This morning, per usual, Mia was trying to collect all of her essentials together before rushing out the door. She barely made it to her usual 8:40 bus and found a seat all the way in the back corner. She went to reach for her iPhone in her purse and realized that she forgot it on the kitchen counter next to the coffee maker! Instead of panicking, she decided that one day without her phone might be good for her.
As she stared out the window she noticed a coffee shop that she’d never seen before. She looked around the bus and noticed a sweet elderly woman knitting a scarf. She made a mental note to call and say hello to her grandma as soon as she got home. While she was walking from the bus stop to the office, she payed attention to little details that she would have never noticed if she had her phone with her.
When she walked in to the office she was immediately put in to back-to-back meetings. Throughout the meetings, she began to feel anxious that she was missing texts or emails or that someone needed her.
At lunch time, she got back to her desk, and used her landline to call and check messages on her cellphone. Expecting to hear multiple, she was surprised when the lady on the machine said “no new messages.”
Nowadays phones are practically everywhere you look. From little kids playing games at the dinner table to couples being on their phones on a first date, we can’t seem to get away from them. As a society it seems as if people get so wrapped up in their phones that they forget to live in the moment and to enjoy their surroundings.
A study out of the University of Missouri proved that it is possible to have separation anxiety from your iPhone. Heavy cell-phone users actually show signs of increased heart rate and worrying tendencies when their phone is not near them. How silly is it that we are so attached to a piece of metal and glass?
In such a technology driven world, we become so connected to our phones and so disconnected from everything else. People have a hard time having face-to-face conversations let alone making eye-contact with the person across the table.
I completely understand that in the marketing world, we need to be plugged in at all times to stay current but did you know, being outside and disconnecting from technology is proven to increase creativity? And isn’t being creative and strategic what your clients are paying you for?
So today, instead of a list of how-to’s, I’m giving you a challenge. After you finish reading this blog, disconnect from your phones. Even if it’s for one hour during your lunch break or from the time you get home till you tuck your kids in to bed. Take some time away from your phones and start noticing the world and people around you. I promise it’ll help you be more creative than continuing to scroll through your social media feed for the next 15 minutes.