Disconnect to Connect

Today I read a great blog post written by Richard Watson, the publisher of What’s Next (a website that documents global trends) and co-founder of Strategy Insight (a specialist scenario planning consultancy). The blog’s title, Why Doing Nothing is Often Better Than Doing Something, grabbed my attention. What Watson found was that he felt overwhelmed with too much information. He was drowning in the details of life and was missing the boat on being an innovative, creative deep-thinker. He decided to remove most of the media from his life for a few weeks and found that he became a much more reflective, calm person.

Watson claims media’s immediacy creates an environment for us where we don’t have to think … we don’t have TIME to think. All the alerts and status updates are keeping us from “switching off” and experiencing life.

man on beach with laptopI have to admit, I have a pet peeve with acquaintances burying their noses in their phones to update the world with how much they are enjoying their dinner with me. Newsflash — if you’re doing this, you’re not enjoying your dinner with me … and it’s rude to boot. Worse yet are the two-way online conversations between people that are sitting across the room from each other. It’s time to unplug and actually enjoy your meal, your friends and those few hours you get away from your responsibilities.

So, try this: be unavailable for once. Leave your phone at home and turn off the TV more often. Stop with the real-time updates and constant email checks. Doing so opens a part of you that allows you to experience life, remove yourself from unnecessary stresses and gives you an opportunity to genuinely expand relationships with others. Technology is great, but it’s not always the solution. Sometimes it can be the problem.