When Devices Create Divisiveness

Device use continues to go up.
According to comScore’s “2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus” report, the average American adult (18+) spends 2 hours, 51 minutes on their smartphone every day. This might be a record. What does this mean when our monthly consumption is more than 86 hours a month? Especially when other research indicates these number are actually far larger when you include other screens such as pads and laptops. A study conducted by Flurry shows we are actually give our attention to mobile devices more than 5-hours per day in the USA. Other research reports that adults devote more than 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to their screens and digital devices.

Authentic communication contributes to your well-being.
As social media, entertainment, search, and shopping take up larger portions of our time less time is being given to actual communication — authentic human connection. In the simplest of terms this means that too often with devices our “messages” are not coming across accurately. When conversations are not face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, and instead we choose to communicate through media or devices, the opportunity for misunderstanding is increased.

Consider this with Gallup’s current report on global well-being. In September 2018 Gallup reported that their research from 2017 indicates that the global “Negative Experience Index” score was pushed higher. Overall worry and stress levels increased two percentage points from the previous year. Reportedly nearly 4 in 10 people said they experienced a lot of worry (38%) or stress (37%), and slightly more than 3 in 10 (31%) experienced physical pain. At least 1 in 5 experience sadness (23%) or anger (20%).  With all of this stress it’s no wonder people want to put their ear buds in and listen to something on their phones.

The dog chasing its tail.
Increased device use leads to increased stress, which can lead to increased device use, and etc. Does this sound like an addiction? Stress combined with increased device can ultimately lead to further misunderstandings. All of which impacts our connections or our willingness to remain connected with one another. If our device communications create experiences such as surprise, confusion, disappointment, frustration or any version of a negative takeaway without the opportunity to resolve it directly with an individual — this increases stress, worry and even conflict between people.

Create valuable change for your communication in life and at work.
As one client described it, “Communicating mostly through email, text, and social media seems to have made things less respectful between people. It brings up disagreements and misunderstandings that would not happen face-to-face or even via phone”.  All of these experiences and subsequent reactions may not be what people really want — yet it begs these questions:

  • Isn’t it time to realize that device use can create divisiveness?
  • Isn’t it time to make new choices related to device use?
  • Are we willing to take back healthy control?
  • How can we change our relationship with our smart phones?
  • Are we willing to talk directly with one another?
  • Going forward, how can you align your values with your device use?

Energize your values, vision and vitality with Promoting Brilliance.

Contact Beth Wellesley at 612.824.0454 (o) or 612.325.5104 (m). Email her at beth@promotingbrilliance.com or use the CONNECTING menu.