Stop Texting Me. I’m On The Phone.

I was recently on a call with someone who said, “Hold on a second…” and then shouted into the next room “Please stop texting me. I’m on the phone!”

Think about that for a second.

That same day I was added to a text thread of 10 people that’s been averaging about 30 messages a day ever since. This is a group of people I might see in person a couple of times a year otherwise.

These overly-convenient interactions do not replace real relationship. However they may represent a newer species of relating. Regardless of whether you are signed on or opted in, in these micro interactions, “the doorbell” keeps ringing.

What’s really funny is the disparity between the broader social sphere and individual perspectives:

According to this Gallup Poll, most people believe that they check their smartphones less often than most people. Statistically impossible! We might be seeing an epidemic of delusion.

Thich Nhat Hanh, in his book The Art of Communication, says “technology supplies us with many ways to help us stay connected…yet our communications may be lacking in genuine meaning. Quite simply, many of us have forgotten how to connect authentically.”

A recent article in AdWeek sites a study concluding that people want to be less connected. Not more. With all of this in mind, I would argue that people want to be better connected, if not less. That’s the catch.

The promise of more implies the promise of better but we just aren’t there yet. Are we getting there? Maybe. But right now we’re enamored with technology and awash in opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.