Thursday 5 July 2012

Are You A Slave To Your Mobile?

This post has little to do with retailing at the Queen Victoria Market so let me apologise in advance for wandering off the track. But I read an article today about the extreme distractions that modern technology inflicts on us, particularly through mobile phones.
This article talked about the growing trend to filling our lives with distractions. How many people do you know who will pull out their phones during dinner or while watching a movie? Hell, I do that! My nieces and nephews, and even my grandchildren do it all the time. Are we losing the ability to concentrate on just one thing at a time. While watching a movie on television they will be checking messages or even playing a game on their phone.

Not everybody is so afflicted. When my wife leaves our market stall to buy lunch or take a break she leaves her phone behind. When I ask "What if I need to contact you?" she says "That's why I'm leaving it behind - I'm on a break".  ....cont'd - click on the article heading to read the rest of this article.

The ultimate distraction is supposed to be when you pull out your phone for no particular reason, just to check if a message has come in (even though you have alerts for that sort of thing). Hell, I do that! And to get back to retailing for a minute, how often do you see traders standing in their stalls with mobile phone in hand? Instead of concentrating on customers, we are looking for distractions, and distractions can be counter productive. It is not a good look if your customer has to interrupt your phone musing to get service.

I am going to introduce a mid-year resolution. I promise to leave my mobile on the hall stand while I am watching a TV show, movie, or sporting event. I promise to resist the urge to take out my phone for no good (business) reason when I serve at my stall. I promise to look for other distractions in life, like going for walks, socializing, and focussing on relaxing pastimes like shopping (it would be nice if that caught on).

Before I claim I am on the path to redemption I should point out that I have typed this whole article on my iPhone while watching Good Morning Australia on TV. Maybe it's incurable?