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Why “Smart Watches” Are About to Create More Stress in Your Life than You Can Imagine


by Glenn Shepard

May 19, 2015

Category: Management

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I caused a scene at church last Sunday and I’m not sure if I should be scolded, or applauded for it.

I was annoyed with the guy beside me who kept texting during the service. I hoped it was something urgent, but could see it was about what they were going to have for dinner.

As if that weren’t enough, his teenage daughter was on Facebook. (Obviously, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in his family.)

I confronted him after the service, and his argument was “What business is it of yours what I do in church?” He also pointed out how many people bring their iPads to church, and how they could just as easily be reading emails or shopping on Amazon as reading the Bible app.

I was actually one of those people who used to bring my iPad to church instead of a Bible. But while I have no objection to people doing that, it just didn’t feel right for me and I went back to a real Bible.

I just felt irreverent knowing that the device I brought into church also contained blocked sp*m (*=a) messages that probably contained po** (**=rn).

No matter where you fall on this issue, two facts are beyond debate.

1. Technology is changing faster than ever.
2. Rules of social etiquette – and workplace etiquette – are not keeping pace.

Example 1: Would you consider it OK for your teenage son to break up with his girlfriend by texting, or would you require him to call her or go visit her in person?

(For my readers under the age of 21, phone calls are what we used phones for before texting. You should try it sometime.)

Example 2: Is it OK to call a customer while you’re sitting on the toilet? A 2012 study reported by CBS News (“IT in the Toilet”) found that 75% of Americans admit to using a phone while in the bathroom, which might explain why another study found that 19% admit to dropping their phones in the toilet.

Example 3: A 2015 report titled “Is There Really a Generational Divide at Work?” found that 1/3 of Millennials think it’s OK to text during a job interview.

And now comes the tidal wave no one saw coming.

In the old days (i.e. 2014 and before), managers could tell employees not to use their personal cell phones at work. Companies that employ lots of teenagers often take their cell phones away and lock them up in the manager’s desk while they’re on the clock.

But now thanks to the Apple Watch and dozens of other “wearable tech” devices, people are going to be more connected to their smart phones than even the great visionary Steve Jobs could have imagined.

I predict that I’ll soon be hearing stories in my seminars from managers who have to take their employee’s watches away when they clock in.

The good news is that no matter how much technology changes, the science of management is the same today as it was 100 years ago.

You, as a manager, have to clearly define boundaries before you can hold people accountable for not crossing them.

It’s no different than deciding whether your employees can call customers by their first name, date coworkers, or not wear socks.

It’s not about being mean, it’s about being clear. As Dave Ramsey says, “To be unclear is to be unkind”.

To Your Success,

Glenn Shepard 


In a previous issue of this newsletter, I gave out the wrong email address for Art Norwalk. Art is the person I use, endorse and highly recommend for copy writing and marketing. His correct email is

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