The “Heads Down Display”

I speak to a lot of people on a range of topics. But what I’m realizing more, and more these days, is there may be a test you can self administer on whether you’re really heading in the right direction in both business, and your personal life. Let’s call it a “correlation.” or if you prefer we can use the term “causation.” Both terms have different meanings, however the outcome for the individual is the same in my opinion. So what’s the test?

Do you walk with your head up looking forward at people, places, and things? Or do you walk with your head down while texting, surfing, or anything else you can do on a phone these days? Here’s another variation on the same theme. Do you sit across from a person at a table, and engage in conversation? Or do you have your head down checking your phone every 30 seconds waiting to see the next twit, tweet, or update so you can immediately, twit, tweet, or update a response? Sad to say, but I think too many people can’t pass this test. I am also becoming convinced of late that it just might be the equivalent of showing a persons “caliber” as what one thinks quietly when seeing someone at a black tie event showing up in shorts, and flip-flops. Yes, I really think it’s that telling.

People argue the need to “be in touch” with the same furor one hears if talking politics or religion. The younger the person the more the eyes roll as in “you just don’t get it.” Problem is, I believe I do get it. This is not a new phenomena if looked through the eyes of time. It’s only a different tool, allowing for the same behavior. In other words, not paying attention, and willing to fill ones time with mindless tasks, while having no regard whether the behavior is unproductive, or impolite. I don’t care who you are, or how important you think you are. There is no reason why you should be on the phone talking while at the counter of any business making a transaction. There is also no reason except to display that you might have been abducted by aliens, and under mind control if you’re walking around with a blue light flashing in your ear while carrying on a conversation to what appears empty space. To those of you shopping, it looks like you’re talking to the mannequins. (Which makes you look oh so intelligent. Just saying.)

Technology has changed everything, and at a breakneck speed. It has also ushered in a time like never before that busy work can look like real productivity. And people who argue the most about how productive they are, in reality, are only being productive at looking busy. And they are professionals in that discipline.

If you are trying to get more out of the day, or more out of life I suggest you turn off your phone at times. I personally don’t turn mine on 1/2 the time, and if I need to be accessible for any reason, that’s what voice mail is for. If it’s important, I’ll get the message.

If you want to be really productive, or not look foolish while you’re surfing, texting, and chewing gum. There’s an App that let’s you see where you’re going while you’re looking down. This way you don’t bump into those of us that are watching where both we, and you are heading. Then again, just having the App might mean taking the test is not needed. You’d already have the results.


© 2011 Mark St.Cyr  All Rights Reserved