No more iPhones – Slow down at Apple

Apple does not allow people to use their Smartphones at their events. Is this a role backwards for the successful initiator of a new way of communication? Let's talk about the background of this message.

How do you imagine the last shareholders’ meeting of the world’s largest technology group? People who stare spellbound at Apple CEO Tim Cook and almost simultaneously hack the latest words into the virtual keyboards of their iPads, iPhones and MacBooks to be the first to pass the news on to the world?.

Already with the invitation to the event you receive the information that all electronic devices (yes, also mobile phone and tablet belong to it) remain at home and/or must be delivered at the entrance. This is also checked in detail on site with a security sluice, metal detectors and body searches.

What are they doing? As a successful initiator of a new way of communication, is Apple now playing a backward role and wanting to reintroduce tools that many technology enthusiasts think are a relic from the Stone Age? Or will there soon be new introductions of iPen’s or iBlock’s as Handelsblatt author Axel Postinett described in an article?

Of course Apple doesn’t want to prevent the reports about the Annual General Meeting, but it does want to determine the time when they will come on the market – after the end of the event.

But probably CEO Tim Cook was also able to gain something from the idea of having the undivided attention of his listeners and not looking at the crowd in hundreds of flashing mobile phone cameras.

Undivided attention – what is often used in the language has more and more disappeared in reality. In a world of permanent personal live reporting via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and others, many people no longer take the time to reflect, listen and observe. There are only a few zones where smartphones and tablets are banned, even airplanes will soon be released for Internet and mobile phone use.

Not that I want to abolish these technologies, on the contrary – I find the possibilities for mobile working or the contact with friends incredibly enriching. But there are situations in which undivided attention has to be in the foreground again. Anyone who has ever sat in meetings where all participants except the presenter type on the keyboards of their laptops and Blackberries has a nice picture of the word productivity loss. Even good and resilient friendships do not develop through an increase in the like me click rates on Facebook, but that I personally take time for the other.

Communication deceleration – that would really be a “next big thing” if we stay in the word choice of Steve Jobs.

But perhaps Apple is already one step further here (not only at the Annual General Meeting). Anyway, my new iPhone has a nice new feature – a “don’t disturb” button for undivided attention, which I’m going to press now and wish everyone a nice and relaxed weekend…

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