Modern Communication – Joy of Silence
I have just recovered my Blackberry after being without it for almost 4 weeks and joy of joy it has 350 emails, messages, tweets, you name it as well as a host of missed phone calls.
So what do?
Delete all of the messages and start again?, or try to answer them all?
My initial step was to try to sort out the wheat from the chaff of useful and important from the dross of being copied into messages for what appears to be no other purpose than to allow the sender to be able to say ” I told everyone” so it’s not my fault.
I’ve always been sceptical of people and especially those of my generation who talk about the good old days when every street corner apparently had a local copper who would clip you around the ear and tell your dad, or the apparently fantastic experience of waking up with ice on the inside of the windows as if it was what built character.
Being without a mobile phone for a month has made me aware that the world continues to go on and that the majority of the calls and messages I get on it are not only unimportant but worse still ‘time stealers’.
It has been well published during the same period that a cashier at a branch of a well-known supermarket refused to serve a customer because she was on her mobile phone.
All I can say is bravo and well done to the cashier.
What is it about a mobile phone and especially those that you can also access emails/texts on that make their owners suddenly become amongst the most ignorant on the planet?
How many of us have been cut off during a face to face conversation with someone when their mobile goes off and is immediately answered or they read a newly arrived text or email?
Would they suddenly cut you off if someone walked up to them and gave them a newspaper article, or book?
Would they just walk away to talk to someone else and expect you to wait patiently until they had finished and come back to finish the conversation?
So what should you do?
When it happens should you walk away and leave them stranded in their own ignorance?
The argument of course is that they have to answer the incoming call because “it may be important” but then again it might not be and anyway whose to say what you are talking to them about isn’t important?
How many times do people have to stand listening to one side of what is usually nothing more than someone having a ‘private chat’ on the mobile phone, and how insulted would they be if they were talking face to face with someone and we stood alongside them listening into their conversation?
What is the difference?
So why do we put up with people acting the way they do with mobile communications?
The problem is it isn’t only when you’re talking to people that it happens but also in meetings with those who are almost welded, if not wedded to their devices tapping away on their beloved device/s while other are speaking or business is being conducted.
Worse still they then take umbrage that having missed something during their communicating through the inter/intranet others refuse to repeat what they have just said.
I therefore have a plan,
When someone cuts me off to answer their mobile phone I’m just going to leave irrespective of the importance of the subject being discussed.
Similarly if in a meeting those who are supposed to be a part of the meeting think their time would be better spent on their mobiles I’ll ask if they will share with everyone else.
A throwback to the ‘good old days’ when the teacher asked those who gossiped in class and didn’t pay attention to share the note they’ve just passed or the comment just made with everyone.
What has become clear to me in the last month is that mobile phones and devices are overrated and certainly over used which is why I have decided I’ll only be switching mine on for 4 hours every day between 1000 and 1400 and have taken to obtaining an old-fashioned ‘Pager’.
What with emails, mobiles and Ipads et al communication is so much easier, the problem is it also is the greatest time waster of all time impinging on our lives 24/7, 365 days a year.
Now that really is the modern rat race in action?