To App or Not to App?


I’m conducting an experiment. I can’t promise how long it will last and it has already given me a bit of heartburn.

I got a new phone, and wait for it, I’m using it just as a phone… mostly.  There is obviously a camera, texting capabilities… and my work email on it but I have not redownloaded all the Apps that clogged my old phone, most of which I rarely use.

I’ve also turned on the Do Not Disturb when driving setting. I like that because it notifies people trying to reach me that well, I’m driving.

A recent article popped up on my LinkedIn feed the other day and it introduced me to a new term, phone snubbing or phubbing.  This study looks at the impact of managers’ levels of distraction and even the mere presence of a phone to how employees perceive those managers’ focus and engagement with their ideas and trustworthiness.

It basically all comes down to trust and prioritizing your phone does not instill trust.  Sounds basic and it supports the theory of my experiment which is that if I don’t have so many mind-numbing distractions loaded on my phone, rather than popping into an App while I’m sitting at, say the airport, I will actually talk to the people around me.

Sometimes easier said than done I know but in my early days of the experiment, I’ve noticed a few things.  One, I’ve set a terrible example for my kids by being tethered to my devices, in the name of work.  Two, it takes real effort to have a conversation, especially with teenagers who like one-word answers.  Three, I think the employees have a point – everyone has a boss after all so we’ve all been phubbed when you think about it.

Active listening takes a lot of energy and focus and needs to be practiced.  To truly listen to someone and know that they feel heard is a gift.  It’s one that I think I used to be really good at that needs to be exercised a lot more for me in 2018.  This is one step forward in trying to make that happen.

My hypothesis in this experiment is that by being more present and less distracted by my phone in both my professional and personal life will yield positive benefits and I think I can say it certainly won’t hurt.

Check out the study:



  • Lee Ann

    I received a new phone too and so, I’ve not used but a few of the apps . Your article give me much to think about. I think I need to find more balance too. Thx

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