What’s in Control?

I am OK with the fact that I am just not that important. Based on what I see, it must be true.

During my travels, I continue to be astounded at the total command Blackberrys and other devices have on peoples’ lives. Although many will occasionally bump into me when passing in an airport hallway, some have already adapted in some Darwinian way. Their heads are down, but they seem to have a hidden, extra set of eyes that guide them safely as they walk and read. Quite amazing, really.

The point is, I see so many who are addictively tethered to their smartphones, checking messages or searching all the time. Is their work that time sensitive? Are they that important that seconds or minutes will make a difference? Or are they perhaps simply more comfortable avoiding life around them?  Hmm.

Recently I was eating breakfast at a hotel watching a spectacular sunrise out the window. Reminded me of the awesome raw beauty of nature. As I occasionally glanced around the room, every other person was head down in their phones, scrolling or texting away. Such a loss if they missed it. Yet they would probably tell me, there will always be more sunrises for them to see, but the messages they are reading right now must be dealt with right now.

Of course there are priorities requiring immediate attention, but everything? The funny part is when I ask people if they ever get any good news, the most frequent response by far is no. Most of what people are checking in on is “stuff” as they call it, messages that will be immediately dumped. But, oh the need to be on line at every moment.

As for me, I have glad that I have time when traveling to slip in a sunrise or a conversation with someone new. Fortunately, I am not so important that someone needs my input every moment during the day, nor do I need to be intimately involved in every single thing going on.  That allows me to experience  other important things in my life, which occur outside of being plugged in. Thank goodness I take advantage of those opportunities.

I will close by saying if you text me during breakfast when the sun is just breaking through the horizon, or when I am cabbing by the monuments of Washington DC or the historic buildings of Montreal, you will likely have to wait for a response. I will be off line, with my eyes up and out, taking in the world. I apologize up front if you are offended. And I also encourage you to break away from your electronic comfort zone once in a while and give it a whirl. You might find it refreshing.


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