One of my favorite features on my smart phone is Airplane Mode. Yes, seriously, Airplane Mode. You know that function which keeps your phone from connecting to networks, the internet or cell phone communication. I love that feature!
I know that may sound rather stupid. Why would my favorite feature on an amazing communication and information gathering device be to disable its ability to do all those amazing things? While I’m a huge fan of smart phone technology and the benefits they provide, I also appreciate the ability to hold that technology at bay when it starts to become a hindrance to what I should be currently focusing on.
For example, I don’t need internet access, text messaging, email, or social media updates when I’m:
- Focusing on a task or project that requires my full concentration.
- Enjoying a non-technical event or outing.
- Spending face-to-face time with other people.
In these instances, rarely, if ever, does the intrusion of a smart phone add to the occasion.
In addition to putting our phones on Airplane Mode, I think we can do likewise with ourselves and our environment. We can remove distractions and external intrusions that hinder our ability to be fully engaged in the events and the people in our lives by taking simple steps like:
- Engage in activities that are active and require participation and interaction from everyone involved.
- Spending time with people in a non-technical environment, like the outdoors or a space without computers, televisions and other devices that vie for your attention.
- Declare the next outing or event with friends or family an “Airplane Mode event” where all participants place their phones on Airplane Mode, during the event.
Sure, these ideas may seem awkward at first, but taking steps to better connect with those close to you is always worth pursuing. Who knows, you might be amazed at how much actually learn about others.