The Barber Shop Talk


You could say it was a step back in time. An old Coke machine with a hand cranked dispenser, a 1975 World Series Cincinnati Reds Hat, an old school radio, a Reagan-Bush campaign sticker from the 80s, and TIME Magazines covering the past 3 decades. These were just some of the memorabilia I saw as I entered an old barber shop for an haircut. The shop had been there for years and the faithful barber had seen lots over his time.
As I sat in the chair and he began to cut my hair, he asked me several questions about my thoughts on the Presidential Election, State Question 777, and of course, March Madness. We spoke in depth on these topics, but one question he asked was, “Why does a young fella like you come to an old barber shop like this?” 
“To get a good haircut.”, I replied. He laughed and proceeded to tell me how few young people actually talk when they come in to get a haircut. Most people come in for a haircut, not a conversation like some used too. He said that many folks rather text, talk, or just play games on their iPad without saying much, while the barber would cut. He said he didn’t understand how people were so quick to be social on the web, but yet so socially silent in person. 
This conversation got me thinking. We can all agree that social media has transformed society as we know it. But through this transformation we have seen cell phones, iPads, and social media sites absorb more and more of our attention, time, and focus. It’s becoming the norm, but it doesn’t have to be. New technology is great, it can be fascinating and fun, but just like anything else, too much of it leads to negative results. You might be on Facebook now, reading this and thinking of its irony as it has been typed on a digital device. This post is one I’m writing to myself and so need to hear. I’ve realized in my life that the more time I spend on my phone the less time I have to spend with others. This post is more for me than anyone else, because understanding that life doesn’t have to revolve around my cell phone is a relieving truth. Much of the drama in our schools and dare I say in our workplaces stem from too much focus on our phones when we should be focusing on what’s in our hearts. When I speak, I hear from people that drama and social media are 2 of the biggest problems they face. Coincidentally, they can go hand in hand. Drama soars when you open the wrong door. Drama dies when you see there is more to life. 
The challenge for myself is to refocus and reduce the time spent on my phone. How many memories have been at stake due to a lack of physical presence? How many lives could we reach if we started an actual conversation instead of playing Angry Birds? My point is our generation is a blessed one with new innovations, new technologies, and new ways to connect. Let us not forget life isn’t about the cell phone, but about making others know that they are not alone. It’s great to have a social media presence, but let’s not forget to be physically present. As for my barber, I look forward to receiving another good haircut and to many more conversations to come not via text, but by good old fashioned talking. #TheBarberShopTalk #NewBlogPost 

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Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

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