One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone ignores absolutely everyone and everything around them when they are texting. I know you have seen this too! You are in a face to face conversation with someone until they read a message on their phone and suddenly it’s over. They are absolutely lost in what they are reading on their screen. You are shocked, wondering what it is they are reading because clearly it has to be the most important message in the entire world if the person is ignoring what is right in front of them!
I am unfortunately a victim as well as a participant to being mesmerized by a text message. It’s crazy how we can be listening and then all of a sudden hear absolutely nothing around us because we are sooooo transfixed into whatever is on our phones! Can anyone else relate? It doesn’t just have to happen on the phone either…no no no. While you are on your computer, watching television, playing video games, etc… any means of technology that is so unbelievably captivating we actually go deaf!
Inattentional Deafness– the tendency to not notice what is happening around you because you are so focused on what you are doing. People don’t only experience inattentional deafness when using technological devices. They can experience it when focusing on any task they are doing…studying hard for finals, paying close attention whey they drive their car, etc. I would always be frustrated with my inability to write an English paper while simultaneously watching television. Now I know, it may have actually been impossible!
How many times have you tried talking to your boyfriend but he can’t hear a word you’re saying because the Cardinal’s are playing? What about those times you observe someone “zoning out,” staring at absolutely nothing but you are unable to break their stare, no matter how many times you say their name. You can experience inattentional deafness when you are thinking really hard in your own head! Look back and think about the times you have been ignored or possibly ignored others because you were too busy watching, texting, thinking or listening to something besides what was going on around you.
Knowing what we now know about inattentional deafness can help us see the world differently. We aren’t being ignored, the person we are trying to communicate with simply can’t hear us! Feel better?