I was at a conference and there were disruptions of people during the talks of people getting up and leaving with their phones up to their ears. Something was taking them away. Something must be more important than this conference. Someone needs them. They are important. Then, I got a phone call that I wanted to take. I left the room. I felt important. I liked it. My ego was happily caressed.
It seems as though we check our personal devices constantly. Are they filling this fundamental need and feeding our ego? No wonder these small devices are so addictive and difficult to dismiss. When you feel like others need you, you feel important.
A while ago I took a hiatus from my email. I go back to this method, ironically, when I have some breathing room in my day. What have I realized by checking my email twice a day? It turns out that I am not that important. The daily hum of the machine kept on humming. And, more times than not, problems were solved without my help. Ouch. The good news? I got more of what I need to get done while others were figuring the rest out.
Letting go of our need to feel important could be the solution to our personal device dependence. If we let go of our egos then we would realize that more probably gets done without us. Let people take their own initiative to get things done. Empower them and, well, enjoy the conference (or your friends or your family).