In the middle of 2017 I read this…
“If you are like the typical owner, you’ll be pulling your phone out and using it some 80 times a day, according to data Apple collects. That means you’ll be consulting the glossy little rectangle nearly 30,000 times over the coming year. “
There is so much now being written about us all falling prey to our hand held devices and having a constant distraction around us. This environment where we get constantly tugged in multiple directions by alerts, notifications, accessibility and interruptions can bleed over to every aspect of our lives.
If we all take a step back and really, honestly look at how our lives have changed with these powerful devices in our hands we may get a shock. In my opinion we are becoming detached and less human. We have traded our social nature as human beings to become disconnected with each other and easily distracted.
Have you sat in meetings where there is a room of people pretending to participate in the discussion but in reality have their laptop open, their phones in front of them and are blatantly checking them and responding while trying to convince everyone they can ‘multi task’? They cant and they don’t – their minds are elsewhere and all of a sudden our calendar full of meetings is not only a nightmare to manage but we are not getting what we can out of them. People are leaving not understand what has been discussed and decided and the content and decisions will get repeated many times later.
We decide to institute rules around having laptops closed which can last for a short period but what we haven’t realized is when we try to disconnect we become anxious about what we are missing and so don’t concentrate anyway.
Test yourself – put your phone away, turn it off and spend a few hours or even a day without it. Does even the thought of it make your pulse quicken, do you start to perspire and feel anxious? It does mine and I don’t want to be a slave to the electronic notification.
What I really want is to interact with people, to talk, share ideas, news and feelings, tell stories, and smile in company. I want to become human again and feel connection with people. The problem I have is persuading others to do the same as this is something we cant do on our own.
Imagine how not just ourselves but the organizations we work for can thrive with a new approach – think about how bold it will be to ‘buck the trend’ and focus on each other and solving problems in real time with each other.
Things to do about that:
• Turn off notifications on your phone and take back control for checking
• Look up, notice people and smile
• Focus on a task you want to get done and finish it
• Sit down and talk to people and relish the human connection
• And even if you have alone time pick up a book and read
Feel empowered and in control. Feel connected with people having shared with them and ultimately get back to feeling human.
…and start today to make a change