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BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

A man in his senior years talked about his recent visit to his daughter. He stayed with her for a few days so he could enjoy his grandkids.

One morning, as the daughter was preparing breakfast, he says: “Sweetheart, could I borrow a newspaper?”

The daughter replied: “Dad, this is the 21st century.We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, use my iPad instead.”

A little while later, the daughter asked, “So, dad, did you find the iPad more effective than the old newspapers of your time?”

The dad says: “You bet, and I can tell you this. The fly never even knew what hit him!”

I remember my pre-digital life. Maybe you do too. Remember using paper maps? You never knew if there was traffic ahead or not. Then I felt like everything was so advanced when one can turn to the internet for directions and it would enumerate for you the streets you need to take to get to your destination.

Going to restaurants was such a big deal and adventure. You would not know whether the service would be good and the food edible until you try it. I suppose you look at the olden days and consider these things as a disadvantage. Compared to what we have today, like having Google Maps for direction, Trip Advisor for reviews, and a host of apps to provide you with the critical information about the quality of goods and services restos offer, the trade-offs were there too.

Your friends were few, but they were true people. I have 5,000 friends on my page and 98 percent of them I do not really know. You had actual conversations at the dining table, whether at home or in restaurants.

Those were the days when many things were happening globally, most of which I would not know except for what was presented on print, radio or TV. Perhaps this is why the news that is far away and unreported do not make me anxious. The report was presented professionally, devoid of the newscaster’s personal opinions. They looked straight into the camera with a poker face stance because they had to be factual and objective in disseminating the information. Newscasters were respected and admired. The news came in bits, and then a summary was presented towards the end. That’s it. After the news program comes the station’s prime time program, you get entertained, get a few laughs and then rest for the night.

Today you can hardly decipher whether it is a piece of news being delivered or a personal opinion is being aired. The news seems to be presented with a design to trigger shock and outrage.

Imagine a young person in your household absorbed BUSINESS MATTERS... From B3

and fixated with the news. You add to this their practice of doom-scrolling and doom-surfing. With their smartphones, they are assaulted with endless feeds of conversations, posts, fake news, conspiracy theories that bombard their minds with a thousand triggers for sadness, outrage, anger, empathy, hurt, and frustration that their previous generations never experienced. Young people’s senses get tripped into overload, their minds hijacked because this becomes a mechanism by the communication businesses to get them to consume more and grow their business. And we wonder why the young are very anxious and many of them depressed?

Generation Z is entering the workplace. Every single HR person agrees with my observation that young people are extremely emotional and highly agitated. Creative people and advertisers know this very well. This would explain why most commercials today appeal to emotions, as the growing number of young people are now on the radar of business companies’ target market. This trend will increase.

I am very active with social media. I write books, maintain a newspaper column, do my radio segment, and do many webinars for my clients today. To be effective in what I do, I have decided to consume less and reflect more. I have turned off all notifications from all of my digital devices. I would instead read books or listen to an audiobook. Journalize my thoughts, making sure that my way of thinking is not a product of some communication company’s manipulation of my mind or a mere reaction to what someone else is thinking. Prayer helps me absorb and reflect.

As Carey Nieuwhof says: “Consume less. Reflect more, and you will have a richer life, and anxieties will lessen. Content consumed without content processed is useless.” He is right. You might want to consider this and, more importantly, share these ideas with your kids. Teach them to reflect and to think.



(Francis Kong’s highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online will run on May 18 and 19. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the current reality and the post-COVID world. For inquiries and reservations, connect with April at +63928-559-1798  and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

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