You must, yes must, read this article from CNN, which addresses the very real problem that smartphones present from a cultural point of view. It was contributed by a couple of writers from Brooklyn, N.Y., who are writing a book called "Stuff Hipsters Hate." Sounds like a great bathroom book for my hubby, although I'm not sure he will know what the word hipster means.
Anyway, here's the thing. There are three reasons smartphones are becoming a bigger and bigger problem for we info-overloaded humans:
- We're training a whole new generation of people with acute attention deficit disorder.
- It's dangerous, ala texting while driving or walking a busy city street. Fender benders and pedestrian mishaps galore.
- It's just plain rude. Have you noticed the lull in conversation that occurs when someone decides they have to respond to a text. Or update their Facebook status. OK, so sometimes it can be part of the conversation. Not most of the time.
So, now that you've read this article during a meeting, is there anything about your behavior you plan to change?
For me, the answer is yes. From henceforth, I pledge to focus on being "present" in the present whenever I'm sitting on my friend's patio or having a quick beverage after a rehearsal with my a cappella chorus. Can't promise not to tune out while I'm in the Starbucks line, though. And here's another thing, at least the focus has switched from yakking on mobile phones in public places to a behavior that may be just as rude, but is certainly much more quiet.