We Are All Prisoners Of Our Own Devices

467138588“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”, Hotel California

I am guilty and I suspect many of you are too. We are prisoners of our own electronic devices. We are slaves to our cell phones and the messages we send and receive. (BTW, we need a better name than cell phone since phoning is now a secondary use at best).

Stephen Covey would have called the slavish reaction to our phones a quadrant III activity—Urgent, Not Important. The click, buzz and ring of your phone has an immediacy that begs for response. It appears urgent. However, in the end most of the activity is unimportant, yet we slavishly respond as if doing so makes us responsive.

The truth is that we do NOT have to return the call immediately, answer the text or email immediately, yet we feel the need to. We really don’t need to check our Facebook accounts 20 times a day or more.

So, what’s a person to do

1. Put down the phone—This is a toughee for most (me included)

2. Turn it over and don’t view the incoming messages

3. Turn it off as if you are in a movie

4. Do not bring it to meetings

#4 is very important. I find it rude in business situations that people are distracted by their phones (Again I am guilty as charged here too). In meetings, I sometimes find I have to stop and be sure the attendees are engaged and often need to call out the distracted party.

On a personal basis, some families have instituted a device free day, or meal or at least a period of time. I really like this idea.

In the end our devices are wonderful technology that keeps us connected with the world. We know who died instantaneously (they will still be dead later in the day however).

So put your (my) phone down. Give it a rest and we will all be better for it.

More Strumings

Leave a Reply