Like Helena, and many others it seems, I managed to get 100% incorrect…for the first time ever. I guess I didn’t give myself enough time to think through my answer.
Well, for me, if you have to be on your phone socialising with others when you have people physically with you, then you shouldn’t be with the people you are physically with. When in the company of others, it comes down to matter of courtesy. Why bother physically hanging out with friends, if you can’t be bothered to actually communicate with them?
I guess the question should be adjusted to suit the scenario. Should the question be reframed?
Is it rude to be socialising with others digitally, when you are with “real, live” people?
I don’t know…there are so many factors that can be addressed when looking at scenarios as to why people socialise face to face, or choose to use digital interactions to fill their needs. What I do believe is that using the “old” photo of the people on the train reading the papers and not communicating with each other, is no different to riding the train today. Being social doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to interact with anyone and everyone. For a lot of my friends who commute, that is the only time where they get to be alone with their thoughts as they spend hours every week on a train or bus. Their isolation ends when they walk through their front door to be with their families and play with their kids.
In her post, Jacqueline raised some great points about how, through ICT, she has expanded her network of friends globally. That is something that many years ago, was far more difficult to achieve.
Just recently, my son had his birthday party. Through the use of FaceTime, he was able to see his cousins and share the cutting of the cake with them even though they were on the other side of the world. We were able to project them onto a large screen so although they weren’t with us physically, they could still interact with others who were able to attend physically.