In case you are wondering the photo is of Ivan Pavlov.
Like most of us email flows into my inbox and my PDA at all hours of the day and night. At times I feel I am drowning in a sea of both relevant and irrelevant emails. But when I come into the office I open my MS Outlook, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, (and a couple of other sites just to check and see what’s been going on since I last looked). Recently I worked out getting those same things on my PDA.
Aside from the fact that the above makes me into some type of information junkie and perhaps even zombie, I do like the ability to monitor my own dashboard of what is going on.
But as I sat in a long meeting yesterday and my phone was buzzing with emails, texts and even a call or two (I can tell the difference by how many buzzes) I resisted the temptation to look at my PDA. And it was ok. I have been going out of my way to not look at it in meetings, at lunches or dinners, or even with my family (probably I am worst to them about that) trying to espouse the philosophy to be in the moment and that in person contact is far superior to electronic contact.
I read an article this week that many people have become so in tune with their devices that they actually to a degree get a rush of dopamine when they receive a message from someone. And some people even get more out that contact than they do a physical one.
I get the idea although I feel in my case the reason is more Pavlovian. Ring that bell and I begin to salivate perhaps? I want to deny this.
I’m going away for a few days next week for a short and needed break. I will have my PDA and my laptop to check things – but I won’t be doing it regularly. In fact I will turn it off after the morning check and not check again until the end of the day. I find that when I do that there is almost nothing that cannot wait 8 hours or so. Also almost universally whatever seems critically important and blazing seems less so with the passage of time.
So I’m going to turn it off for a bit. Can you? Will you?