Articles

The Real Value of Cell Phones, iPads And Other Mobile Devices

November 21, 2017 - By Wendy Lambourne, Director, MA Industrial and Organisation Psychology, Registered Psychologist with SA Medical & Dental Council

Let’s face it, we are not only VERY connected, we are also very hooked.  Like teenagers, we compare devices.  “Have you got Version 2 yet or are you still using Version 1?”  Or, “What apps have you got on yours?”

If we leave the devices at home for 24 hours, we feel that we have been excommunicated from society.  When we are unable to check messages for three hours, in some cases 30 minutes, we feel desperate.

Our addiction to these devices makes any other attachment that we may have – for sugar, caffeine or nicotine – pale into significance.

The REAL VALUE of our mobile devices, has not yet been recognised.  This is because we are currently still bedazzled by the technology itself and impressed by the obvious utilitarianism of these devices.  We are so fixated on what these wonderful contraptions can do to help us to manage and run our lives that we remain ignorant of their much more significant purpose.

The REAL VALUE of mobile devices actually lies in their potential to provide us with key insights into what is happening, not in our busy world, but in the world which sits behind our eyeballs – in our inner, not outer, realm.  They are in truth excellent barometers, in real time, of how our intent is functioning.

All that we have to do to tap into the REAL VALUE of these devices is to reflect, not on what they are doing for us, but what our usage of them is telling us about ourselves.

In the first instance, our modern devices tell us where our ATTENTION is really focused or what we are choosing to make important to ourselves.  The messages, sent and received, do not lie.  They reflect most accurately what we are giving heed to and hence what we see as significant to ourselves.

More specifically, in terms of the maturation of our intent, they make explicit the following:

  • Do we see other people and the world at large as there to serve us or do we see ourselves as there to serve others?
  • Are we focused on our expectations (what we want to ‘get’) or on our contribution (what we are prepared to ‘give’)?
  • Are we concerned primarily with the satisfaction of our needs or with acting for reasons higher than our self interest, in other words, our values?

Secondly, our mobile devices tell us about our current level of COURTESY or REGARD for others.  Every time we keep our connective devices on, take calls or excuse ourselves to make a call, we are revealing our intent.

This is because we are disclosing, in a manner most apparent to others, two things about ourselves:

  • Who we are prepared to discourteous TO. By definition, those whose company we are in.
  • Who we are prepared to be discourteous FOR. By definition, someone other than those whose company we are in.
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