Spectator or Participant – Which are You Face-to-Face?

Are you a Spectator or Participant

When I wrote “Face-To-Face Is the Ultimate Social Media” a few years back, I didn’t realize then the extent of the impact of technology and social media on face-to-face conversations. Are you a spectator or participant?

Today, I Realize That Technology Has Turned Too Many Of Us From Participants In Life Into Spectators.

Once upon a time, with live face-to-face conversations one could hardly get away from making emotional connections with colleagues, clients, friends, and family members. We were actively engaged while in the presence of others. Empathy was a reality in one’s life. Today, we compete with glowing, attention grabbing inanimate rectangles of various sizes even while face-to-face with others.

Connect or disconnect – that is the question. Or as Shakespeare wrote “to be or not to be, that is the question.” In either case the issue is to figure out who the hell am I — in this case a participant or a spectator in the presence of distractive technology. What is my identity in his warp speed world of technical interaction? Do I really have one? Am I more than an algorithm?

I can’t think of any form of business or services that isn’t hard-driving us to become increasingly reliant on the use of smart phone technology to interact with them. I prefer to do my banking face-to-face at a physical bank. I prefer to interact with my doctor in his office rather than on 8-10 square inches of a gorilla glass real estate. Increasingly now, I am forced to texting with clients who refuse to communicate by phone or even emails. “I sent you a text that I would be late for a meeting did you get it?”

Just think of how many digital interactions were necessary to clarify a lack of understanding on a topic digitally communicated.  Ask yourself, how quickly that could be cured if you were communicating face-to-face on the phone or in person if possible.

It is little wonder to me that mindfulness training is sweeping across the country and every type of organization. Being fully present in the moment is the core element to being a full participant in great conversations with others.

Blumsack Brown BackgroundAs a coach, trainer and consultant, Larry Blumsack partners with people and organizations on the move and those already there to accelerate their communication, presentation and speaking skills to be on par with their ambition. Through one-on-one coaching and group training Larry helps leaders and aspiring leaders elevate their presence and communication skills to influence more people, sell more products-services-ideas and inspire others more successfully than they ever imagined.

Larry is the bestselling author of Face-to-Face is The Ultimate Social Media and founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training®. Zoka Training® — Mind/Voice/Body/Mindfulness in sync — is the result of Larry’s 45 years as a coach, acting teacher, actor, voice-over artist, theater and TV director/producer, radio & TV commentator and show host, speaker, trainer, serial entrepreneur, and syndicated columnist. Larry was a founding member of the theater department at Northeastern University.

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