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Maddy Douglass

Knitter and lawyer in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, culture, and cheese plates.

"Say what you mean, mean what you say." 

Β 

"Sure you can answer that text, but you're paying for lunch."

It is more than slightly pathetic that something like this is necessary to get people to talk to each other these days.

You know the deal - you're at a work event/lunch with a friend/a coffee date. Your phone is on the table "just in case of emergency." Then, the inevitable BEEP BOOP sounds the alarm! You're wracked with guilt at the urge to check, sweat lining your brow, as you nod along with your companion's musings - but you resist. For about five minutes. Then you quickly, but not subtly, grab your phone and hold it just under the table as if whoever you're eating with is totally unaware of your actions, as if he or she won't notice because he or she is doing the exact same thing. But alas! Sometimes, you have chosen the poor soul [lunch companion] who actually wanted to discuss the current events of both your lives, and who notices every time you glance at the phone instead of responding to a direct question. It's upsetting how much of a habit this has become.

I myself have been guilty of the "phoning-it-in" offense. Since that was brought to my attention by a good friend several years ago, I have tried to make more of an effort to appreciate in-person contact and allow myself the freedom to PUT DOWN THE PHONE. Sometimes I practice by going to the grocery store with my mom while leaving my phone at home (don't remind me that the need to "practice" this separation skill is sad in itself.)

However, the catch-22 of this situation is readily apparent: you want to separate yourself from being constantly connected to the world, and yet you find yourself a bit miffed if the world hasn't missed you when you come back. The urge to check my phone the second I return from the grocery store has not yet been curbed, and I'm not sure if that is an urge that can ever be changed in this 24/7 world. Growing up thinking it was not only normal, but necessary, to constantly relay information to parents and friends has forever colored the way I approach life.

That isn't to say I don't appreciate the value of a voice-to-voice phone call, or a handwritten letter - many of you may already know that I love stationery to an extreme extent, and therefore I have several pen pals. But the fact that I think of writing a note as a luxury for downtime and not as a typical method of communication only further cements the point.

How many of you, like me, may need to implement the Gizmodo paying for lunch plan? And how many have magically mastered the ability to put down the beeping gadgets?

"How to Write a Thank You Note"

Ugly Christmas Cookies

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