I was in a business meeting recently where the other person kept looking at his phone for messages or emails every time it vibrated. He even typed a couple of messages during the hour long meeting while we exchanged important information and discussed a possible business relationship. Do you think I want to do business with this person?
I was reminded of a time when an estate agent was showing me an apartment when his phone rang and he started chatting non-stop. After waiting for about five minutes, I just walked out of the apartment. When he called back to ask what had happened, I told him exactly what had happened and never met him again.
Whether you are in an important business meeting, or having quality time with a loved one, responding to a call or looking at messages/emails only communicates one thing to the other person: You are not as important as the person calling/messaging/emailing me right now. I think these are some of the worst uses of your mobile phone:
- Holding it in your hand or placing it in front of you during a business or personal meeting. If you are expecting a call, let the other person know.
- Looking at it every now and then, and reading emails/messages during important conversations. If you must read or send an urgent message, please excuse first.
- Immersing yourself in your phone when in a social gathering. That only means: Do not disturb, or I am not interested in any conversation.
- Talking loudly on your phone in a public place without any consideration for other people. Either talk softly, or move away from the people.
- Typing on your phone while walking, and expecting other people to watch and move out of your way. Ever seen a collision of two people typing on their phones without looking up?
It’s funny how we use our mobile phones to connect with everyone in the world, and often forget to connect with all the people around us – often the most important people in our lives that we just take for granted.
Here’s a funny video clip of Jerry Seinfeld talking about the ‘iPhone and Blackberry People’.