This is no epiphany. We stopped remembering phone numbers with the advent of a mobile phone. But with a smartphone, we choose not to remember directions (courtesy: Google Maps), recipes, spellings, heck almost anything and everything that requires memory. Come on, that’s exactly why the phone makers gave us the memory and processing power of a computer in our hands!

But I think by giving us so much power, these smartphones are taking our confidence away?

In the words of a dear friend, “Confidence is knowing where you stand. It is not only being sure of what you know but also equally sure of what you don’t know – and not being afraid to admit that.”

Now, I have been in many a meeting where managers keep their smartphones handy. And I always used to get annoyed looking at them furiously typing something on their smartphones while listening to me. Now that’s rude, I used to think until I overheard two young colleagues discussing a Mr. Google. Pretty soon I realized that they had this nickname for half a dozen of clients – people who never admitted that they didn’t know something. They would just nod their heads in a way that never gave away anything while looking up the topic of discussion on their handset. 

“They can’t possibly know everything”, I told my colleagues to keep their giggling at bay. However, I kept wondering why these so called Mr. Google’s don’t realize that it really doesn’t matter whether they have the answers or not. After all, these answers are not a measure of their smartness or confidence.

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence – Charles Bukowski

I definitely don’t consider someone who doesn’t have the answers as dumb because he might have never come across those questions. But to not admit that he or she doesn’t know all the answers is definitely dumb. They may win a battle with others but will definitely lose the war when it comes to themselves and their own confidence.


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