Keri Stephens' Blog

Intellectual Adrenaline Junkie experiencing & studying this communication technology-filled world!

Archive for January, 2011

Portable devices and attention

I am often asked by people over 35 if they are being too pickywhen asking others (mainly those younger) to pay attention during a one on one conversation.  It is fairly common for people to check their cell phone or text messages while conversing.  I had an interesting thing happen this weekend when my 11 year old daughter had seven girls over for a dance party.  The girls divided into groups and chose costumes and choreographed dances.  Then the teams performed for one another.  When one of the teams performed, a girl on the audience team got out her iTouch and began typing away.  One of the girls who had been performing was mad and insisted that their group perform again because one of their audience members had been texting.  The audience member insisted that she had not been texting and it eventually came out that she had been playing a game while the other team performed.  The performing team went again and the game-playing audience member continued her behavior.  After most of the girls expressed their frustration over the lack of attention, they essentially ostracized the game-playing girl.  It took over an hour for the girls to get back to being a cohesive group.  I guess age doesn’t change the fundamental desire to have others pay attention to us.  With children, they are more honest with one another.  With adults, we simply judge one another and often never share our frustrations.