Is Anyone Listening Anymore?


In “Giving”, President Bill Clinton’s book, he writes of an African tribe he encountered that had a unique way of greeting each other. When someone says, “Hello,” the other person responds with, “I see you.”  In today’s ADD-driven generation, when we are constantly distracted with handheld devices, the very art of listening is something which is a minute by minute struggle.

Spent the day today alone with my daughter, and we agreed electronic devices would not be touched all day. No ipad for the car, no facetime – just bonding time. And from breakfast, to the library, to a long walk in the park, to a museum and a lot of time together, we connected.

Of course, she has been excited for a sleepover with her friend who is coming to sleep over – and lo and behold they are excited to watch a movie – while they play gadgets. I am the old man when I ask what the fun is of playing on gadgets rather than talking – or giggling as in my mind girls should be doing.

If we are speaking with someone at a party and he’s constantly looking around to see if there’s someone more important with whom he can talk it is annoying.  Yet, I know in my personal and professional life, I am constantly distracted.  But, the challenge remains to think – Emails/ Blackberries etc are useful tools but they don’t enable us to think.

Thinking – the ability to reflect – is essential. As Bertrand Russell said, “when all other options have failed, man is thrown back onto ‘the painful necessity of thought!’?”  Does anyone think these days when gadgets are constantly with us?

Food for thought.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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