Verizon has a new commercial out, All the Data You Want, where they showcase a good looking guy walking his dog, at the barber shop, going up and down escalators, hailing a taxi, AND at the movies with a woman (date?) —all while looking at his phone.
Really? Would anyone want to really date this guy (no matter how good looking he may be)? I wouldn’t. I can imagine dinner with this guy AND his phone. Not very interesting to me.
Beyond distracting us and taking time away time from our relationships, constant access to social media on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop can also make us more reactive. Tim Ferris talks about this – how we become more negative or positive , but usually just negative—when we connect to all the different social media options out there, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever. I find this to be true for me. Do you notice this too? Ferris’ interview may give you more to think about.
Same thing for reality TV. Why would I be more interested in the lives of the Kardashians when I have one of my own?
I love technology; it can simplify the way we communicate quickly and efficiently. But for meaningful relationships nothing beats lunch with family, friends or colleagues. Even live phone conversations (as opposed to text exchanges) go a long way towards better relationships.
My pet peeve is the text marathon: the exchange of many texts as a conversation. I hate those. I let my clients know that a text or two for a quick question is okay, but if it’s going to be a series of texts I prefer to take time out to speak with them. This way I can make sure that I understand what their issue is and provide as complete an answer as possible.
There is also another side of tech, and particularly social media that I don’t see a lot of people talking about but I think is important: the ability to just be still with oneself. If my attention is constantly taken up with outside stimuli like the one provided by social media, then when do I dedicate time to stop and find out how I truly feel about something? Dedicate time to thinking about an issue, a problem, the friend who is going through a bad time, etc?
We may be able to find mates online, but at some point we have to meet in real life every day, show up without our electronic security blankets and interact; and dedicate time to each other in more than just bits of data.
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