The New York Times column, “Gadgetwise: Getting Smart about Personal Technology” recently featured an article by Jenna Wortham. I was struck by the topic: “Newfound Use for the iPhone: Sleep Aid”.
A few nights ago, I found myself tossing and turning in bed for hours, unable to still my mind and settle down for the night. I debated reading a book, watching TV or flipping open my laptop to find a some soothing tunes to help usher in the sweet relief of slumber.
Instead, I reached for my iPhone.
Last time I checked 82 comments are posted, people who are grateful for the tip, celebrating or sharing their favorite app for inviting sleep to their weary minds.
One comment in particular caught my eye; Andrew Innes from Boston writes:
social media interface
music transcription tool
and, oh yeah, a phone! (That is probably the functionality I use the least!)
Does he know and appreciate his iPhone or what?
What about Andrew’s romantic life?
Ki Mae Heussner’s writes for ABC News. Her article featured the South by Southwest Interactive conference held in Austin, Texas. The story quotes Corinne Weisgerber, a panelist and assistant professor of communication at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She raises the question of “time displacement”, meaning the absence of face-to-face time due to heavy virtual connection.
The panelists also took a look a technology’s affect on romance. Ashley Brown, a marketing manager for an Austin-based higher education start-up called Classhive, said that she believes technology is “completely degrading” the way we communicate romance.
Given all the information that exists about each person online – from their Facebook profiles to Twitter updates – Brown said technology leapfrogs couples three months and has made the blind date practically obsolete.
But others thought that could be a good thing. “You kind of skip some of the crap early on,” said Jenn Deering Davis, co-founder and chief of community experience at Appozite, an Austin-based software start-up.
Weisberger added that online information complicates romance. It may be helpful to research potential dates and get the skinny on them before meeting them face to face, but it can also set up expectations.
Who needs more complication when it comes to romance?
Have you followed Andrew’s example?
The real question is not about romance and technology. Its not about the benefits of devices such as the iPhone.
The question is this: What do you appreciate about that person?
Yes, “that” person could be someone you have conflict with with…or not.
On another level, what do you appreciate about your life?
And last, when did you last send a personal note of gratitude?
Do you remember encouraging someone by bragging on him or her, in their presence?
The Power of Gratitude
Who wouldn’t like to be more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely?
Who wouldn’t want to be happier, more optimistic, feel more socially connected, and enjoy better sleep?
Psychologists like Robert Emmons (Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier) have connected the power of gratitude to provide such benefits. I like to call gratitude, the grease of life. Big picture:
The business of life is people.
The grease of life is gratitude.
Technology is nice, people are essential.
Hey Jenna, have you heard of the ancient app gratitude?
Disclosure: yes, I have an iPhone 4 with “Face Time”. Call me and we’ll connect “face-to-face”.
Please join me in this conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts; comments welcome below.