• Patrick McAndrew

Counting On Accountability

I am currently reading this amazing booked called, Who’s Got Your Back, by Keith Ferrazzi.  The book is all about creating deep and meaningful relationships and how those relationships can positively impact your life.  Needless to say, it’s very much in line with what we are doing at The Low Tech Trek in our digital age.

Ferrazzi states that there are four mindsets necessary for building and maintaining, what he calls, “lifeline relationships.”  These mindsets are generosity, vulnerability, candor, and accountability.  I couldn’t agree more, especially after diving deep into why these mindsets are important.  I just got finished reading about the fourth mindset, accountability, and it got me thinking about our accountability when it comes to our tech habits.

How can we develop or improve our tech habits so that we stick to them and are held accountable?  While the digital wellness field is relatively new, research is currently being published with regards to how technology is affecting our overall well-being and cognitive functioning.  Some other research that has been coming out?  Digital detoxes don’t really work.

While digital detoxes are great, they aren’t any more useful than the latest fad diet.  It’s great to go on a trip or spend an evening not attached to our phones.  We may reflect and comment on how awesome it was to not be on-call for that period of time.  But when that time is over, it’s back to the same old routines.  We are still stumbling to figure out solutions that are going to be sustainable as technology continues to advance.

Ferrazzi discusses the idea of “accountability partners” in his book.  While he discusses the important of “accountability partners” in both personal and professional matters, it’s important to consider this concept in the realm of digital habits.  Is there a way that we can become accountable by limiting our tech usage?

Analyzing this from another angle, it’s interesting to note how technology has drastically damaged our own ability to be accountable.  We tend to be late to meetings due to our seemingly busy schedules (technology seems to make everything super urgent).  We don’t give our families and friends our full attention when we are spending time together.  What is on our phones takes precedence over what is around us.  We should think about being accountable in our tech habits so that we can be accountable in general.

Along with being generous, vulnerable, and candid, Ferrazzi mentions that being accountable is potentially the most important out of the four mindsets he lays out.  It is our ability to show up, be on time, and get things done.  But, in order to do this effectively, we must leave the time and space to develop deeper relationships so that we may be accountable to those who mean the most to us.  We seem to be very accountable to our phones, but that won’t give us much back in return.

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