30 Nov Don’t let your phone addiction make you a flaky friend this party season
I love this time of year. November is all but done and Liberty’s windows are dressed for the season. The tingle of Christmas is just around the corner.
And that means presents and food but mostly plans. So many plans. I’m now onto making plans for January. At Christmas, being out five nights a week is just part of the course.
But when it’s a Tuesday night and it’s raining and you’ve had a long day, it becomes so very tempting to ping over a message, a little white lie as you flake out: “So sorry do this but going to have to take a rain check!”, knowing full well you won’t see them until February.
And yet it’s so easy to send that message, thanks to our phone addiction. Cancelling on someone doesn’t involve advance warning or even a conversation. A few emojis will cover our temporary guilt before we exit the app we sent the message on and mindlessly open another. It’s become so commonplace that one American poll found 45% of millennials don’t even see flaking out as a problem. And as we’re bombarded with drinks parties and carol concerts and pub lunches, our phone addiction means flaking out has never been easier. Besides, if doesn’t really matter if you haven’t seen someone for a while, does it? You can catch up on their lives via Instagram and Facebook, right? Haven’t you basically seen their lives online anyway? Never has it been easier to be such a flake as during our most sociable season.
And I get. We’re so busy, there’s so many drinks parties, too many hangovers. But if we take a moment, make the effort, I think we actually love it.
We love the excuse to see friends and drink fizz and wear black velvet. We love the excuse to hang fairy lights round the banisters and a buy a Poinsettia. For all our complaining, the chaos of Christmas, the frenzy, the cold walks home after yet another night out, are all part of the joy. Seeing people we maybe only see once a year, making the effort to spend time with old friends, prioritising the company of others, leaves us feeling more whole, happier, alive. Tired, yes, but content and loved. Spending time with someone replenishes us and sustains us in a way that no amount of Instagram liking or What’sApping can ever match.
So when your phone addiction is causing you to be about to flake this Christmas, think again. An hour or two with an old friend are opportunities our busy lives don’t often allow. Watching their Facebook status doesn’t compare to laughing over a glass of wine in the corner of a pub, switched off from the rest of the world, remembering why you are friends in the first place.