July 18, 2012


Recently, I became aware of the new social phenomena that some call “stacking.” Though no one knows for sure, it may have been started by a group of still fairly young professionals who also happened to be parents of children.

Here’s what stacking amounts to: When a group of people go out to dinner together, everyone pulls out their smart phones and creates a stack of them in the center of the table. Throughout the meal, the first person to reach for their phone, he or she picks-up dinner for the table.

This is brilliant! Groups of people have finally decided to take control their technology instead of allowing that technology to control them. And we all know that’s not an easy decision to make.

Leslie A. Perlow, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School and author of “Sleeping with Your Smartphone,” surveyed 1600 managers and professionals and found that only 2 percent turned off their devices, even while on vacation.

If you’re starting work, seek to buck this trend. Interns, summer associates and new hires should plan to disconnect. Eventually the rest of us will join you!



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