Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Your Technobilical Cord

On Monday night during the break of a seminar one of the attendees asked me for help. He had a question about writing a business plan. I was delighted to offer an answer, but as I was talking with the young, budding entrepreneur he could not keep from looking at the iPad in front of him…and it had nothing to do with what we were talking about.

I finally pointed at the tablet and said, “Are you with me or with that?” The young guy was stunned for a second that I’d asked. I added, “If you’re with me I’ll be glad to help, but if you’re with that then I’m interrupting.” He slowly nodded and said, “I’m with you.”

This past weekend a young man was shot and killed in a theatre in Wesley Chapel, FL because he wouldn’t stop texting during a movie. The man who shot him is a retired Tampa police officer who has been a member of the Crime Stoppers group in his community. The older man asked the young guy to stop texting and even went to the manager to complain, but when he returned to the theatre the two got into an exchange and now one family has lost a husband and father and another may lose a husband and grandfather to prison.

In his new book, One-Day Contract, University of Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino writes about “The Trap of Technology” and how, if he is talking to a recruit who is constantly checking a cell phone, the coach he doesn’t really want to coach the kid because he knows the player will always be distracted.

I’m far from being a Luddite, the folks who want us all to reject technology and go back to a simpler time tilling the soil with a pointed stick. I love what it can do for us.

But, wasn’t this stuff supposed to make our lives easier?

I hate to admit it but there are times that I find technology grabbing me in ways I don’t appreciate. In yesterday’s blog I decided to give up on one technology and not pursue it.

You’ve had days like I have on which you’ve almost panicked when you drove away from home and realized you had forgotten your cell phone. Did you drive back home to get it? How far did you drive?

I wish I had an easy answer. Technology is so pervasive now that many of us are tethered to our phones/tablets/laptops/etc.

If you couldn’t read this short blog without checking on an email or looking at your phone…think about that.

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