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Thoughts on LPBC Speaker Daniel Sieberg from Google

Daniel Sieberg, Google with ARS EmployeesOn February 26, a few of our team members from the ARS Corporate Office had the pleasure of attending the monthly Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club Signature Series at The Great Hall & Conference Center in Germantown, TN. The guest speaker was Daniel Sieberg, Senior Marketing Manager at Google. He oversees media outreach efforts and is an official spokesperson for Google. 

He spoke about his book, The Digital Diet, which provides “a four step plan to break our tech addiction and regain balance in our lives.” At first, I’m sure everybody was thinking, “so the guy from Google, a pioneer of the tech world, is advocating that we detach ourselves from our digital devices?”

The points he made resonated with everybody though. When did we start thinking of our smartphones as a physical extension of our body? So much so, that we sacrifice time with our family and friends by burying our heads in them.

To reinforce his point of how attached we are to our phones, he conducted a social experiment…to switch phones with the person sitting next to you. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I felt very nervous doing that. That phone documents key moments in my life from text messages, map locations, pictures, videos, social media apps, etc. If I were to lose it, I would be devastated. It would worse than losing my wallet. Even when I handed it off for a few minutes, it was unsettling.

Sieberg went on a digital diet when he realized how it was affecting his personal life, but also making him less of a productive worker. Think about how many times you had to pitch something to your colleague, boss, or client. Did you just send an email about it? Or did you have a conversation with him/her?

Now there is an entire industry of products or services that specialize in giving you a break from digital devices such as the NoPhone, a fake phone so you feel like you have a phone in your pocket but without the distraction. Put it on the Christmas list for those loved ones in your life that can’t seem to tear themselves away from the screen.

Sieberg also created a Virtual Weight Index, which calculates the digital equivalent of BMI. How weighed down are you by electronics? Try it, and see what yours is!

If you are overwhelmed by the digital devices in your life, Sieberg advises the following:
1)       Stack your phones on the table when you’re eating out—the first one to pick up their phone pays for dinner.
2)       Have device free meetings to show respect to the presenter (this works for your personal life too)
3)       Don’t charge (or keep) your smartphone in your bedroom at night. Invest in an old fashioned alarm clock. Remember those?

If you ever have a chance to listen to Daniel Sieberg speak (he’s on the Today Show frequently), check him out!

Special thanks to Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club for hosting this great event! 

Picture: (Left to Right) Jim McMahon, CFO, ARS; Daniel Sieberg, Google; Vimala Ingram, Communications Director, ARS

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