Smartphones (Android, iPhone, Blackberry) are omnipresent and show no signs of ceasing. Apple has done a dazzling job at creating a new market and turning a commodity into a luxury. Whereas Starbucks brought status and sizzle to coffee, Apple has quickly, miraculously done the same trick to smart phones.
One frightening trend I’ve noticed is the lack of interaction in public places – some of the blame can be placed on devices, including smartphones. I know the workplace has gone mobile. Many professionals use Starbucks as their office, not as a gathering, connecting place. They have a quota to meet, code to finish, campaigns to push.
Many people set aside social interactions or meeting new people in favor of gazing into their cell phone. Yes; business is business. If you need to check an important message, return a phone call, or approve a spec, the attention is warranted.
Look around; this gaze into a Twitter feed, Facebook wall, corporate e-mail inbox or apps sometimes teeters into a flat-out, glazed-over stare. Don’t bother blinking, you might miss a text message, or a deal of the century on Groupon.
I’ve been thinking….
The ‘vanity’ names for smartphones of past and present could double for a list of amusement park rides or alluring colognes:
Could our focus on ‘device contact’ instead of ‘eye contact’ usher in a new group of smartphone names?
- Trance (no wait, there already is a Nokia Trance; can you believe it?)
As my friend Steve Harper, author of ‘the Ripple Effect’ stresses, connections are all around if you would take the time to pay attention and step out of your comfort zone. Remember: don’t set aside the importance of social media for your business. If used appropriately, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (even on your smartphone), can open up connections that were before impossible to achieve.
True meaning, connection, engagement, trust can ONLY happen in a face-to-face meeting – something that no smartphone can replace — no matter how compelling the name.
Until next time,