Ironically, it still required external ideas/stimulus to come up with topics of conversation. I was expecting the OP would say it gave them time to reflect, or be present to himself! One could just as easily browse books/news on a phone that would be of mutual interest for a coming conversation. There is some sort of "curation" that goes on in the bookstore, but nothing that couldn't be provided by software.
Be There: When people need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be mentally and emotionally present is a sign of respect. It improves communication and strengthens relationships.
In all honesty, it's one of the few snippets of solid advice that has had a profound and noticeable impact on my personal and professional life.
I'm sure many have noticed this effect from reading email or news before bed. Often if I've been surfing or reading email too close to bedtime, the interesting issues and problems I've read about keep me awake for a long time.
I dislike this line of reasoning. He's not playing Words With Birds, he's checking e-mail and twitter to see if anyone is trying to contact him.
Is there some philosophical viewpoint that states that it is better to stare at a blank wall than to read your mail?
Reading an email or Twitter forces others' thoughts upon the mind, but when a man stares at a blank wall and thinks for himself, he follows the impulse of his own mind. A blank wall does not, as reading a tweet does, impress a single definite thought upon the mind.
Sounds like a problem with your phone.