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Connected People — Rude and Self Involved

Connected cars are one thing, but what about connected people.

Have you noticed that most of us simply cannot exist without constantly checking our phones for texts, email, or messages on Instagram The next time you are at a seminar or meeting, take a look around and check how many in the room have their heads bowed like they are penitent, completely disregarding the person speaking, and typing madly on their phone. My guess is that the number would be upwards of 75% of those in the room.

How must the speaker feel when they look out and see the tops of so many heads.

I experience this when I speak before groups. I often walk out around the attendees and while continuing my talk, stand directly in front of someone who is using their phone. You would be surprised how many look up at me and give me the “stink eye.” After all, I’m intruding on their conversation with their friend, enemy, colleague, or the reservation service at a local restaurant.

I have considered asking folks to put their phones away for the duration, but felt that was an impertinence. I was making the assumption that those who were in attendance were rude and self-involved. Surely educated and well bred folks would offer the courtesy of paying attention or at least feel guilty when caught in the act.

My experience is exactly the opposite. The higher the education and breeding level, the more they were molded into their phones. We have reached the point that we must know every moment what is happening with our colleagues, friends, and businesses. Good Grief.

A coworker mentioned to me the other day that she was going on a personal campaign to not answer a text or email for at least an hour after it was received. That gave her the opportunity to properly consider the answer and also complete whatever task she was working on at the time. There was a problem. Most of her correspondents thought she was dissing them, having a technical melt down, or dead.

I have begun a one person campaign. I will answer electronic correspondence when I get around to it. If you don’t like that, pick up the phone and call me.

JVH

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