeRollz

        No unfortunately they didn’t.

  • Rick Korn

    I’m frustrated with the new texting etiquette, or lack thereof. I see texting as conversation, the same as if you were in the room speaking directly to the person, in which case you would elicit a reply or acknowledgement of some sort. I realize that the person at the other end of a text may be away from their phone, or sleeping, or busy working, or a whole myriad of life’s duties and pleasures, and just cannot “talk” at that precise moment. I’m talking about friends in your circle who just plain don’t respond sometimes at all. You hear from them days later when they initiate a text “conversation” without ever acknowledging the conversation you started days before. I was recently in the company of a friend who is most notorious for this texting rudeness and in referring to a traditional “phone call” to another friend she said: “I called & left Mark a message, but of course he never returns calls half the time! Go figure!” Now that is the pot calling the kettle black!

  • Dale

    It’s not just texting. I have a friend who obsessively checks the sports scores. He starts talking to me but continues checking scores. Just plain rude!

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