Present And Accounted For: The Cellphone Free Zone

Matthew Ray
January 27, 2015

I”ve been thinking a lot lately about being present — not only in the form of physical attendance, but in making sure that we bring our full mental capacities along with us when we’re sharing thoughts, ideas or feelings.

Being present should be easy, but have you tried it recently? It actually requires the sharpening of listening skills, a focus of attention and an elimination of certain distractions. This is a wide-spread problem. The Pope is even talking about it.

For most of us, in this day and age, the majority of these distractions pop up in the form of news feeds or little red notification bubbles on our iPhones and MacBooks. At ChatterBlast especially, it’s our passion, expertise, means of making a living and even our addiction to keep up with the conversation in the social sphere. It’s just what we do.

And while we’re all fortunate enough to be blessed with these beyond exceptional skills, knowledge and obsession in all things social media, we can sometimes be cursed with the lack of ability to turn it off.

We can”t get enough of it. We’re trained to be tuned in at all times.

I can be the first here to admit it — like all of us, I am guilty of becoming addicted to the update — needing to jump on my phone or laptop every five minutes to ensure I’m not missing out. FOMO, right? How many times have you had me in a meeting or brainstorm and I haven”t looked up from my keyboard? Or caught me picking up my phone every five minutes to ensure I”ve seen the latest story on Snapchat or hot take on Twitter? We all do it — but frankly it’s rude, and more importantly, it isn”t allowing us to do our best work.

So, while we remain present physically at these meetings, our devices have hindered our ability to be present mentally. Because of this, we’re doing our team, clients and partners a huge disservice. Accordingly, like my decision to stop using deodorant best online casino with aluminum, I am going to make a big and hopefully healthier change…

After much discussion with Evan, we”ve decided that our only course of action to address the issue at hand will be a strong but silent one! To help with this situation and enhance our presence on all fronts, we are going to be BAN the following items from the large conference room: cellphones, laptops, Kindles, iPads, and other electronic devices. This will apply to any meetings, conferences, chit-chats, speeches, gatherings, summits, one-on-ones or dialogues.

It will be like old-fashioned meetings where you MUST look at the rest of the team and interact with them. Anyone remember those?!


We are creating out own little conference room time machine that we can enter to bring those back — and while we love to give our clients up-to-the-minute service, we can certainly hold the flood back for an hour or so. We also believe that this will allow for increased clarity, quicker meetings, greater interaction and more powerful results.

We have even ordered an attractive sign for outside the conference room to remind us and our peers about this innovative development (stay tuned for pictures).

We are greatly looking forward to our new, yet old, experiences in interacting, engaging and remaining overall present with our colleagues and clients.