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THE ELECTRONIC LEASH

Potente, Business Lawyer and Company Formation

The “electronic leash” is strangling your neck anywhere and everywhere you go. This “leash” is that wonderful little piece of technology known as your cell phone.

On a positive note, what a magnificent piece of technology! You can browse a constant stream of news, have copious opportunities to have dialogue with anyone and everyone from all parts of the world, purchase music, movies, tickets…frankly, you can buy anything you want! From a work standpoint, you never have to be “off the clock”; you can accomplish professional objectives and serve clients 24/7 from any place in the world. What a beautiful form of electronic evolution.

This is how I used to think. Over the past year, my feelings about always being “connected” have materially changed. For me, it took a recent trip outside of the country to cement the fact that I don’t need to be leashed by my phone. Feeling frugal, I opted not to pay for the $25.00 daily wireless charge at the hotel. My phone sat in my suitcase untouched (save for a few picture opportunities) for four days straight. It is now my opinion, that unless you know how to reign in your passion for connectivity, your cell phone can serve a source of severe discontent and disharmony in your personal and professional life. Frankly, it truncates your growth as a human being.

The human brain and spirit is not and should not be wired for constant consumption of information and human interaction. I don’t mean to sound like that “old guy”, but there is so much more to life than keeping up with your plethora of apps, waiting for another text, or obsessively checking your work e-mail to ensure that you have not missed something “urgent”. I definitely know this reality on a personal level!

In my time as an attorney, our society has truly changed. People don’t seem to value the face-to-face time that truly builds sustainable relationships. We often hide behind e-mails and texts (I’m guilty of this well — though, trying to improve myself). Additionally, it’s frustrating when you sit down with someone and they are staring at their phone every couple of minutes. This would be akin to someone 15 years ago perusing a newspaper or magazine every few minutes while in the company of another. Sounds ridiculous, huh? Again, this is an awful mistake that I made in the past. Now, I sincerely attempt to leave my phone in my briefcase, on silent in my pocket, or in another room. I work every day to focus on the person I am with; their time is the most precious gift they can give you.

Lastly, we expect instant answers and gratification to everything. Nothing drives me crazier than someone texting me a “quick” legal question. There has never been anything successful or sustainable accomplished in a quick manner. Cell phones have made people not appreciate the virtue of patience and what benefits it can bring you. Unfortunately, our cell phones preclude us from being truly focused from a specific task at hand, or simply living life. Imagine Jonas Salk rapidly and repeatedly checking his cell phone while he was researching and developing a successful polio vaccine. What do you think the success rate would be?

I appreciate you taking the opportunity to review my blog post. I am not above any of these mistakes. As mentioned above, I have been a frequent violator of everything mentioned above. Though, as humans, we can try to be better every day. I recommend you try separating yourself from this electronic leash from time to time. Focus on the natural beauties that exist in this very short human life we live. The brain is a powerful tool we have — allow it to be unabashedly unleashed to the wonderful world and people that surround us. I am sure that you will find some positive results personally and professionally.

Peter M. Potente

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