Last week I watched the most incredible sunset from Rhossili and Worm’s Head in Gower. It was stunning and I was one of a number of people enjoying the experience, and the moment. Of course I took a couple of photos on my phone, but most of the time, I watched the sun slide under the horizon and the sky light up with an array of different colours.
But the moment was spoilt – at least for some minutes, by one of my fellow holiday makers demanding we all turned round (with our backs to the sunset) so she could take selfies and group photographs. It was at the magical moment when the sun goes down behind the horizon, and I wasn’t the only one that was frustrated by this. She kept hollering for us to turn round; actually spoiling the moment, although we all decided to ignore her and carry on enjoying the spectacular natural scene.
She failed to realise that being in the moment to actually enjoy something is truly powerful. Given that I have been to the theatre with her before, when she has spent a significant time on her phone, only makes me realise that her ‘real life’ and digital life are sadly blurred.
How often do we see people who are living their lives and specifically watching key moments in their lives through the screen of a phone or iPad. I have seen proud parents watch their children perform in orchestras via the screen of their phones rather than taking in the whole atmosphere. However good your phone is, this can’t capture the entire feeling.
Recently (and I won’t put a link) I read an article championing a new ‘experiential’ game for people attending concerts. Apparently you can play games with your friends whilst watching the concert making it more exciting. Isn’t real life exciting? Do you have to recreate everything so it is in a digital format??? What utter rubbish. The experience is attending the concert; singing along with your band and the audience; being next to hundreds of other people enjoying the experience. NOT downloading a new game that makes it an experience.
So my message to you is to appreciate the moment; of course take photos, but take the time to experience the moment first. Whether it is a beautiful sunset; live concert performance or celebrating your child’s successes, live it LIVE not through your phone!
And why is this relevant to business? Because although digital media has a huge impact on how we run and deliver businesses and services, there are moments when striping down our engagement to NOT be behind a screen is essential; otherwise we have an edited, not real and not total view of a situation.