Are we missing out if we aren’t connected?

The simple answer to this question is yes, but sometimes we need to disconnect in order to inspire creativity.

Within 30 minutes of Sky News Australia breaking the news on the afternoon of 14 September that Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull was challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott, #libspill was already hashtagged by thousands of Australians. 

If you weren't one of the many people to read, tweet or comment on one of the early tweets about Mr Turnbull’s challenge to Mr Abbott’s leadership, then you weren't in the loop. If you’d gone to websites belonging to many traditional media outlets – the Sydney Morning Herald; The Australian or the ABC for example – there was no mention of the spill.

With the advancement of technology there has been an increased necessity to always be up to date and informed of what is happening in society. Long gone are the days when it was considered normal to remain unaware of global events until at the very least the hourly radio news bulletin or at worst, when you sat down to watch the 6pm nightly television news.

How many of us on 31 August 1997 learned Princess Diana was critically injured in a motor-vehicle accident, 30 minutes after the event? Today, millions would know and there’d be photographs.
So rapidly is information transmitted via social media, it is now the first choice when seeking news. Ask Qantas, whose managers learned about pieces of one of its A-380’s engines raining down onto an Indonesian island, via a report on CNN. The cable news network’s source: island locals tweeting photographs of engine fragments painted with a flying-kangaroo.     

Many face the ongoing challenge of when to put down their device because if you put down the phone for 30 minutes you may miss something like Malcom Turnbull being announced as Prime Minister. 
But is having a device constantly glued to your extremities a sign of advancement?

Creativity is something that occurs when we can think clearly. It is hard to think clearly when we have a constant stream of emails pouring in. Though a necessity of existing in this busy world, it is important to sometimes disconnect from technology and be more focused in order to inspire the formation of ideas. 
If we don't have ideas how can we ever produce content and have the skills to stay connected? As communicators it is incredibly important to be creative in everything we do. Whether it is for our job, education, to stay in touch or even to check the time, our technology will play a role. It is important to know when to be connected and when it is time to disconnect. 

Four ways to disconnect but to not miss out: 

  1. Switch off your phone at night and make reading the news your first priority before going into work each morning. Breaking news may occur overnight - but it will be what everyone is talking about the next day.
  2. Communicate with colleagues. One of my favourite things to do when I get into work or over lunch is to have in-depth conversations with my colleagues about current affairs and everyday things. No one likes the person on their mobile not taking part in conversation
  3. Do not disturb. Spring is in the air and it's the perfect time to go for long walks. Turn your phone on to do not disturb and listen to your favourite radio station or podcast. Stay in the loop on current affairs whilst breathing in fresh air. Another great thing about the do not disturb function is that it will prohibit notifications, but can allow phone calls – so you will be contactable in an emergency. 
  4. Get out a notebook and write down ideas. Typing is amazing but writing can inspire creativity and can remove you away from distractions. 

I challenge you to switch off during your day and see what creativity occurs.