We live in a world dominated by electronics.
This is probably not news to you.
However, how people use those electronic gadgets either improve their quality of life, or damage it.
A couple of articles I have found extremely insightful regarding electronics in our world come from two great sources.
First from TalentSmart and the creators of EQ (Emotional Quotient), perhaps one of my favorite books:
Researchers surveyed 554 full-time working professionals who earned more than $30K in income and were employed by companies with at least 50 employees. The researchers asked the survey participants about the use of smartphones in formal and informal meetings to uncover attitudes about answering calls, writing or reading emails or text messages, browsing the Internet, and other mobile phone—related behaviors. Key findings include the following:
- 86% think it’s inappropriate to answer phone calls during formal meetings
- 84% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during formal meetings
- 75% think it’s inappropriate to read texts or emails during formal meetings
- 66% think it’s inappropriate to write texts or emails during any meeting
- 22% think it’s inappropriate to use phones during any meeting
Why do so many people—especially more successful people—find smartphone use in meetings inappropriate? Because, when you access your phone, it shows:
- Lack of respect. You consider the information on your phone more important than the conversation in the meeting; you view people outside the meeting as more important than those sitting right in front of you.
- Lack of attention. You are unable to stay focused on one item at a time; the ability to multitask is a myth.
- Lack of listening. You aren’t demonstrating the attention and thinking required of truly activelistening.
- Lack of power. You are like a modern-day Pavlovian dog who responds to the beck and call of others through the buzz of your phone.
In addition to the article from TalentSmart, check out Six Practical Tips for an Electronic Fast by author and Rascal Chris Brady.
Here are some practical ideas for putting an electronic fast into practice in your life:
1. Try taking the first hour of the day without consulting your phone, email, computer, social networking sites, or anything that smacks of “communication” at all. Instead, read the Bible, look at a goal sheet, organize your day, pray, and simply think.
2. Set aside some “family time” in which the phones all get shut off and nobody can be interrupted. Play games, go out together, or just simply talk.
3. When meeting with a client or business partner, or a friend or subordinate in need of counsel or advice, shut off your phone, turn off your computer monitor, and allow yourself to focus upon the person sitting across from you. Feel free also to ask them to do the same.
4. Whenever you feel your stress level approaching the boiling point, shut everything down. Get away from it. Find some quiet. And maybe a good book. Perhaps THE good book. Sometimes “going dark” is the best way to find some light.
5. From time to time, try taking an entire day away from electronics and communication devices. Those of you who were tracking with me up to this point are maybe dropping away now. But trust me: it can be done; the world won’t fall apart in your absence, and you won’t believe the impact it will have on your wellbeing.
6. Learn that most things that seem urgent can wait. Learn to prioritize. Fight the temptation to be too connected. Figure out what’s important, and then use technology to help you achieve those things.
I know that much of this seems like modern-day heresy. But it’s important that you learn to take charge of technology instead of allowing it to take charge of you.
Sometimes you’ve got to disconnect in order to truly connect.
Both of these articles have great insights into our electronic world and hopefully those insights help you move one step closer today to reaching your full potential!