By James Kwak
No, it’s not a line from a pop song. It’s part of my hopeless, Luddite anti-smart phone campaign. This is from an interview with Tachi Yamada, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program.
“When you actually are with somebody, you’ve got to make that person feel like nobody else in the world matters. I think that’s critical.”So, for example, I don’t have a mobile phone turned on because I’m talking to you. I don’t want the outside world to impinge on the conversation we’re having. I don’t carry a BlackBerry. I do my e-mails regularly, but I do it when I have the time on a computer. I don’t want to be sitting here thinking that I’ve got an e-mail message coming here and I’d better look at that while I’m talking to you. Every moment counts, and that moment is lost if you’re not in that moment 100 percent.”
Yamada is just one person; because he feels this way doesn’t prove that you should, too. But I bet some of you will agree with him, and will start switching your BlackBerrys off when you are talking to other people. But over time, you will find yourself leaving it on, and then you will find yourself surreptitiously checking it under the table. It’s like chocolate ice cream; it’s too hard to say no to.