I recently [shared some images taken on the bike][bikeimage], and while I enjoy taking pictures of the stuff I get to see, I’m out there to really experience it too. Even the morning that post went up I was riding and watched the sun rise over the local mountains and I thought about taking a picture to tweet about it, but then I just stopped and enjoyed it.

> At a coffee catch-up yesterday, the person I met with was too busy typing meeting minutes in Google Docs to actually have a face-to-face conversation with me. Even after I received his play-by-play account of our meeting via email, I left feeling as if we wasted time and never went deep enough to discuss specific, critical issues.

When I’m out with a client and need to take notes I always use my [Moleskine][msnote] notebook instead of my iPad or MacBook Pro. I do this for the simple fact that the technology gets in the way of building a rapport with the potential client. No my notes don’t stay in the book, I transfer them to nvALT for long term storage.

When I’m out having coffee with a friend, and it’s not meeting to work in a coffee shop together, I purposely leave my phone alone. The only person I’ll answer my phone for is my wife, all other calls go to voicemail. On a number of occasions I’ve had a friend wonder why I’m letting messages go to voicemail, then I tell them that my time is their’s.

I do all of the above in an effort to not let tech get in the way of actually living life. 99% of everything else is more important than what is currently happening on your social network of choice.

[bikeimage]: https://curtismchale.ca/2012/04/18/get-out-of-your-office/ “Get Out of the Office”
[way]: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/04/stop_documenting_start_experienc.html “Stop Documenting, Start Experiencing”
[msnote]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/8883701127/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=strugwithfait-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=8883701127 “Moleskine Ruled Notebook – Amazon”

4 responses to “Do You Let Your Tech Get in the Way?”

  1. Eric Mann Avatar

    I read a similar post by Scott Hanselman a few months ago. He encouraged people, when out to meals with friends/family, to stack smartphones in the corner and ignore them. I laughed at the idea because, well, I know when and when not to be using my phone.

    Then I took my parents and brothers out to dinner one day … and had to ask each and every one of them to put the phones away so we could actually have a conversation. Tech seems to get in the way of the tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy alike. Still, life is infinitely more important than anything happening on that piece of plastic in my pocket.

  2. curtismchale Avatar

    I didn’t mention that my wife (and daycare actually) has a special ring so that I don’t even need to look at my phone to know it’s her calling. The wife is also the only call I answer on my bike since she will only call if it’s truly serious.

  3. Cathy Tibbles Avatar

    Thats interesting… my hubby and I use tech together all the time – more like, “look at this, hon!” stuff like that… we don’t actually WORK in front of each other.

    At home, I use the phone (the real phone) in the same way – I answer it when its convenient for ME, not the caller. My parents think I’m absolutely nuts. If the phone rings – they jump. I think they’re nuts. it works well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the idea of putting the camera away and enjoying the sunrise. Some moments should just be enjoyed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. curtismchale Avatar

      My wife and I do show things to each other, but we also often say that we feel like we have not really talked in a while. I’m sure that many couples say that but I wonder if the tech gets in the way?

      All of my family and friends have a special ring actually. So after work hours I know if it’s a call that I am even interested in taking or not. Yup that means no client calls in the evening since they don’t match up with the ring. I don’t even look, though I do check the voicemail if there is one just in case it is something that I need to address right away.