We spend over 4 hours per day on our smart phones, but that statistic doesn’t sound particularly smart to me. Why? Because all of that looking down means you’re not looking up, or at what’s going on around you. Feeling, touching, smelling, tasting, talking, and experiencing what’s going on around you in present time is paramount.
It’s Time to Look Up and Out
I just went to an Aces game— minor league ball in Reno. The woman in front of us spent 9 innings posing for selfies. Her 12-year-old son sat by himself: not a word was spoken between them; the day was simply a love affair with his mom and her phone as she adjusted her hat, her hair, and her smile for people somewhere else.
BUT, it was a super night for baseball: 10,311 fans squeezed in for the July 4 holiday, 13 hits, unbelievable fireworks, and the home team trampled the River Cats 10-5. And, this woman and her son missed out on every precious moment.
I suffer from a lack of focus. If I multi-task, I do everything poorly. In meetings, I must put my phone away and turn the sounds off; I take phone calls with my laptop closed, I use a paper notebook for follow up. It’s my commitment that I’m paying attention to YOU!
I admit it: I’m annoyed when clients keep their phones out and surreptitiously check it when they’re paying for my advice! I’m disgusted when I see phones at the dinner table; I hate to see groups of teenagers and every single one of them is looking at their phone instead of talking to the person who is right next to them!
This is not a fear of missing out; this is a fear of being in the moment— it is fear of letting your emotions fly free; of having candid conversations face to face.
I get it: work involves being connected. I’m guilty too, but it’s starting to get to me and my family. I now know that I don’t have to check my phone first thing in the mornings, that I could silence it for hours at a time, and that mealtime without your phone is an unforgettable experience. Really!
STOP TEXTING ME!
And, did I mention texts? I hate them! They are the best interrupter of my day. I don’t give out my cell phone number because folks will text me. Friends who have both email and cell somehow believe that sending a text is more important— it’s not; it’s just more annoying. Texts for quick and urgent bursts of info work for me; long stories do not.
I have a PC, I have an iPhone 8; email gets to me e-mmediately, so texting is superfluous. Worse, if I’m in meetings, I end up overlooking the texts. Email is something I see, get it?
It’s time to Put the Phone Down
The good news is that, thanks to our phones, we are always reachable… which is also the bad news.
Yes, there’s an app for that. It’s time to guess the answer vs. Google the answer. (You know what I mean – you’re watching a movie and can’t figure out the actor or are trying to figure out if Taipei is the capital of Taiwan or….)
It’s time to open your eyes and focus; I’m right here in front of you! And, I am just as, if not more important, than what’s on your phone. Are you on board? What say ye?
To your sizzling success,
PS: OK, I’m off my soapbox now.