Digital Addiction (#learntoverbalize) by Dwayne Castle

Digital Addiction (#learntoverbalize) by Dwayne Castle

Have you seen the youtube video of the lady falling into the fountain while walking and texting? Type the words "walking and texting fails" in your search bar and you will find a plethora of videos for your demented enjoyment.

Digital distraction abounds and it is affecting our health and our safety. Getting to the point of this post, it is having a horrible effect on how we as people are relating to one another.  

I mentioned in one of my recent posts (here) about the importance of manners, and briefly described the cashier who scanned and bagged my groceries without eye contact or uttering anything beyond the total due. I touched on the idea that we, as a society, are ironically becoming less and less social in this so-called social era. 

As if on queue, I then had a teacher friend of mine share a snippet of a talk he recently had with a high school guidance counselor.  The counselor was having a"what do you want to do when you graduate" conversation with a student.

The student was unable to make eye contact and struggled with the articulation of his thoughts. The same student did manage to mutter that he thought he may want to be a lawyer. Imagine this young man, in this condition, giving the closing argument in a legal proceeding, on your behalf. Thank you, no.  

The counselor had the brilliant idea of conducting the rest of the meeting via text, with the student sitting across from him. According to my friend's account, the student responded by text with beautifully elaborate answers. Apparently, he has real depth and passion to him but is unpracticed or unable to convey that depth and passion in a face to face situation. 

I just read a study from 2014 that indicates that people (not just kids) switch between their electronic devices up to 21 times per hour. Makes me wonder how much time those same people spend engaged with the people in their vicinity. 

We are losing the ability to converse one on one because as I've said in previous posts, we spend so much time speaking in abbreviations and thumbs up, happy face emoticons. I'm not on a crusade to end social media or texting but I am on a mission to make us more aware of the people in front of us than the happenings on our devices.

Let's set some time aside for actual conversations. Let's talk about our thoughts and emotions, not text them.  Let's not bring our devices to the dinner table. Let us learn to look into the eyes of the person across from us, not into the electronic glow we are holding in our palms. 

If we can do those things, we will see a whole new dimension of growth in our personal and professional relationships. IMHO.

Would you say that your experience in today's electronic environment reflects full engagement with the people that enter your sphere of influence? How about their engagement level with you? I'd love to hear back from you in the comments section below. Be sure to not miss a post by entering your email in the subscription box at the bottom of this page. Please comment, like, and share.Thanks for joining me today.