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(Most adult readers will be shocked, as Sales points out, by how wildly the adult experience of social media differs from that of a teen.An adult might be on Facebook and Twitter, but they probably haven’t even heard of most of the apps that teens use, let alone how they use them.) “What’s being expressed on social media has been percolating in our culture for decades,” Sales tells The Post.
I would recommend that you tell your girlfriend what you’re feeling about her all-day cell phone surveillance, and ask her to limit the times she’s available for others to contact her, especially when the two of you are alone together, or you’re out in a social situation.
When we’re constantly scanning the environment, as your girlfriend is doing, we are partly there with others and partly focused on not missing anything, whether it be news, social interaction, alerts, phone calls, emails, texts or something else.
This partial attention we use to scan our environment means that we aren’t giving our full attention to the person (or the people) next to us, which can lead you to feel that although she might be right next to you, she’s actually not there.
Dear Annoyed: Your girlfriend sounds as if she has become addicted to social media, and you sound as if you are feeling alone and isolated in her presence.
This gives you the unmistakable feeling that although she is right next to you, she isn’t really there in mind and spirit—and her attention isn’t with you either.