I recently worked with a group of colleagues…in generational terms we were a mix of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers…all strong
technology users. Research shows that Generation X and Y’ers (born in the 60’s to early 2000) are comfortable using PDAs, cellphones, and laptops….Baby Boomers have quickly caught on to these devices.
Mobile devices keep us connected 24-7, but….
In life there is always a but….
What is the impact on personal interaction as a result of this constant use or misuse? I hadn’t really thought about it until I was with this group for two days. At breakfast…the Boomers sat with the USA today until another colleague arrived….conversation ensued….the Gen X’ers arrived with mobile devices in hand. Breakfast for them was thumbing thru emails, and surfing the net while interacting around the table. Dinner was no different….devices never left their hands…though they engaged in the conversation their eyes constantly shifted to their device as they read, surfed and replied to emails…shouldn’t the behaviors be out of bounds during dinner with anyone? We don’t talk on the phone at the dinner table. Why is it now ok to text, surf or read messages…has etiquette been deleted from meal time?
I know I become curious when my phone vibrates when out to dinner…it is hard not to look…I wonder if my kids are ok…if we have parents who are ill we feel we need to be connected…I will excuse myself from the table for a call that must be taken.
Do you have a texter or email reader at your dinner table? It isn’t always the Gen X or Y’ers…Baby Boomers…can be at fault too…work from the office is carried to the dinner table…
What message do we send to colleagues, friends or family…are they less important than the person you are texting. Maybe it’s time to have a conversation at the table rather than under the table.