We have a problem when the weather is more engaging than Bruno Mars.
A Serious Problem.
I have a list of performers I want to see. Too many have passed or no longer perform that I haven't had a chance to see and I have sadness. Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Prince, Siegfried, and Roy to name a few.
Bruno Mars was on my list and I had the opportunity to see him in the Park Theater in Las Vegas. EEEEEE!
Let me get this out. So much fun! He is dripping with charisma - and finesse- that smile, those dimples, his band, and he looks like he is just having fun. It's a good time.
In front of us at the theater is a family of five. Mom, Dad, three kids, guessing under the age of 13. Before the show the kids were passing the time on their smartphones. We were passing the time by watching what the kids were doing on their phone.
One boy of the family had an Instagram account (he looked nine y.o). As we waited, we watched him unfollow and watch basketballs clips.
The show started.
Here's something I don't get. Why people video an entire show… a clip, I get. But the whole show? They are never ever going to watch that video. If you really want to relive the excitement of the show, there's much better footage out there than you're getting on that Smartphone as you attempt to hold a beer...
Bruno Mars allows this silliness of the phones during the first song. Before the 2nd song he welcomes the audience and tells them to put their damn phones down because they can't dance and party holding them.
No words by Bruno Mars, his fancy foot work, or lots of indoor fireworks could keep that kid off his phone, and he wasn't making a video of the experience like most.
He was checking the weather. The weather?!?!
He checked the weather hour by hour in Las Vegas, London, Minnesota, and San Francisco.
He did at one point take a video snippet of the show which he posted on Instagram and proceeded to watched over and over while the show moved on through the hits.
We couldn't stop glancing at the kid, putting bets on that 24K Magic is the song that will get him to stop checking the weather or watching his video snippet.
Nope 24K Magic didn't do it.
I couldn't relax or in Bruno lyrics throw some perm on my thoughts. I was thinking about:
- Validation of life choice of not having children was a good one.
- Why do parents bring children to Vegas?
- Is Bruno Mars appropriate for young children?
- A babysitter would have been much cheaper.
- What's going on in that boy's mind?
- What are little screens doing to our brains?
- What impact does this have on the future? Relationships, work, and the world? I think we have a real problem.
Now you can probably say something about us – watching this kid check the weather at a Bruno Mars show – rather than award-winning artist on the stage.
I was thinking. Not tapping, flicking, or scrolling during the show but I know I have through experiences and time with some of my favorite people in my life.
It needs to get under control.
Phones are Messing With Our Ability To Be Human
I worry about what these little pocket gambling devices – we can't leave the house without – are doing to our ability to be human.
They have changed behavior.
Here's what I have seen and been guilty of:
- The first thing when waking up and the last thing before going to bed, checking my phone.
- When watching TV at home, "multi-tasking" on my phone or computer.
- While waiting for a meeting to start, a plane to board, a meal at a restaurant, as a passenger in a car, train, plane, and before a show – I pass the time with my phone not talking to people.
- Keep children quiet and still by giving them a device (any why without headphones?!?).
- When bored or not wanting to do something hard pick up the phone and mindlessly scroll.
- Focused on capturing an experience versus living it .
I worry about these behaviors and the impact on relationships and living life.
We are losing our ability to connect with others. The ability and skills to have a real-time, unplanned, uncontrolled conversation and interaction with another person(s).
What impact are these behaviors going to have on the future of business and the workplace?
Who doesn't love a click, click find it on the Internet and it'll arrive in 2 days or less! I didn't have to talk to a person at all! It's a dream.
Until… something goes wrong.
Then we expect a competent, caring person who will listen to us and solve our problem. We don't want a machine. We want an actual human.
Where are we learning and practicing basic human skills?
If we can't hold a 15-minute conversation with our friends and family sitting at a table at a restaurant as we wait for our food arrives or just live in the present in controlled weather conditions inside a theater for 90 minutes during an energetic performance, I'm worried and scared.
Like Bruno Mars said put your damn phone down. Me included.
It's not going to be easy It's an addiction but we start by taking small steps.
Join me in resisting the urge to pick up that phone and make an effort to limit screen time for people time.
The weather, your social media, videos of baby goats (although adorable) can't be more important than spending time with family, friends, other humans or using your brain.
Let's connect more. Be human. Be Awesome
If you're in, let me know what you are going to do to bring back more human time in your life.
As a young girl I begged my parents to take me to see New Kids On The Block. It didn't happen until 2009 when I dragged my husband. He also went to Bruno Mars. Such a good man. Sir Tom Jones is next for like the 10th time... Good, good man.
Who's on your list to see?
PS. I wrote an article this summer about winning the lottery and seeing Bruno Mars was on my list! #winning. Check out that article here.
PPS. I'm regretting not picking up the gold big old hoop earrings at the show that said "Chunky". I think I could rock them.