“I consider him one of my thought leaders,” I overheard the man behind me say.
It was Friday evening.
After finishing a busy clinic, I headed over to the Union Chapel in Islington to catch a talk by Simon Sinek. Like millions of YouTube/Facebook users, I had watched his TED talk (third most viewed talk to date!) and his viral clip on millennials.
For those of you who haven’t caught it doing the rounds, here it is:
There I was in Union Chapel. What a beautiful architectural gothic gem of a building! The room was buzzing with excited chatter.
So why was I there? I was born in the early 80s, just a few years short of being labelled a millennial i.e. 1984 onwards. I was probably ten, eleven years old when my father (a gadget addict) came back one day with this big black brick.
“This is the future!” he proudly announced.
Dial up internet followed not too long after. Enjoy this soundblast from the past.
Where was I again? Oh yes, back to the Union Chapel waiting for the event to start. I was interested in hearing what Simon had to say about technology addiction.
Although my husband and I are what you may call ‘pre millennial’, we’re also parents who are occasionally (more often than not) guilty of pacifying our kids with iPads for a moment of peace.
Hypocritically, I get annoyed when my family whip out their phones at dinner to essentially Instagram the whole meal but then zone out on my iPhone when I get home from work.
Internet and technology addiction isn’t just limited to the young ‘uns. We’re all guilty of it. The first thing my parents, bless ’em, will now ask for in a restaurant is the wifi password instead of the menu. Apps, games, Facebook, all of that. It just sucks you in without us even realising it.
I was at my in laws over Easter and accidentally closed down Candy Crush on my father in law’s iPad.
He wasn’t too impressed with me…sorry Pops!
My thoughts were interrupted by an enthusiastic definite millennial who plopped herself down next to me.
“Have you got his books? He’s amaaaazing!” she chirped away, “He’s really changed my life. I didn’t used to be able to live without my phone. Now, I’ll go out for a walk and leave it at home”
Her chirping trailed off as Simon walked onto the stage.
In all honesty, there wasn’t anything new that he had to say which he hasn’t already mentioned in his previous talks. However, the importance of his message is something which needs to repeated over and over.
The internet, technology and everything that comes along with it is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. It’s getting bigger, better, faster. Instant gratification is now so engrained in our normal everyday psyche that people have forgotten what patience is.
I don’t want to go on a huge rant about it so here are the top three things, this pre millennial fuddy duddy took away from the talk:
- Internet addiction can be scary. It damages self esteem (the younger you are, the higher the risk), strains relationships, stunts social skills and reduces patience levels.
- Despite the bad press the NHS gets, I feel lucky to be in a profession where I feel pretty fulfilled when i get home. It wasn’t always the case and certainly needed a change of mindset. The health service is full of professional moaners and always will be. Note to self, focus on the great people you work with and the patients you’re trying to help.
- Put that phone away! Mr iPhone shouldn’t be the first and last thing I interact with at the beginning and end of my day.
That’s it for now, the real world is calling! 🙂
You can catch Simon Sinek’s latest full talk here
Peace and all that,
Dr Ed xxx