Published on November 16, 2017, at 12:56 p.m.
by Hyland Stockton.
Meeting begins. Cue laptops and cell phones.
Five minutes in, you realize you have no idea what has been said, but at least you look busy, right?
Well, maybe not.
While technology offers many benefits, it also hinders true interaction and keeps people from being genuinely present in meetings and other similar situations, like class.
Yes, people often use the excuse “but I’m a good multitasker” — when in reality, it may not be as true as they like to believe.
People are reachable 24/7 with today’s technology. While it may be beneficial for PR professionals to have such constant connection, it is important to think about the repercussions. We lose personal connection when we rely too much on technology. With the ease of an instant reply, we can miss out on valuable responses because we don’t take the time to think them through.
As a millennial, I often want to argue with this fact, but last year I realized how true it was during CreateAthon, a 24-hour, pro-bono marketing campaign. With very few distractions from the outside, we were able to present our clients with lots of quality communication work. This was when I grasped the importance of face-to-face communication and collaboration.
While working, the core leadership sat down and discussed this creative atmosphere. Our leader, Katie Gatti, started by talking about the first time she realized the value of being fully present when she was talking to a seasoned, highly demanded executive. He never reached for his phone or took his attention from the conversation. If a person with his power and responsibility can be this present, why can’t we?
People are so concerned with being reachable 24/7. It is almost considered rude when you don’t respond immediately. But, is it? Or, is it worse to respond immediately while you should be paying attention to something else?
Whether in a meeting or even responding to emails, be present. An hour-long meeting with people interacting and collaborating has the potential to be more productive than a three-hour meeting with one person talking at people. In addition, a thoughtful response leads to less room for mistakes and miscommunication. Not only will this approach allow for more things to get accomplished; it is simple etiquette.