WalknTalks are Catching On

Hello friends – I haven’t been writing that much on the Yes & Know blog partially because I am still recovering from the adrenaline rush that I got from speaking on the TED2013 stage. (almost over it now)

Since sharing the press that came right out of the event, 3 new bits worth sharing.

First, Howie Mandel said “sitting is the new smoking” and then did a #walkntalk on the Ellen DeGeneres show. He just wouldn’t sit down…

2nd, an oped piece over at Wired on putting down the technology. In realizing the #1 objection people were raising to #walkntalks was “How Can I Take Notes?!”, I decided to address the question head-on. The key nugget:

I’m appalled by people’s disingenuity here. Because often, we’re not talking notes on our devices during meetings. We’re doing e-mail. Or we’re surface skimming for the tweetable line. We’re not engaging. Dividing our attention is like living on a diet of cupcakes: bring us short-term happiness but long-term emptiness.

Technology, as Sherry Turkle at MIT has shared, can make us less — not more — connected if we don’t use it intentionally. It’s become common practice over the last five years for everyone to have their devices out in meetings by default, so I’m not sure there’s much intentionality there.

And do we really need a device to record the key ideas out of an hour (or half-hour) meeting? If so, there are some easy ways to take notes during a walking meeting. (“Siri, take a note” anyone?) But if an idea strikes me as noteworthy, I actually signal it for my walking partner (“that’s really insightful, I want to remember that”) and then pull out a device or hop online when the walk is over. If I feel like I’ve forgotten something, I just drop them a short e-mail or text asking for clarity: Unsurprisingly, people easily and precisely recall their own points.

and 3rd, professor Terri Griffith shares some thoughts on wired walking. She’s got a good framework to think about when a #walkntalk makes sense.

Final thoughts — Like any major dilemma, issues of obesity can seem overwhelming. We can study it or think of systems of rewards and so on. Or (or should I say AND), each of us can start to take whatever individual action we can. In reality, it is in the small moves that each of us can make big changes. When you do, natural social interactions will spread it (think Connected book) organically.

So I ask you to spread the idea that health is important, and it doesn’t mean sacrificing work or productivity.

3 Responses:

  1. Jake Rosholt. March 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm  |  

    Nilofar said: “I haven’t been writing that much on the Yes & Know blog partially because I am still recovering from the adrenaline rush that I got from speaking on the TED2013 stage.”

    Nice humble brag.

    • Nilofer Merchant. March 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm  |  

      What is it they say? It’s not a brag if it’s backed up by fact? And in this case, I think I’m bragging that I was SO super nervous before that the adrenaline is *still* clearing the system. Not sure how much of a brag that is. 😉



  1. The best of the web | 6 Digital Tools That Save My Sanity - May 24, 2014

    […] You might have noticed that I’ve gotten into this thing called walkntalks. I track mileage every day on a little device called a Fitbit. Having a device gives relentless […]

Leave a Reply