We are all becoming slaves of our communication habits. With our mobile devices as the new high priests, we hail the prayer of information and we are bonded by blackberry and iPhone. You do not recognize yourself in this description?
Take this small test to see if you have become a slave to your mobile device:
- Do you never leave home without your mobile device? Get uncomfortable when you do?
- Are you holding your mobile device as soon as you have to wait longer than 30 seconds?
- Do you look at your mobile device, even use it, while someone else is standing next to you and talking with you?
- Do you check e-mail or messages every few minutes, even when there weren’t any the past few minutes?
- Are you using it while you are watching TV, or worse, while talking with your husband/wife/partner/friend?
- Are you using it while sitting on the toilet? Ever dropped it there?
- Do you turn it off, after the plane has taken off? Or even not turn it off at all?
- Do you turn the device back on before you have even left the plane? Or landed?
- Do you use it while talking with customers, business partners, family, friends?
- Does your child have to wait to say something to you until you are done checking your e-mail?
- Is your battery always empty, or are you always complaining about it?
- Is your mobile phone lying next to you when you are in bed?
If you can answer 3 or more of these questions with “yes” then I suspect you are enslaved by your mobile device. You will probably experience cold turkey shivers when you are separated from your device. You are also alienating yourself from those that stand with you trying to interact.
The problem with these devices is that they suck up all your attention. When you are looking at the screen, it takes away your ability to focus on anything else. Especially while using a touch screen. It is impossible to multitask. It makes you look arrogant and uninterested if you give your mobile device more attention than another human being standing next to you. We are addicted to real-time information. We take our high priest of information with us to dinner, parties, at a bar, work, home, on the street, while we are waiting, and even to our beds when we go to sleep. It is enslaving us each time we receive new information. We become information addicts, and feel we gain status when we handle the information beast in public.
It’s time to face this and start taking control of our lives again. Focus again on those things that really matter. Instead of messaging someone electronically, why not pay genuine attention to the person standing next to you? We might find that all this access to real-time information gives us a false sense of control. It doesn’t really make your life better, it just makes you more distant.
Me? I score 7 out of 12. I think I can still be saved, but it won’t be easy. I’ve decided I’m going to get rid of my ridiculous behavior. How about you?