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Some days it seems like the whole world is addicted to their smartphones!
You can't walk one city block without encountering someone, and more often many people, trying to text and walk, usually badly.
Despite mass awareness, legislative change and police clamp downs you cannot commute home without passing people with their phones in their hand. These people are willing to risk their lives, other people's lives and at a minimum the property damage of a car accident rather than put the smartphone away.
"A texting driver will take an EXTRA 70 feet to stop at 70 mph." Car and Driver Study
Go to any busy restaurant and you will see a number of people on their devices and even more people with their devices sitting just waiting to be picked up at the hint of an email, text or call! Don't these people want to talk to their fellow diners?
Go to the average work meeting and ask people to switch off their mobile phones and you will be met with awe and dismay. Too often you will spot meeting "participants" on their device, responding to "important" emails or more likely texting another meeting "participant" instead of engaging in the meeting.
"Multitasking often leads to messing two things up simultaneously." Farhan Thawar
When did we all become so important that we cannot be "offline" for a couple of hours?
As an addiction, the smartphone is particularly dangerous because not only does it pander to our need to be in touch with our friends and family 24/7 but it also gives us access to the internet 24/7. We need never again have to wait minutes to hear the news, or a sports score ... our smartphone delivers it to us AND even tells us when it arrives!
None of this is rational.
If we made rational decisions then we would schedule time to check our email, as it fits in with our work.
We might keep in contact with friends and family, but periodically at lunch or maybe during an afternoon break.
We would not need to know about the news "as it happens" because we would be focused on the task at hand, which most days of the week is our job.
In meetings we would put the thing away, provide constructive input to the meeting and address anything else after the meeting.
We might employ hands free technology in our cars to talk while driving. However our eyes would be on the road and our hands guiding the vehicle ... not texting our friends.
"A drunk driver is 4 (FOUR) times more likely to have an accident. A sober driver texting is 8 (EIGHT) times more likely to have an accident." Insurance Company Statistics
A rational choice would be to drive our day, to be as productive as possible and to use the smartphone as a tool.
Instead ... we let our smartphones interrupt our lives, impact our productivity, hurt our relationships AND worse still, possibly kill us, and others.
Does this make sense to anyone?
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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