Somedays I consider myself an uber nerd and just want to geek out reading blogs and play on Adobe, other days I am on a mission to ditch all means of technology and just live off the grid - like you can really do that in Orange County? Other days I am sitting at my table with 3 laptops, numerous external harddrives, iPads, iPhones, iThis and iThat.
Before I start, I will admit that 1) I am probably going to sound slightly hypocritical and 2) it took me a while to realize how disturbing technology just can be. When I first started my big girl job I had a crappy PC that looked like the first on that my parents brought home right when we moved to Colorado...Chips Challenge anyone? This thing was so ancient it was essentially a desk top because I had to carry a charger with me where ever I went in order to have the thing have any power. It had a big chip out of the side of it, and the mouse didn't work, I guess you could say it had character?
Flash forward a year and a half later; I have a nice new fancy MacBook Pro to join the rest of the battalion which is slowly growing in size in my livingroom. Finally, a computer that I can bring to meetings, a computer that I can be mobile with, a computer that I knew all the key commands for and could easily force quit a program if that even became necessary - I was STOKED! All those months of sitting through thirty minutes meetings checking my e-mail on my phone, gone - see ya later.
After I read a colleagues blog about bringing computers in and the level or rudeness it implies it hit me....
It is rude to be constantly checking your e-mails - who am I anyways...just little Elizabeth, my
e-mails can wait. The company is not going to crash and burn because I cannot answer an e-mail at a record setting pace. So then I stopped. Unless I absolutely have to tote my computer to a meeting for a visual presentation I leave it hooked up, attached to the ole' ball and chain (aka the power cord and the inter web). Plus, there is so much more excitement when you get back to your desk and you have e-mails sitting with a little blue dot next to them. Right?
Second, the phone. My sleek little iPhone 5 in its teal cover is such a distraction - prying myself away from this has been the biggest challenge for me. I bring my phone everywhere, not because I want to do work related stuff on a personal phone while sitting in a meeting. But, because of my love for my family and concern I have I feel like I need it with me - anything could happen at any moment - BUT - does that mean that I need to sit there and text? Probably not. Does it mean that I need to stop a conversation and/or a meeting to answer something that does not pertain to work? No way jose! Okay, so sometimes I find myself gawking at the adventures all my friends are off having in the non-corporate lifestyles they have pursued prior to a meeting starting and may or may not slightly run over in the opening of discussion... ONLY maybe though... I challenge myself to either place my phone inside my notebook or leave it on my desk so it cannot be a distraction. We have plenty of time to be connected to the world through .coms, .orgs, and FTP's - disconnect while you are in meetings or talking with someone, have a meaningful conversation make sure you're have a firm understanding of what is being discussed - wait to answer that e-mail, text or phone call. Look the person in the eye.
Not only am I trying to carry the no phone/distance with technology throughout my work day, I am also trying to make this part of my home life. It is almost reverse of work - I am home. I am off the clock. This is the time that I am supposed to spend connecting with friends and family, checking social network sites and whatever else I deem appropriate.
Challenge yourself...maybe it you don't have to disconnect with your iThis and iThat, but, I am sure there is another habit that you have that would be worth breaking. Give it a whirl...I promise it will make you feel better.
Time to turn the computer off for the night...
Sending Love from SoCal