Monthly Archives: January 2016

IS TECHNOLOGY DE-HUMANIZING US?

January 25, 2016

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No one can deny technology has made us smarter, more efficient, and even healthier.  Medical technology allows for early detection. The internet gives us instant access to news and information. But whatever happened to human contact?  We have become so wrapped up in the convenience of technology, we’ve lost the pleasure of interpersonal, social relationships. Our “plates” (don’t you hate that phrase?) are so full, we’re constantly seeking the fastest way to communicate and move along to our next task.

We are now more wired than ever. Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that half their study participants reported checking their email once an hour, while some individuals check up to 30 to 40 times an hour. An AOL study revealed that 59 percent of PDA users check every single time an email arrives and a whopping 83 percent check email every day while on vacation.

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Consider this:

  • Texting is now an art of abbreviations. Our spelling skills and grammar are going the way of the dinosaur.
  • Smart phones are now labeled “walking hazards”.
  • Our phones are next to our forks at the dinner table.
  • Many states have stopped teaching cursive, citing it as unnecessary. What happened to “thank you” notes to Grandma and Grandpa?
  • Have you been to a meeting with everyone looking at their phones? How does that make the speaker feel? Unimportant? Probably.
  • Next door neighbor children now play video games in their own homes rather than walk twenty feet outside and play with each other.
  • The population of Facebook is higher than that of China or India.
  • More people own a mobile device than a toothbrush. Read that again: scary, right?
  • Grandparents are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter, famous for its limitation of 140 characters per tweet.
  • We now have wearable technology on our wrists!

The statistics are scary. According to a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children today spend up to 75 hours a week using technology gadgets. That’s 75 hours of time spent plugged into iPods, watching TV, using the Internet, and escaping into the world of video games.

Old fashioned criticisms? Maybe, but are we taking the easy way out and unplugging from human contact? Sherry Turkle, a media scholar who wrote “Alone Together” and “Reclaiming Conversation” claims that “the flight from conversation undermines our relationships, our creativity, and our productivity”.  She believes that the ability to text and email allow us to edit our personalities and control how we want to be perceived, rather than who we really are.  Take a few minutes and listen to her on TedTalks at https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en#t-406314  

Human emotion is powerful and can’t be interpreted correctly through a text or email. Our body language, facial cues, and tone of voice all contribute to the conversation; when those elements are missing, it’s easy to be offended by a misunderstood remark or even a typo. Our smart phones are slowly driving us into isolation and while smiley faces on our phones are cute, they don’t convey the beauty of a smile or the sadness of real tears. Nothing replaces a mom’s hug, a shared memory, a family outing, reuniting with an old friend, touch and consolation when needed, or working out solutions in person via conversation.

Nearly two years ago, Scott Dockter, president and CEO of PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services Inc., decided to take Casual Friday one step further, and created email-free Fridays, where employees are encouraged to talk offline to resolve issues, by picking up the phone or meeting face-to-face. As a result, he saw an 80 percent email drop-off in the first year and noticed a reduction of unnecessary reports sent and excessive cc’ing.

Here’s a challenge: Is it possible for us to go on an email/texting “diet”? Is it possible to feed our souls instead with human contact for an hour a day? Try it … you may be surprised how good it makes you feel. What are YOUR thoughts?

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This entry was posted in on January 25, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.

DISTRACTED WALKING?

January 18, 2016

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“Dude. Engage!”

Distracted driving can cause crashes, injuries, and even death; it’s a prevalent public issue that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) continues to champion. But what about distracted walking? What are the consequences of pedestrians talking on the phone, texting, listening to music, or engaging deeply in conversation with the person next to them?

“Today, more and more people are falling down stairs, tripping over curbs and other streetscapes and, in many instances, stepping into traffic, causing cuts, bruises, sprains, and fractures,” said Alan Hilibrand, MD, chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. “In fact, the number of injuries to pedestrians using their phones has more than doubled since 2004, and surveys have shown that 60% of pedestrians are distracted by other activities while walking.”

Recently, AAOS expanded its injury-prevention efforts to include distracted walking. The “Digital Deadwalkers” radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) distributed in 2015 and 2016 humorously, but effectively, highlight what can happen when pedestrians focus on anything or anyone other than the task of safely getting where they need to go.

First, while 78% of U.S. adults believe that distracted walking is a “serious” issue; three-quarters of Americans say it’s “other people” who walk distracted. Only 29% of respondents admit that they, personally, have an issue. And the sense of “it’s not me, it’s you” cuts across a range of distracted walking behaviors:

  • Ninety percent say they see walkers talking on the phone (and 37% admit doing so themselves)
  • Eighty-eight percent engaging in conversation (vs. 75% themselves)
  • Eighty-eight percent listening to music (vs. 34% themselves)
  • Eighty-five percent using a smartphone (vs. 28% themselves)
  • Sixty-four percent generally “zoning out” (vs. 38% themselves)

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Despite the obvious risks associated with distracted walking, as many respondents believe it is “embarrassing (in a silly way)” as feel it is “dangerous” (46%). Furthermore, 31% say distracted walking is “something I’m likely to do” and 22% think distracted walking is “funny,” according to the study.

And distracted walking is resulting in injuries. Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans say they have personally witnessed a distracted walking incident, and just over a quarter (26%) say they have been in an incident themselves.

Information contained here is reprinted from AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons).

To read the rest of the story go to:  http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00748 or if you’ve injured yourself in a “distracted” incident, go to our web site to learn more about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and how we can help you.

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This entry was posted in on January 18, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.

What’s on YOUR Bucket List?

January 4, 2016

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At this time of year we think about the year left behind, reflecting on our accomplishments and wondering about things we wish we had done.  Each new year prompts us to set new goals, but what about our “bucket list” … those wishes and dreams we wouldn’t normally be able to do, or even things we say “maybe someday I really will do that”?

We asked some of our SOA staff “what’s on YOUR bucket list?”; what is that one thing that would fulfill your dream? We had some interesting conversations.  The number one generic answer was the desire to travel and there were specific locations:  Alaska, Austria, Germany, Italy, Africa, and Paris.  Some were more detailed like seeing the Great Wall of China or the Grand Canyon.  There were interesting thoughts like “fill my passport” and “live on a cruise ship” and “the more places I see, the more places I want to go” and “see the Aurora Borealis” and “a road trip with no particular destination”.

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See if you share in these other SOA staff responses:

  • Parachute
  • Hang gliding
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Invent something
  • Reconnect with old friends from long ago
  • Parasail
  • Do more woodworking
  • Participate in live theatre on stage
  • Be able to carry a tune
  • Finish college
  • Have my own business
  • Backpack across Europe for a year and live among the locals
  • Culinary school
  • Learn a language
  • Retire
  • Be a firefighter
  • Go sport fishing
  • Reinvent myself
  • Be a mentor
  • Volunteer; pay it forward; do something without expecting something in return
  • Make photography more of a thing rather than a hobby

So how about joining the conversation? What would be appealing to you? What would make your life more interesting?  How will YOU change the world? What’s on YOUR bucket list? Share your dreams with us. Better yet, get out there and DO it!

This entry was posted in on January 4, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.