I can’t be more interesting than something the greatest minds of a generation have spent perfecting, the addictive entertainment of the latest social media app.
I can’t compete with it. If I’m presenting something in a meeting, it won’t be more interesting than scrolling Twitter or Reddit. TikTok will always be more amusing than anything I can say in casual conversation.
Trying to compete with someone’s phone is demoralizing. The problem is, most people are so addicted that you can’t even point this out to them. Yet any time there’s so much as a quick lull in a conversation, out comes the phone.
Do I become the eternal grump and refuse to talk to people when their phone’s within sight? No, that won’t work. But I no longer have the energy to compete, because I’ve long ago lost.