Last night, I took out Mrs. Zimba for a “date night.” We had a couple hours to kill before having to pick up our daughter from her Friday evening ballet session. We sat at the bar because we had eaten earlier and proceeded to have a couple drinks. Next to us was a couple in their late twenties or early thirties. Upon sitting down at the bar, they proceeded to access their respective smart phones. They sat side by side engaged with their smart phones almost the entire time. In fact, the woman didn’t put hers down the entire 90 minutes she was next to us. She surfed the net, checked email, ordered something online with a credit card, and viewed her Twitter feed incessantly. She barely looked up at her partner. They eventually headed off to see a movie.
Now I am the last one who should complain about others spending a lot of time online or at a computer, but to me this was such a disconnect. They were out on a Friday evening, after their presumably tough work week, at a decent bar/restaurant and she couldn’t disconnect to have intelligent conversation or take in the space. Her focus was on her little touch screen and its connection to a world she couldn’t let go of.
The only time I experienced this was a few years ago when I had my Blackberry and was managing CardRunners. Everywhere I went, I felt I had to check on things; whether it be driving in a car, at my child’s soccer game, wherever. I felt I had a responsibility to be on top of every issue 24/7. I lost the feeling of what it was like to be in the moment. These days, I still work 7 days a week, but when I am not at the computer my mind is on the activity I’m involved in. When I go to my son’s games, I root for their team or I engage in conversation with other parents. If I’m out with my wife or family, I’m engaged with them. Whatever environment I find myself in, it is my goal to enjoy the space I’m in. The same goes for when I’m in my home office, working away. I am full engaged and connected with the online poker elements that consume my life for those necessary hours. Those are my moments to be connected and productive.
The next step for me is to remove myself from the daily connection, and return to a place where I can go away for a full day, days, or weeks and not be missed. I am working towards that day, but for now I’m happy to be in the moment when I’m not grinding my job.