Dear Abby: Phone addiction pushes friendship to the brink

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DEAR ABBY: A dear friend of many years has developed a cellphone addiction that’s driving me crazy -- insisting on showing me funny videos, memes or camera filters when we visit. I respond either with disinterest or a polite “I’m here to visit with you, not look at your phone.” Some of her other behaviors are downright rude. She often shows up late, and I can clearly see she’s been making frivolous social media posts while I’m waiting. On a group road trip, she will silently play a phone game, excluding herself from the fun. I know this affects her job, too, and I have tried advising her along that vein, but nothing changes. Is this a sign of a friendship growing apart or moving toward different interests? Or am I just a cranky Luddite who needs to accept the new reality? -- LOW-PRIORITY FRIEND

DEAR FRIEND: The person you are describing isn’t so much hooked on her phone as she appears to be hooked on herself. Keeping people waiting while posting to social media is rude, and recognizing it as such isn’t being “cranky.” I agree with you that the behaviors she’s exhibiting are symptoms of diverging interests. You may be less offended if you see less of her.

Abigail  Van Buren

Stories by Abigail Van Buren

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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