Having you been talking to a friend lately, only to have the conversation constantly interrupted as one or both of you grab for your phone?

While we know this isn’t polite behavior, many of us do it anyway. I looked into why this was and found there are three distinct triggers that go off inside of us and have us scrambling to unlock our phone screen.

1. Boredom Phone Scrolling

I first really noticed this phone phenomenon the last time I was in the waiting room at our doctor's office.

I watched as a patients would come in, checked in with the front desk and scroll through their phones while waiting for the receptionist to check them in. Most patients were on social media before they were done with the front desk.

This avoidance of even a second of boredom has become a common feature found amongst crowds and may in fact be killing our creativity. So maybe the next time you have to wait for a bit, actively try out some boredom - see where your thoughts take you. Or, try having a conversation with the person next to you.

2. Trained To Respond

Pavlov's dogs were trained to salivate when a bell rang. It’s not a stretch to say that our phone’s notification sound exercises the same effect on us.

Even more noticeable (since we aren’t great at seeing our own problems) is when our children are obviously trained to respond to every sound their phone makes. Problem is, the social media notification teens are likely responding to can have a detrimental effect on their self-esteem.

One easy way to start breaking yourself of this habit is to turn off all notification sounds except for phone calls and texts. This should result in fewer interruptions and more quality face-to-face time.

3. Fear Of Missing Out

The fear of missing out (or FOMO) isn’t a phenomenon restricted to teens and millennials, though recent news makes it out like it is the case. We older adults feel it as we join a conversation, only to realize we missed out on the first ⅔ and no one want’s to fill us in.

However, with technology’s connectivity, we can stay plugged in all the time -- whether we should or shouldn’t be.

Much like with notifications, our fears of missing some big piece of news (or worse, being the last to know) keeps us on the scramble for our phones.

To break this habit, you may need to take a break from different aspects of social connectivity. No need to go announcing it on Facebook, but quietly take some time off from the social media you find yourself engaging in the most.

Once you recognize what’s triggering you to always have your phone in your palm, the sooner you can change the behaviors you don’t like.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn