A few years ago a relative made a comment about how much someone in the family hated it when people were on their phones at holiday gatherings. Unfortunately our world is to the point that we live through a screen, and yes it’s nice to put the phone down and engage.
When I’m Not On My Phone
But here’s my problem, people think I’m on my phone a lot when I’m actually not touching my phone. Because people aren’t observant, many people think my PDM is a phone. I was actually at a business dinner and was bolusing for my meal when an ignorant associate cracked a joke about my funky phone. I don’t share my diabetes with clients yet this guy (who was from a 3rd party vendor) would think that this clunky thing is a phone and would call attention to what I’m doing. I simply assume he’s insecure.
But the fact of the matter is that these devices I carry with me all look like phones. They’re all rectangular and have screens. I glance at my Dexcom and people think I’m glancing at a phone. When I bolus for a meal, people think I’m texting. When one of my devices beeps or buzzes people think I’m getting messages, or ask the annoying, “Who’s beeping?” question.
I keep my PDM at the table with me for meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas when I think I’ll need to take more insulin later and I don’t want to be rude and leave the table.
I’m not on my phone, I’m just doing what I need to do to not die, so just… calm down.
With that said, I’d love to be able to only have my phone at the table with me and do everything that I need to do from it. Now I can check my Dexcom from my phone, someday I’ll be able to bolus from it too.
When I Am On My Phone
Sometimes at holiday gatherings I’m on my phone. There are several reasons for that…
First, I’m still “on” over holidays. Not to the extent some people are, but if there is a crisis (big or small) for one of my clients, I need to be available. That means I check my email periodically, it’s usually a glance during a lull and if I need to handle something I remove myself from the gathering.
Second, we spend most holidays with my husband’s family. I actually have a family too. I have a mom, a brother, a sister, a grandmother and several aunts, uncles and cousins, who I will be in contact with throughout the day to share well wishes with because I’m a part of two families and I don’t want to ignore my family on every holiday just because I’m in the presence of in-laws.
The third and final reason I may be on my phone is to use it as an aid. Often when we’re talking and a group ponders something, I like to look it up and then everyone has the facts. Or I have pictures on my phone of my nieces/nephews, house, cats, most recent trip, whatever to share, because visual aids are always fun.
What’s the point in having technology if we can’t use it to better our lives?
I get it that a lot of people aren’t tied to their rectangles to the level that I have to be, so they don’t understand. I also get is that a lot of people are too tied to their rectangles and become antisocial. Rectangles aren’t replacements for friends and family, but we can choose to let them bring us closer or let them (or our perceptions of them) put up walls between us.
Whether I’m using a rectangle to take care of my diabetes, do my job or stay connected with those I’m not near, please know it’s not a slight. I’m choosing to be physically in your company and I vow not to hide behind a device to avoid you. Please don’t be insulted by my devices.