Japan Today



Do you ever use your smartphone to avoid interacting with other people in certain situations?

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

EVERYONE does it, without exception. Or for those who don't HAVE cell phones (not just Smart phones, yet again) just replace 'Smart phone' in this article with 'pretending to be doing something'. It does not mean that you prefer in general to avoid talking, or interacting with people, as CGB Spender misreads; the article specifically asks, "in certain situations", and EVERYONE has that experience, if not regularly, then have had it at some points in their lives. I do this, either with my cell phone (just the most convenient tool), or a book, or pretend to be sleeping, etc., in some cases, like if the person who approaches me is obviously a little strange, or I'm just not in the mood to talk. There's nothing 'rude' about it. If you suddenly cut off a conversation and just start staring at your phone without any explanation, or answer a person's attempt to talk by suddenly engaging in another activity CLEARLY for the purpose of not talking, then yes. But to avoid interaction that has not begun? Nope. There are just situations where pretending to be busy is the right thing to do, potentially for all parties.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, I do that 24/24. I don't have any smartphone, which cuts me from all the smartphone spammers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With a face like mine there's very little interaction to avoid. One thing I have noticed is that whenever on a crowded train and a wasp or similar enters the carriage, it's typically me they go for - is because I don't have a smartphone?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't have a smartphone. What box do I tick?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't have a smart phone. And, BTW, the phones may be smart, but the same can't be said about all of those who use them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm not a great one for talking while on a train. I have to spend too much time concentrating on ways to stop my travel sickness! That being the case, the very last thing I can do is start doing things with my smartphone, whatever those things might be.

I did try watching anime, playing games and the like, when I was last working in a job that involved train travel but that just made things worse. Actually I'd probably be better talking to somebody than using a phone, though the best way I find to keep the contents of my stomach from gracing the carriage floor is to look out of the window and concentrate on where I'm actually going.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


While I avoid my phone in most social situations among friends, I think it's kind of rude for strangers to expect to be able to have a conversation with me. I am not a vending machine (push button, out comes the English). Moreover, when on a train usually I have just spent the last 6-8 hours being paid to speak English..I want a little quiet time.

That said, I have no aversion to the odd "Where are you from?" / "Do you like Japan?"...but I've had 2 or 3 experiences where some old guy got huffy with me because I was tired after a long day and wanted to read my book instead of entertain him with English. I was as polite as could be, still he got upset.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


Ha! Love it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Haha nice :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


I take it you're not married. ; )

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I just don't understand the point of this question. The only people you'd be interacting with are people you know or when you are ordering something in a shop, in which case, it's plain rude to keep on using your smartphone. When I'm on the train by myself, I don't know anyone else and so I don't need to chit-chat in most cases.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can understand that. But I've had those train interactions a million times over the years, and they just don't interest me anymore. I was a lot more tolerant of them the first number of years they happened.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I don't directly do this, but one thing I've noticed is that old guys don't try to talk to me on the train as much when I'm using my phone as they used to back before I was always using my phone on the train.

That's a good thing.

I disagree. I've often met some of the nicest people on the train who simply want to ask an innocent question or two about me or where I'm from. Burying your face into a smartphone for more than a minute or two robs you of what can often be a pleasant experience.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No, I prefer to interact with real people than with my phone.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Don't need to. Most people I see have their noses glued to their screens... If someone wants to talk to me and I don't want to talk to them, I just start speaking fast-paced French and finish my tirade with a question. They usually end up doing a great interpretation of Forrest Gump running.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Of course I do! Especially, not answering the phone if I don't know the number.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I am older, so I am more likely to have had more experience interacting with people speaking on a personal level. Consequently, I have more experience avoiding unwanted interaction, even with maniacs on trains who obsessively want to practice English conversation.

Still, people on mobile phones, and smart phones, lots of them are doing Line, which is also interaction though of a different sort.

I don't have Line, mainly because I prefer to interact in just one medium at once. Nor do I have time or need another online social network.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sure why not.

Though sometimes the smartphone instead gives ya the means to have something to talk about, like the scoreboards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, like @Reckless in limited situations I do. There's an interesting book on the subject by MIT's Sherry Turkel, which at this point is a few years old but still germane, called "Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other". And if the technological singularity is not too many decades off? (A joke - kind of.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I work for a food delivery service. Some of the restaurant staff can be quite chatty, so I usually take those opportunities to study Japanese, especially if it's really noisy. Helps me stay calm, as I have Asperger's and can be overloaded by the noise, interactions, lights, and other sensory stuff easily. With people I know, I tend to just say something.

So, those of you that think it's rude, try harder at understanding other people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I would not know how too, and why would you? Seem very rude do that such a act! I notice no-one put their name to this article ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't directly do this, but one thing I've noticed is that old guys don't try to talk to me on the train as much when I'm using my phone as they used to back before I was always using my phone on the train.

That's a good thing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Who on Earth would do that?

People who can't handle communication?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites