The perfect couple
I am watching a couple sitting in a coffee shop, well I’m assuming that the fact they have walked in together and kissed each other on the cheek means they are together. But now I’m not so sure, they haven’t made eye contact since, both are engrossed in a small plastic touch-screen they are clutching. He is smiling at his screen, and she is frowning at hers. Maybe they are emailing each other? Maybe by some freak of nature neither of them are able to talk and so they email each other to communicate. Occasionally they look up and share a snapshot of what is taking their attention. It’s not an invitation to a conversation, more of an excuse for their absence. Only their bodies are in the coffee shop, the rest of them are iLost out in the ether, connecting with millions of others who have also left their bodies parked somewhere. Their sex life must be electric…not! Or maybe I’m old-fashioned, I mean, you don’t even need to touch a real human to access sex at the touch of a button.
A mother and cheeky faced toddler come back from the till with a tray loaded with sugary bribes. She sits down, he wants her to play. She gets her phone out and becomes engrossed in the screen whilst trying various different distractions with her left hand which look like she is reaching out for a light switch in the dark. He isn’t fooled by her remaining body, he knows she has left the building, is iLost, so up’s the anti of his noise. All he wants is her quality time but he only knows three words, iPhone, iPad and mum.
Relationships can’t be made using technology, relationships come from conversations and shared experiences, relationships build-trust and true intimacy. This is why we get annoyed when a computer voice calls us from our bank, why we avoid the computer tills, the computer petrol pump etc. It creates a barrier to trust.
At any one second there is a gazillion terabytes of stuff inviting you to leave your body, the trick is to be in charge of it. These terabytes love to fill your unattended and unvalued space, so unless you want your candy crush score etched on your gravestone, put the god damned thing down sometimes and go ask another human being how they are today.
Are you a pixel slave?
Last year I saw many clients with an addiction to their iPad in the 50-65yr bracket. They had rewired themselves to get achievement from their word search scores, instead of their businesses. (I mean who is going to ask the CEO what they are really doing?) Spending time in chatrooms and only grunting at their partners for six months, inventing excuses to sneak off and spend time online. One guy even booked himself into a hotel so he could indulge in candy crush guilt free. Pixels are the new mistresses and affairs of 2019.
So ask yourself when you get the urge to escape through the plastic screen ‘Where do I need to be present in my life right now?’ Get in charge of your technology and use it to create more time to have the freedom to spend quality time with those that you love.