I’m at a conference this week in St. Louis (will end up sharing more about this later, I’m sure). Conferences force me to do things I don’t like – namely network and interact with people I don’t know. I’m fairly good at faking the fact that I am actually not really that extroverted contrary to popular belief, but there are times where I get so insanely drained from talking to people and being engaged that I just want to unplug on my phone and veg. We’ve all been there. It’s normal.
Today I realized something though and I’m not particularly proud of it. I was walking barely behind some people. I don’t know them, but we all work for the same company and we’re together at this conference. I was carrying snacks (common theme in my life). I stayed a few steps back hoping they wouldn’t notice me. When they kind of turned around toward me, I felt a little insecure, like they were going to engage me in a short little conversation about nothing as we walked back to our respective meetings. I found myself wishing I had a hand free to pick up my cell phone and try to bury myself in an email to look busy.
Wow. That’s pretty terrible, right? I’m not proud of it.
I didn’t do that and they didn’t engage me in anything and if they would have, I would have responded and been engaged and whatever dread I was feeling about it would’ve quickly disappeared because time and again I am proven wrong in all these social situations and they end up being fantastic and I enjoy them so much.
It got me thinking though. A week ago one of my employees gave a presentation on how we’re glued to our phones and devices because we have FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s not why I’m glued to my phone though. I decompress with it. I’m frequently tired. Life is frequently stressful and I frequently just want to sit down and think about nothing.
But at what cost? I’m so busy trying to be disengaged and regroup that now it’s becoming a priority when I get home and I am missing things. The important things.
I used to think those phone baskets people would stick their phones in during dinner were dumb. Now I think I need one. Or I just need to turn it off. When I leave a floor on my house WHY the heck do I need to bring my phone down with me? I don’t. That’s so ridiculous.
When I did luLaRoe, I got used to having to be on it all the time and I loathed it. I realize now the habit hasn’t gone away and here I am, doing the same exact thing.
It’s a lesson. I need to make a conscious effort to be better and do better. Put the phone down. People used to leave their houses without phones. Now they drive back home just to get it. It’s like a security blanket that I’m attached too and I need to grow a little and devote more attention to what I am actually doing and the people I am actually around. Being fully engaged is so much more attractive.
We could all use a little bit of time to unplug, regroup and see what we’re missing. I think everyone would be surprised at the quality of the engagements we’d have if we gave it a shot.