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Mobiles & Meetings

I grew up in the beautiful seaside village of Muizenberg.   Our amazing old house nestled on the mountainside overlooking the river and the sea.   My parents were not big socialisers, but when they went out, they told us where they were going.   On one memorable night, a veld fire started on the mountain side and quickly reached the empty stand next to us.   They were at the movies, and I called and the projectionist flashed an "Urgent, fire on the mountain, call home" with my parents names on the movie screen.   Needless to say, the cinema was cleared out in moments!

What has this got to do with mobiles and meetings?   Well, back in the day, we told our nearest and dearest where we were, where we were going, and what time we would get there.  Now, we don't have to commit to our whereabouts, as we are constantly "on.'   Of course, this means that if we switch our phones off, we are not contactable in case of a home or business emergency.   And the result is, many people never switch off.

Today in meetings, people sit down, surround themselves with their various mobile and portable devices, and type away during the session.  I don't know about you, but I am very curious around what is actually being done on these devices, and whether it has anything to do with the subject at hand.   Why bother to hold a general meeting if half the attendees are somewhere else in their heads?   And why be there if you have no intention of participating or concentrating?

With true multi tasking said to be myth, what should be happening about mobiles in meetings?

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