The Tortoise and the Hare Run the Electronic Race

The Tortoise and the Hare Run the Electronic Race

This is a guest post by Yitzchak Goldman, the author of Turn Off Your Phone, Turn On Your Life


One of the celebrated excuses used by people addicted to their Smartphone is the claim that their phone is indispensable for work and business.

Well, some research shows that Smartphones have actually caused a decline, rather than an increase in productivity. [1]

How can that make sense? Surely the convenience of being connected at all times allows for a more expedient business process?

Well, just imagine you’re in the middle of a stressful conversation, not yet heated (although your internal radiator is beginning to smoke), you’re tired and hungry and you are civilizations away from the nearest coffee pump, and your phone alerts you to a message from an important client. In order to juggle the conversation you’re having,  your smoking internal radiator, your hunger and your desire to satisfy the needs of this client, you fumble the best response your thumbs can conjure up whilst you are doing your balancing act (don’t tell me you’re driving as well, because I don’t want to hear it) and unbeknownst to you, you leave out something critical, or you send the wrong attachment, or you even spell his or her name wrong  even if it’s an on obtuse name that is comprised of the majority of the letters of the alphabet, along with the signature disclaimer, of course, that this has been sent from my iThis or iThat, so please excuse any typo’s (with the erroneous apostrophe – a pet peeve)….

Then the client, a little agitated, has a sixth sense that you were otherwise preoccupied, as you sent him pictures of your daughter’s third birthday party at the petting zoo rather than the draft of the corporate merger contract. He nudges you with another beep as you are filling your car with gas, and you, exasperated end up washing your car, and all the surrounding cars, with gasoline.


You know I’m not telling you to get rid of everything computer-related. You still have your laptop and / or your desktop. You finish the conversation with a cooled radiator, blissfully unaware that anyone has beeped you. You take a little time to grab a bite to eat and inject yourself with coffee and return to your office, snap open your computer and see a message from your important client. You now have the presence of mind to stroke your chin and compose a fine, well-constructed email, and you double-check the attachments and the spelling of the obtuse client name, and then press “send.”

The client is satisfied in a faster time than in the previous scenario, with less hassle and better spelling.

Professional quality has begun to suffer from the influx of Smartphones and other innovative techno-gadgets. This is not coincidental. The quality of all social interchange has suffered greatly from it. It’s time we acknowledge that Smartphone addiction is a problem and must be addressed.

// Yitzchak Goldman


Turn Off Your Phone, Turn On Your Life

[1] Johnson, Dave. Why Smartphone Culture Reduces Productivity. CBS Moneywatch. April 10th, 2012

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