If you read this blog regularly you’ll remember a story I told about my iPhone getting wet while on a fishing trip in Louisiana.  The phone quit working and I was without service for a few days.  I was able to replace the phone at an AT&T store in New Orleans but little did I know that I wasn’t really replacing my phone.

I had an iPhone 4S and when given the option to upgrade to a 5 or stay with the 4S I chose to stay.  My thought process was as follows; if I upgrade I’ll have to buy new components and chargers because the 5 has a different size charging port so I thought I’d be both smart and thrifty by staying with the 4S.  Little did I know, and the sales person failed to inform me, that Apple only makes the 4S in 8 gig as opposed to the 16 gig I had.  When I downloaded my back up from my 16 gig to the new 8 gig only a portion of what I had saved came back.  I lost A LOT of stuff.  I also lost my free upgrade.

About a week ago I gave in and purchased a 5S which I should have done in the first place especially since the upgrade would have saved A LOT of money.  A lesson has been learned and the whole ordeal got me thinking again about my dependence on my smart phone.

After my phone was waterlogged I was without service for most of two full days.  No calls, no texts, no emails – no nothin!  Those two days also caused me to look around and realize what a distraction my phone actually is.  I like things to happen immediately, I don’t like to wait and in reality who does?  My phone allows me to respond to questions timely and speed decisions or shorten the time in which I can provide support to someone.  My phone also causes me to be mentally someplace other than where I am and at times that’s a problem.

I recently read an article about Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast last year.  During the hurricane people were observed standing under their umbrellas charging their cell phones in the outlets on the outside of buildings.  There’s really nothing like a crisis to help us understand what’s important in life.  Apparently our phones and connectivity are right up there with food and shelter in a time of crisis.

It’s ironic that the cell phone that keeps me so connected also disconnects me from situations I’m involved in.  I can physically be in a meeting, but mentally be anywhere I want to be.  I can be talking to someone while glancing at my phone, determining which fire to put out next, thus only giving half of my attention to both parties.

I don’t believe I’m alone in my actions, I see it in others every day and I’m worried that the problem will continue to grow.  I believe we will all need to evaluate how to be more in the moment and present to those around us as opposed to sharing our attention with the many distractions caused by the wired world.  The person you can touch deserves more attention than the person you’re trying to “Tweet”.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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2 Responses to Dis-Connected

  1. Stephanie Ashworth says:

    So true! Distracted people are becoming the “norm” in society. I see people distracted more and more in the check-out line, at meetings, meals, and even church! Recently, I was tempted myself to “browse” Facebook and get “caught up” with my Facebook friends during dinner instead of paying attention to the people who are sitting around the table with me. This realization made me decide to leave my phone in another room during dinner…and when we eat out, I try to remember to leave it in the car. Face to face time with my husband and kids is way more important…but so is being attentive and courteous to the teller at the bank, the waiter or grocery store clerk, my co-workers, and even my pastor!

    • We have a rule at our house “You can check your phone at the dinner table when/if you’re a doctor”. We had to add the word “if” because we have friends who are doctors.

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