When you are with people PUT IT AWAY!
I'm over being out with people and having them more interested in the people in their phone than the people across the table. When I am with someone that is always checking texts, answering calls, whatever else they do on cell phones... when that happens I get the message loud and clear... I don't matter. You would rather be with the people in your phone. Our conversation can be put on hold if anyone else at all has something to say to you at the moment.
I know... I know...
What if something happens to your kid and the school needs to call!? I don't know... ask your mom how she did it? And don't forget you probably have a three or four person emergency contact list on file at the school. One of them will probably still have their cell phone on.
But my husband/wife might call. They can't wait? It's only recently with the invention of cell phones that husbands and wives have been able to have 24 hour instant access to each other. Chances are it can wait.
Oooh... but he's alone with the kids. He might need me! No... he'll survive. If he can't call you to ask you what to do he WILL figure it out. He might not do things exactly like you would but that's ok! They need the space and freedom to think things through and realize they can do it just as good as you can... and you need to trust that he can do it well and leave him to it!
But the kids are with the babysitter! So do what your parents did... leave the name and number of the restaurant where you will be.
Cell phones haven't been around that long and everyone before us survived. Kids that got sick or injured at school were still taken care of. Husbands and wives had conversations when they got home. Dads invented their own ways to get through an evening (or weekend!) alone with the kids. And babysitters called restaurants if there was an emergency.
The things is... if you leave your cell phone on because your husband or wife or the school might call, you won't just check it when those calls or texts come. You will check every single one that comes in.
And for the person across the table that doesn't have a cell phone to occupy them during the awkward times that you are on the phone... well that's just not any fun.
Be considerate of the people you are with. Give them your time and attention.
Just a week or so ago everyone on Facebook was reposting a video called Look Up. It's about how much we miss out on when we are so attached to our technology. The responses to the video were deep. It made people think. I hope that people didn't stop at just thinking about it... I hope that it actually made people take the first steps of change. I hope it convinced people to start leaving their phones in their cars when they were out with friends. I hope they haven't all already forgotten about the message in the video that had moved them enough to reshare.
Put your cell phones away for a little while and be present with the people who are in your presence.