I remember standing at the counter of shipping place recently. I had been waiting in line, and right when the sales person addressed me, the phone rang. She then dealt with a customer on the phone, which took about 7 minutes (I was timing it of course), then when she hung up, she told me she needed to send a quick e-mail with a quote for another customer. I just waited. 4 minutes later she came back and asked how she could help me. I mailed my package and walked out.
I thought I was frustrated because it took me an extra 11 minutes to send a package, but I realized that I was more frustrated because I was standing in front of her, I had walked into her place of business, and she communicated really quickly that if I want better service, I should call or send an email. I’m probably exaggerating, but it did bother me.
This past week, there has been a YouTube video circulating called “Look Up” (Watch it HERE). Usually I don’t watch all of these videos, but was challenged to watch it, and it basically talks about how our “SOCIAL MEDIA” is really “ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA” and that we’re missing out on LIFE because of our connection and addiction to electronics.
I’m not sure I agree with every aspect of this, but I have been thinking…
*Very seldom do I go ANYWHERE without my phone, computer or iPad. Sometimes I have all 3 with me.
*I pride myself in responding to emails quickly, which means I’m constantly checking my email, even when I’m doing other things.
*I have forgotten what it’s like to read a printed book, as it’s so much more convenient on my iPad.
*Last night, I fell asleep with my computer open and the tv on. Not sure why I was even up or what I was doing.
So, I’m going to address this in my life. Not sure how, but I’ll start by simply creating some “margin” where I’m unplugged and I can schedule time away from the constant demand and urgency of electronic communication.
While I grumbled about the lady at the shipping place, I realize that I do the same thing. Many times, I’m much more connected with people half-way around the world than I am with my neighbor living right across the street.
I do however, value technology. I rely on it for my work and for staying connected with people around the globe, however I need to see that as a “tool”, not as a “way of life”. Technology enables me to be a more effective leader, it helps me to react more quickly to needs and opportunities and it saves me valuable time and money in working with a global community of programs and partners.
I simply need to find a way to turn it off a little more and break some of the bad habits that have been creeping into my life!
How do you manage the urgency of communication in your life? How do you manage the waste of time, due to technology in your life?