You are Important Without Technology
I am 41 years old. That means I remember when cell phones were called car phones and were slightly larger than a big brick. You were really rich and important if you had one, or at least people thought you were.
Today, cell phones are sleek, shiny, and a dime a dozen. You can’t walk (or drive) down the street without seeing someone attached to their cell phone. Once upon a time owning a cell phone meant status. Today, it doesn’t mean a thing. We need to stop acting like it does.
I am going to ask you to ask yourself some tough questions. (right now)
- Does a full inbox make you feel more valuable?
- Do multiple voicemail messages make you feel special?
- Does talking on your cell phone in public make you feel important?
Answering yes to any of the above questions does not make you rotten or unlovable. It makes you human. From time to time, we have all felt special because of attention we get from email, phone calls, blog comments, re-tweets or other non-human things. I’m not gonna lie, when I see my blog stats spike, my heart races a little.
When I started to write this post, I had planned on telling you that none of these things make you important, and ask you to stop thinking of them, but I knew that was an impossible request. Unless you throw your cell phone out the window, or toss your laptop in the ocean, email and phone messages will continue to be a part of your life. How important that part of your life is, is up to you.
Dan Goodwin, a great author and Creative Coach wrote the following comment on my latest mini-mission about unsubscribing from email:
“I think a connected issue here, which maybe people don’t always realise or admit, is that by going to your email and having 5 or 10 or 50 new messages waiting, it’s a pain and a distraction yes, but in some small way it does make you feel important, acknowledged, needed. Even if these are all automated emails, you can fool yourself into thinking that your attention is in great demand. This is based on the same principle as people (most of us!) who would rather be frantically busy because when we stop and make space, it’s actually kind of scary if you’re not used to it. We get addicted to being busy, being in demand.
Maybe for many, waking up and only having 3 emails, as opposed to 33, would at first feel like they just weren’t very important to anyone. Not saying this is a healthy outlook, but I think it’s probably more common than people might think. Certainly something I was confronted with at first when I had a major unsubscribe purge.
What are your thoughts on this, people subscribing to many newsletters because it helps them feel like they attention is precious and in demand, that they are wanted?”
Dan’s comment made me think about a few things.
- The quantity of email you have does not determine how busy, successful or important you are.
- It’s ok to hit delete or unsubscribe if the email you receive is not coming from a real person that is interested in you or your business.
- Stop focusing on how many emails, phone messages, text messages and tweets you have and direct your attention to what really makes you important.
You are important because:
You contribute. You put something out there. You love. You give to the world. That is what makes you important. Restrain from using your cell phone while you are doing other things. (especially when driving please). While you are surfing the web, checking email or voicemail, you cannot give your full attention to anything else. You can’t give your best contribution when you do it half way. Let technology be secondary when determining your worth. I think you’ll find that when you open yourself up to a cell phone-less day, or a full on digital detox, you’ll be surprised to find how important you really are. What do you think? What makes you important?
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