11.7.2012

The Toys That Make Us Stupid.

Why look around and take an interest in what is going on around you when you can look down at four inches of rectangular technology in your hand?

That’s somehow become the silliness we believe.

People don’t matter.  Ideas aren’t worth listening to.  Conversation is too much effort.  Events take too long.

Your toys are making you stupid.

The smartphone in your pocket. The tablet on your nightstand. The bluetooth watch on your wrist.

They make escaping reality all too easy.

  • You don’t need to listen to anyone who disagrees with you. Instead of having an engaging conversation, you just need to find people who back up your opinion — even if you’re both completely wrong.
  • You don’t need to stop and enjoy what is going on right now. Instead of detaching from business and the other stress on your time, you are always connected to people who need something from you.

Over time, you forget how to act like a person. How to talk with other people. How to learn and engage and disagree and negotiate.

Blame it on the technology you can’t live without.

That same technology is making you ineffective at growing your business, asking for help, and getting other people involved in making you successful.

And instead of being emotionally intelligent you act like a Neanderthal.

Look. You don’t need to live in the Dark Ages to be great at dealing with other people. But you do need to realize that selfishly avoiding people so you can read more text off a four-inch smartphone isn’t mentally healthy.  It really is stupid.

Every once in a while you just need to step back and rethink what is important.

If you’re getting stupid, you need to change.

Buy your toys.  Use them.  Buy some more.

But evolve as a person.  As a leader.  As an executive.

  1. Find out what makes out other people tick.
  2. Make new friends with people you “don’t get” yet.
  3. Send thank-you notes to people who are kind to you.
  4. Call someone each day to just “check in” on them.
  5. Stop debating and ask “what makes you say that?”.

Stop hiding behind your need to check another email or make that one more call.

Don’t be stupid.


  • http://twitter.com/JeffersonJon Jon Jefferson

    The idea of “thank you notes” has become so out of the norm now. I have been training myself lately to get in the habit of something so simple. It is kinda crazy that we have to reteach ourselves stuff like this.

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      And the impact is wildly effective… Imagine that: “a personal touch”.

      It works. BIG TIME.

      Dan

  • http://twitter.com/ShivaeStudios Tiffany Ross

    That’s great and all, unless you fall into the category of people that can NOT carry on normal relationships with other people due to various mental/social disabilities. For some of us, this is the only way we CAN communicate with others, otherwise we wouldn’t do it at all.

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      All my best to you, Tiffany. I didn’t mean to offend you. I meant to scold those who know better. That you are trying to communicate is a amazing testimonial.

      Dan

  • tackses

    I’m reading this on a small screen.

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      HaHaHa…. Touche.

      Dan

  • Darren

    I now make it a point to put my “small screen” away when I am in meetings. When people come to speak with me, they get my full attention.

    We have even instigated “email-free fridays” on a monthly basis to try and prevent the level of overload (and improve the humanity) of our business.

    Another great post Dan!

    • http://www.DanWaldschmidt.com/ Dan Waldschmidt

      I try to do the same thing, Darren. I flip my phone over and attempt like madness to put the ringer on vibrate… ‘Tis hard at times. But I’m working on getting better at it.

      Dan

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