Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 14.12 – Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?

Stack of smart phones

Stack of smart phones

Reflection: I’m worried about us. Not in a global warming, political upheaval, where is the world headed kind of way. But rather in a very specific ‘why don’t we choose to be more present’ sort of way.

While facilitating recent seminars, I’ve noted – and not for the first time – that as soon as there is a pause in the program the majority of people seem compelled to plug their phones into the gap.

Like the fictional Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike, today’s smartphones serve as the first line of defense against potential threats like these: a moment of down time, the possibility of original thought, and the risk of actually connecting with a live person positioned within arm’s reach.

While answering email, returning texts, scanning Facebook, and checking news feeds may give the illusion of connectedness, I propose that the opposite may also be true.

Instead of enhancing connection, this habitual behavior insulates us from the moment at hand, distances us from creative thought, and diminishes the likelihood of meaningful live conversation.

Our ‘reach for the phone’ knee-jerk habits actually keep us reacting and retorting and stop us from reflecting and relating.


Action: Here’s a challenge for today  – and for tomorrow, too.

For a specific length of time (and do make it longer than 10 seconds) consciously choose to put your phone on ice.

Place it out of sight and out of reach.

Be in the moment. Be with yourself. Be with each other.

Who knows what amazing things may happen!


Quotes Of The Week: My inbox is full but my life is empty. – S Tuominen

Attention is the most powerful tool of the human spirit. – Linda Stone

If you don’t like being with yourself, how can you expect others to like being with you? – Guy Kawasaki


Resource Of The Week: Here is a helpful article by Guy Kawasaki titled Let’s Stop the Glorification Of Busy. It features ten tips from Arianna Huffington’s new book, ‘Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success & Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder’.


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Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

4 Responses to “PAUSE – 14.12 – Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?”

  1. Cheryl Norgaard

    Good Morning….
    This is so true…and I find it overwhelming….yesterday at work a young employee…showed me his new watch…..I don’t know if it even tells time because he was showing me how he can get updates and messages just like the I phones etc….a watch… we use to say take your watch off for a day and just be off the clock….why has it gone quickly in a different direction….I am heading to a yoga weekend at Elkridge this weekend and I can’t wait…..once a year I head here and there in those classes (I hope it hasn’t changed) phones are not around…I am going to personally shut mine off and leave it in the room all day and not use it except to phone home at night and say hi….Thank you for the reminder Have a great day

  2. Pat Katz

    I enjoyed your report of the conversation with your employee. Years ago I recall my husbands uncle arriving for a visit. My status conscious mother in law regaled him with the amazing features of her new timepiece (although messaging was not involved, multiple time zones and alarms were). Zelig (a very simple and straightforward man) took it all in and replied, “I, too have a watch, and it does a very nice job of telling me the time.” Have a wonderful tech-free yoga retreat. Elkridge will be a lovely spot for such an experience.

  3. les handford

    I went to a facilitated senior leader meeting yesterday on culture and values. These are the champions.

    Eyes were often down, fingers flying, focus on a small screen and not the facilitator or content.

    It is so common place one never seems to blink (facilitator did not)but wonder what this says about our culture and our attention spans for what is important. Urgent seems to be becoming the new important!

  4. Pat Katz

    Thanks for your comment, Les. Does give one pause to consider exactly what is being championed by this kind of behaviour, doesn’t it? Puzzled R Us!

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