Our Addiction to ‘Keeping in Touch’

Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and the likes of them made their fortunes without a Blackberry or even snail mail. 
Check if Warren Buffet owns a BB!

Once upon a time, (yes, I am OLD!), it used to take more than two months for a letter or ‘aerogram’ -ever heard of them? – to reach Pakistan from the USA. And yet, life went on. People made money, created wonders and spent a very happy life. Not that all of that is not true today.

I see people in meetings – even at dinners with friends! – with their eyes glued to their BBs and cell phones and doing what they do best – keep in touch, answer emails, reply to BBMs. 

Some say, ‘I’d rather talk to my friends on my BB than on the phone!’ Now this is something strange, at least for me!

Some even say that they HAVE to reply to their emails within ‘minutes’ or their ‘jobs are at stake’. Well, anyone who hires you BECAUSE of your ability to REPLY to your emails QUICKLY, then you have to rethink what you do for a living! 
See if you want to test this. What if you had an emergency and couldn’t even look at your BB for an hour or so? What is the worst case scenario?

I wont get into any pros and cons of using or not using a cellphone/pda/BB or simply ‘lifeline’. 
But, just something that I notice all around me – people in front of you, who you can see and touch are more important than the ones on your BBs far away – I know sometimes you are ‘chatting’ with people who you could easily talk to by looking up or just picking up the phone. But, alas..We LOVE to do this…. Don’t we?

I understand its difficult not to reply to someone on your BBM even if you are sitting in front of a friend you met a after ages, or visiting an elder relative or simply spending ‘quality time’ (yeah rite!) with your family. 
But then….the choice is yours.

Be here, NOW.

Be happy, NOW.

Dare to dream.

Have a remarkable life!

Nuruddin Abjani


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  • Nuruddin Abjani

    Thanks for your apt comments, Rehan.

    I am not against using emails on cell phones/BBs/PDAs. However, these are tools to help us achieve more & live better & beautiful lives. Instead, we are dependent on them to the extent of not realizing – at least most of the time – what is URGENT or NOT URGENT & IMPORTANT or NOT IMPORTANT.
    We should all thank Stephen Covey for his matrix!

  • Rehan

    I personally do not like people who; when you are talking with, are on their iphones or BB and pretending to listen to you while replying to emails on their mobile devices. Its just very rude. I have multiple times kick people out of my meetings who are in a meeting yet looking and replying to messages on their mobile devices. I personally have a 10$ phone, no data plan not text message plan, just a phone to make calls if needed. I just hate hate it. We have lost the human touch.

    Here in US, I take subway to work everyday, people all around me just are lost in their music with their headphones on or just involved in replying to emails while on their way to work. Nobody cares what is happening around him or her.

    The point you make in your article as how the communication was before this modern age of Internet, I have thought about the same many times and I remember that how simple was life back then, my family used to have real conversation on a dinner table, we used to discuss about our day, my mother and father used to asked me about how was our day at school and just talk about life in general. Now its different, I have seen the new generation in my family, where you have to send text message to the kids to come and eat dinner, how pathetic is that.

    My observation of this "status updating" generation is a basic human nature of show off. We just want to show off what we are , what we are doing, what we have etc, all the time and these social networking tools are just a perfect tool to satisfy our thirst of show off.

    Well these are just few of my scattered thoughts.

  • Nuruddin Abjani

    Couldn't agree with you more, Amir.
    Thanks for your comments.

  • Amir Morani

    Many a times I have come across situations in restaurants where two individuals are there to have a lunch or dinner together and they would both be on the phone. If they are my friends, I usually do ask them "Are you guys talking to each other on the phone?" "I know times are bad, can't trust the open air conversations anymore. We need point-to-point, I mean mouth-to-ear, or finger-to-eyes, conversations now for security reasons.

    You've raised a great point. I wonder if it will go back to good old days – I am just wondering what will be the next stage. Would it be "mind-to-mind"?