This morning I was listening to a TED talk by Sherry Turkle called Connected, But Alone?. One of the statements she made was in reference to us being in a meeting, or a room with friends, or even at a funeral, yet we pull out our phones and begin texting or checking our Facebook. "We are getting used to a new way of being ALONE TOGETHER. People want be with each other, but also elsewhere, connected to all the differnt places they want to be. People want to customize their lives. They want to go in and out of all the places they are. Because the thing that matters most is control over where they want to put their attention."
This really come home for me this week when I was in Dallas at a teacher convention called AVID Institute. You see, I bought my first iPhone last weekend. What a wonderful toy. I had never had such access before. It was an incredible draw. Yes, my control over where I give my attention is a big one. Do I pay attention to the speaker? to the friend I am eating dinner with? to the sidewalk I'm walking down? Ok, I admit it, as I was walking out of El Fenix restaurant with my friends, I got a buzz on my phone. While checking my iPhone, I fell off the curb. Once I started falling, everything went into slow motion. I couldn't stop myself. My iPhone went flying one way and my bag of pralines went the other. Boom. Texting and walking don't mix. (The don't Mixson, either).
Why couldn't I just walk and talk with my friends and ignore the buzzing in my back pocket?
I must choose to control where I want to give my attention. I was NOT as attentive as I should have been this week in Dallas. I'm gonna have to make some serious decisions about where I give my attention. When Face-to-Face, I need to BE Face-to-Face.