Let me say it straight: I hate hyperconnectivity altogether!
It simply makes me mad when I’m at networking events, trade shows and galas, where people anxiously check their mobile for the latest push notifications, social media alerts, and text message when having a conversation with me.
For that matter, why do attendees film galas or conferences? Why can’t they just take down notes? The object of being there in person, paying a ticket and being physically there, is to dedicate their full attention to what is being presented.
I’m fed up with seeing zombies walking trade show alleys or hotel lobbies, not paying attention to their environment. Oh, and don’t apologize when bumping into people, I know you don’t really mean it! Hey ZOMBIES: There are sitting areas for texting, social media and calling back!
Technology sure has made communication easier. The only barriers left are human beings. They voluntarily obstruct the communication channel by melding with technology for the sake of… hyperconnectivity. What for?
Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network International), spells it out in this article quite directly: “hyperconnectivity is perpetuating a state of constant partial attention that hinders communication, focus and follow-through.” He adds: “This desire to be connected digitally causes us to miss out on the opportunity to connect with the person directly in front of us.”
In short, just put your phone on silent mode, stick it in your pocket, and focus on the people in front of you.
Don’t get me wrong
I use social media a lot. I post, tweet, blog, take pictures, submit comments with hashtags in conferences and events, check in with a picture where I go, and so on. But I pride myself dedicating my whole attention to you when In Real Life (#IRL) with you.
I wish I could, in fact not, multitask when in front of you. Humans are not multitasking capable. (Well, Ok, mothers are, but that’s an entirely different topic. 😉 ) So please don’t.
In-person engagement should be natural and of the highest importance when attending trade shows, conferences, industry and networking events. In person presence is the most profitable investment in business to business (B2B). It’s also the most cost per dollar intense. So use your time and attention appropriately.
Finally, please, if you’re not interested in the event, don’t come. If our conversation is not what you’re looking for, simply say it and move on, I’ll understand and gladly let you go. If you can’t concentrate on being present, leave the room or have seat.
But on the contrary, if you want quality interactions and do business with me or get referrals, I’ll be more than happy to dedicate my attention to you and invite you to follow up #IRL and through various technological means we have on hand.