Disconnect to Connect

I was at a conference recently and after finding the room of the workshop I sat down at one of the round tables and immediately engaged with my smartphone. I was aware of people sitting down at the table with me but I was focused on my screen.

And then it hit me…

2 people texting on their phones

Are you focused on your smartphone and not the human beside you? (Photo by Cynthia Price)

I’m at a conference, and I should be networking. Instead I’ve missed the human interaction because I’m too busy on my device.

I put my mobile down and introduced myself to each person. I then shared my epiphany. They all agreed they had done the same thing. We each committed to introducing ourselves at the remainder of the workshops we would attend.

Our mobiles are wonderful devices, but they are taking over. Consider the following:

95% of people use the phone for something just before going to bed at night

90% of smartphone users age 18-29 sleep with a cell phone

The average user checks their phone 110 times a day – that three hours and sixteen minutes a day

These facts are courtesy of David Fletcher’s presentation at the PRSA International Conference in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and executive director of The Mechanism.

Further proof that mobile is controlling the world:

I think it’s now the joint project of all of us to make mobile to answer to pretty much everything.

Eric Schmidt, Google

I love mobile. In many ways it has simplified my life. I am seldom lost anymore. I always have an alarm clock. I can reach a friend in many ways through my device – Skype, phone, email, text, Facebook messenger.

Sometimes, though, there is something to be said for being human. A greeting, a smile, a handshake.

Did you miss the human for your device?

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