Connected but Disconnected

I generally consider myself rather savvy about the world of electronics, not compared to my children, but surely amongst my peers.   I have a good working knowledge of  a computer and the Microsoft suite of products, have an iPhone, iPad, and Shuffle.  I rely on the GPS system in my car and  use a Nike GPS chip to track calories burned  while exercising.   But that being said, a problem has surfaced.  My use of electronics has gone hay-wire! I am addicted to “Words with Friends”, “Scramble”, and “Hanging With Friends” on my iPad and can easily “Scrabble away” hours of my day!  While I might argue that I am exercising my brain, this electronically based behavior conflicts with my top need to feel productive and positively impact those around me.

I thought the iPad was going to be the answer to my dreams.  It was light weight for travel and could instantly connect me with family, friends, and clients at the flick of the on-switch.  And with the 3G service, I wouldn’t have to be in a WiFi environment to connect!  The possibilities were endless.  I could be connected in my car, on the beach, at the doctor’s office, and while waiting for a hair appointment. With the iPad  I would be totally connected!!!  That all sounded good until my ability to connect caused me to disconnect.

I was at the airport waiting for my flight and playing “Words with Friends,” on my iPad.  My head was down, I was losing a game, and I was focused. I saw an opportunity with a coveted “S” tile to add to an already existing word,  extend to a  triple-word space, while using the letter “J”, a 10 point tile!  This was going to put me in the lead and clinch the game! In my deep focus I was only slightly aware of a cell phone conversation nearby.

The distraught man, pacing back and forth, was explaining  he left his book at home.  He did not like to fly and reading was the only thing that distracted him from his anxiety.  I heard him but I was about to submit a 75 point word and those big point-words don’t come along every day!

Moments later, I saw a “very connected” woman without any fancy electronic device in her hands, approach the man, and offer  him two magazines.  Unlike me, this woman was connected to her environment, to the people around her, one of whom had a problem. She was not bogged down with an electronic device that would take her to another world and shut out the world in which she actually lived.

And there you have it.  In my attempt to connect electronically, I missed a very real opportunity to connect with someone right next to me.  I was not connected at all.    Pre-iPad, I always met people in the airport, calming elderly travelers worried about connecting flights, thanking uniformed military personnel for serving, and offering coffee to someone in need.

Because I have identified my highest SUCCESSTROGEN level to be when I am positively interacting with others around me, I had to make an adjustment to my iPad time and usage.  This moment in time at the airport helped remind me of what I need to do to stay at my personal best.  I guess I need to review that list more often.

What about you?  When you first started reading this blog and found an interest in the SUCCESSTROGEN concept, what behaviors did you identify as important to get you to your personal best?  Is it time for you to review that list again?

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