I was listening to a news story on my CBC app on my Apple Smart Phone when I was working out at 24 Hour Fitness. I looked out at the Pacific Ocean. It was as tranquil as serenity. I was surrounded by music playing to people wearing ear buds and TV monitors screaming silent.
My CBC news story was about a digital detoxing.
The difficulty of disconnecting from our appliances and the constant content overload.
We have all seen the family sitting around a table in a restaurant where everybody was on their phones in total silence. I guess you don’t have any family arguments that way.
Some restaurants offer a discount if your cell phone if turned off. You may have booked your reservation online at Opentable or they may text you or call you when you table is ready. Not sure how that all aligns.
On my CBC news story everybody was singing about the pleasures of a digital detox. The kids play better. We talked more. Back to tomorrow.
There was another story soon after about the debate if Canadian National Parks should have wireless service. What if somebody was lost and needed to have GPS said one side? This is a travesty said the other side.
It brought back memories of when I would go to cottage country in Canada and be in total peace and quiet. Hey I can still mimic the sound of a loon. More calming than a yoga class. The occasional sound of a motor boat and maybe a light shimmering on a moon lit lake in the Canadian night. Funny how you can hear better in silence. Stories were told about how voices can bounce off the water and be carried for miles. Nobody talks about silence any more.
I had a Starbucks with an agency owner the other day. He has been in business for a number of years. Lives in a nice neighborhood. I know his son. He said that when he gets home he leaves his cell phone in his car and doesn’t look at his company email. What surprised me the most was that he owned the agency.
I immediately wondered if I could do that.
I have written in the past about our cell phones taking us for a walk.
Total cell phone immersion I have found is greatest in Starbucks lines at airports. I wonder if digital dependency is a status badge for some like priority boarding or suitcases that roll every way on all wheels.
I think we all struggle with digital dependency. I have my excuse. I work for myself so I am constantly working I can say.
I recently had a networking spin. I was speaking at a digital marketing conference in Minneapolis. Before I speak I can talk to people or have the excuse of being with my speaker self. I sat down at a table with somebody. He was Canadian. During our time together he mentioned another Canadian who was Persian that worked at his company. I sent her a LinkedIn invite and she connected.
We had lunch the other day. I told her about Jian Ghomeshi, a Persian by way of London and now a skating Canadian that is the host of Q on CBC radio.
My new friend was from Iran and she told me that her father brought her to a place that his daughter could grow. I can relate to that.
She shared with me one of the companies that she aspired to work for. I looked it up on my iPad, on LinkedIn, on the internet, on my personal hotspot, on my smart phone. A person that I knew at that company went to the same University that my lunch friend went to in Canada. He was my college roommate’s cousin.
I used to do my loon impressions for him.
Do things like that come from the ways you live your life or from being in the digital world?
You can be connecting for meaning or meaningless.
The choice is up to you.
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