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Action, Interaction and Reaction from the Ritz team

“Chance favors the connected mind.”

Posted: October 6, 2011 - 9:50 PM ET - by Elisabeth

My last blog post addressed the critical role of emotional connection in communications (with a little help from Brene Brown).

My mind wandered down the path of wondering if emotional connection has been helped or hurt by technological connection.

There are lots of arguments that we have more connections with less depth thanks to face book, Twitter and other social media formats … that we have fallen into the trap of texting rather than talking and emailing rather than interacting?

I don’t advocate tech talk over face-to-face interaction, but it’s not all bad.

“The great driver of scientific innovation and technological innovation had been the historic increase in connectivity and our ability to reach out and exchange ideas with other people,” according to Steven Johnson, author of “Where Good Ideas Come From” and yes, another great TED speaker.

Take four minutes to listen to his great, visually interesting presentation and it may just inspire your next great idea!


Is my smartphone really smarter than I am?

Posted: August 25, 2011 - 7:05 AM ET - by Elisabeth

I think technology is wonderful thing. My business has thrived on the access to information and 24/7 availability that computers, tablets and especially smartphones ensure, and technology has definitely presented new, inspiring ideas I might not have found without social media, apps, and the like.

… but I’m reading more and more frequently that the stress I feel (okay, pretty often), the moments of “overload,” and the (let’s say occasional) lack of creativity or insight might be the fault of all my tech toys too (thank God it’s not the chemicals in my blonde highlights).

More experts than I can begin to name have addressed how much we need to disconnect from technology for our mental health.

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article that we don’t know how to be bored anymore … and he argues that boredom is source of creativity: “Experts say our brains need boredom so we can process thoughts and be creative. I think they’re right. I’ve noticed that my best ideas always bubble up when the outside world fails in its primary job of frightening, wounding or entertaining me.”

All these articles I keep reading (yes, on my fabulous little iPad), made me wonder …

Are we so focused on “connections” that we don’t really “interact” anymore?

Look around at a restaurant or event; how many people are looking at the phones or tablets, not even interacting with the people around them. Think about how many of your hundreds, or even thousands, of facebook friends you really talk to.

Are we so busy “gathering information” that we’re not really “learning” anymore?

How many news articles did you really read about the cause of the earthquake vs. clicking on the photo of the tipped over lawn chair.

And, for myself, I have to wonder … Is my smartphone really smarter than I am? At least when it’s battery runs down, I know I have to recharge it.

So I’m off on a little vacation … to recharge my batteries and reconnect with family and friends. I’ll try not to let the outside world frighten, wound or entertain me. Maybe I’ll try to be bored … but, in that case, I’ll probably just catch up on sleep in a sunny lounge chair.

See you back here on September 8 … maybe I’ll get a creative charge by then!