Rachael Fish is a senior recruitment consultant at Badenoch & Clark.
A fully paid up member of the smartphone generation, BusinessCloud challenged Rachael to keep a diary of her handset usage for a few days and then live without her phone for a week.
Here’s how she got on in week one.
Day one of my smartphone experiment. I’ve checked my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts four times and done the same with my emails, including junk just in case. I’m in the car with my better half Tom and friend Danny. There’s not much of a conversation this morning.
By midday I’ve interviewed two candidates and been run off my feet with calls. Over lunch, I sit with my work mate and we’ve both been Facebooking and texting most of the hour.
In the afternoon I’m out on the road but I check my phone (including every app I have open) every time I stop to meet with a candidate or client.
When I get home the TV goes on. Tom and I are cooking tea and doing daily tasks but still hunting through Facebook, looking at videos of dogs jumping from couch to couch, reading friends’ posts, news articles.
It dawns on me that we don’t speak more than two words to each other until an hour after we get home….. hmmmm.
Again this morning I’ve noticed that there isn’t much conversation in the car. Danny is on his phone (as am I) while Tom is driving.
At 1pm I’ve stopped for something to eat and can report that I have been speaking to candidates, texting other candidates and checking LinkedIn – all at the same time. Has modern technology enabled me to multi-task better than I would have in the days before smartphones?
Tonight I have candidate interviews over in Bolton. I use my smarthone on the way as there is traffic. Waze is the way forward. It’s the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app and I don’t know what I’d do without it.
I get home at 7pm and Tom is already cooking tea. I sit down on the sofa and watch some Judge Judy. I’m playing on my phone for a good 20 minutes when I realise I haven’t paid attention to the programme I’m watching and have to rewind it, not once, but twice as my attention span is glued to social media on my phone.
Tom and I sit down to have tea and I notice that I’m getting aggravated that he’s playing on his phone and not talking to me.
It’s only because I’m writing this blog that I can appreciate the fact that I’ve been doing exactly the same thing to him since I got home!
I try to start a conversation this morning but Tom is concentrating on the road and Danny is on Facebook playing music videos or browsing YouTube.
I’m already making a conscious effort to reduce my phone usage. I know living without my smartphone it is not going to be easy. I rely on my phone for directions, entertainment and communication.
Throughout the day, I’m out and about with clients over in Liverpool. It’s a very exciting outcome and I can’t wait to get it out on Facebook for all to see. The status reads: ‘Rachael Fish is feeling happy – what a great meeting. I’m learning so much.. woo hoo!’
Tonight, I’ve really tried to start a conversation and never realised before how much time Tom and I spend looking at our phones, sharing pictures and videos with each other (which we could just as easily show each other as we are sat on the same sofa) and just generally grunting yes or no at each other in the right places.
He has told me that I don’t listen. Is it because I’m too busy reading posts on Facebook that have no bearing on my real life?
A later start this morning as I have a couple of meetings in Blackburn and Bury with candidates. When I wake up, the very first thing I do is check my phone for messages, WhatsApps and my Facebook, followed by my bank account (to see what I can play with at the weekend).
How has this happened to me? For eight years on ships, I didn’t have the ability to use my phone whilst we were at sea and the internet was a privilege when we went ashore. For some reason, in the four years since leaving ship, my phone seems to be glued to my hand and my brain has programmed itself that the only information I need is from Facebook, BBC news updates and WhatsApp messages (that I keep checking to see if the recipient has seen).
I resolve to make a converted effort today not to use my phone when it can be avoided but by 1pm I’ve forgotten this pledge and have already checked my Facebook countless times.