Sept. 21 2015 02:24 PM

Are we losing our sense of connection through mobile devices? Recently, my father in law passed away at the young age of 97. During his life, he experienced multiple wars, depressions/recessions, multiple presidents, the introduction of computers, cable TV, the landing on the moon, use of a nuclear bomb and the common use of automobiles. Most interestingly, he never owned a mobile phone. He was one of those people that still had a land line but his real connectivity to his family and friends was to be there in person and to have a “real” human experience. He outlived most of his friends but still had 500+ people attend his wake. To further display this new world of connectivity, I saw three young boys riding down the street and all three of them were looking at their phone while riding their bikes. Not only is this a safety issue, but they were not living in the moment of riding a bike.

The world of e-commerce is moving faster and faster toward making it very easy andconvenient to make purchases that will be delivered in hours, next day and possibly two days… but who would ever wait two days to get their goodies? Sometimes I feel like we are creating our own monster with modern technology. I remember when FedEx introduced the first desktop computer to high volume shippers so they could print their labels faster… have we come a long way! I have this vision that we will be able to ship a package from our phones without a printer… some technology that will “image” the shipping information on the box… maybe it will tape itself too. Don’t get me wrong here, technology is great but it is making us a “less connected” society. Please do your own research and just jump off the grid for a moment and watch what people are doing today; they are constantly looking at their phones. This is exactly what the modern day merchants want us to do.

It is my recommendation that you take some time off the grid and re-connect with the people around you. You will find that freewheeling conversation is a lot more fun than just having a “text” conversation. You may also want to develop a personal plan on how you can be less connected to your device and more connected to people. The art of eye to eye conversation is more enjoyable.

The parcel business was built on personal relationships. Most businesses do business with people that they trust and know. I would like to challenge anyone who reads this article to be more connected through person interaction.
If a 97-year-old person could go through life without a mobile phone, then we could change our ways and be a better society. Thanks, Dad, for a great lesson learned.

Michael J. Ryan is the Executive Vice President – Parcel Solutions at Pro Star Parcel and has over 25 years of experience in the parcel industry. He can be reached at 708.224.1498 or