By Frank McEnulty
Publisher for Tools For A Great Life
I seem to find most of my inspiration these days for my articles from what is written by Bill Evashwick. That may be cheating, but one finds their inspiration where one can find it.
How often do you now email or text people rather than give them a quick call or walking over to their desk at work and asking them the question? If you are like most people I bet it is a lot. It’s simpler, quicker and puts up a barrier in case of any potential conflict. However, have you ever thought about what this is doing to our interpersonal interactions and basic ability to deal with one another.
Sure, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter and others are great for “keeping in touch” and letting people know what you are up to, but are you really connecting with those people? How often have you made what you thought was a simple statement or tried to make a funny that came across to the other person “completely wrong” because the inflection that would have been in your voice or the look that would have been on your face was not also transferred with your words? Of course, that’s why they’ve invented emoticoms, but do those really work as well as a face to face or even an over the phone chat?
Last night at a birthday celebration at our house, I noticed several family members in a group all working their smart phones at which point I quipped, “Are you guys all texting one another instead of actually talking to each other?” How often have you been at a social gathering and you’ve looked around and a large percentage of the people are “on their phones”, not talking, but communicating with someone else who isn’t there?
I know, I know, smart phones are like crack (hence the term crackberry). You hear your phone ding or vibrate and you’ve got to see who sent you what. You try not to look, but it nags you and calls you and bugs you until you think, “I’ll be quick and take a look.” You just can’t help yourself and you’ve temporarily lost connection with those who you are actually with and if you are honest with yourself, 99.99% of what comes through on your phone can wait until later. With the addictive nature of these devices and the almost from birth use of them by my kids and yours I often wonder how they will ever really get to know one another enough to even find lasting relationships.
These thoughts have all led me to a movie idea I have for someone from now (who still actually talks to people) who gets frozen and wakes up 200 years in the future. When he wakes up he is considered basically insane because he actually wants to talk to the people around him rather than communicating only over the devices of the day. Of course, our hero ends up showing the future that they only way to solve the problems the world is facing is through actual spoken communication.
So remember, the next time you accidentally leave your phone at home, don’t panic, enjoy the freedom it brings and talk to those you need to talk to instead of emailing and texting them. You might find it fulfilling and interesting.
About Frank McEnulty
With over 30 years of business management experience, Frank has successfully managed many start-ups, entertainment companies and other entrepreneurial endeavors. While the majority of his experience has been in real estate development, management and turn-around projects, he has also managed operating entities as diverse as live concert venues, consumer products, live pay-per-view events and restaurants.
Mr. McEnulty received his MBA in Venture Management from the University of Southern California in 1980 and has undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance from California State University at Long Beach.
In addition to his working life Frank has spent as much time as possible in the outdoors and working with his hands. He enjoys being out of the city and in the mountains, dessert or on the ocean where it truly is quite and he can really be alone with his own thoughts and the world around him. In addition, Frank thoroughly enjoys woodworking having made at least half the furniture that he and his family have in their house. For a further creative outlet, Frank enjoys the freedom and creative license that woodturning gives to him. As he likes to say, “No sense in having a plan with woodturning, the wood helps dictate what you will make and if you make a mistake, no problem. Just turn something smaller.”