Have We Lost Our Ability to Savor?

As we roll deeper into the 21st century and face the beginning of yet another new year, I wonder sometimes what this rampant ADD we all seem to be fully engaged in will add up to in terms of life satisfaction.

We seem to relentlessly pursue endeavors in anticipation of the next endeavor, or the one after that, instead of enjoying the one we’re doing, or we doing things that are enjoyable three at a time, instead of letting ourselves relax and just participate in a moment without multiple distractions.

This behavior is not new. It all started back when I was young, with TV dinners. Suddenly you couldn’t just sit and eat a meal. You had to be watching a show at the same time.  So don’t blame the cell phone. It happened way before that.  But now, if you try to have dinner with your family without anyone checking Snapchat or Twitch forty times during the meal, then the irritation/anxiety/bad attitude index goes through the roof.

And if I see one more dad sitting looking at his cell phone while his son or daughter sits next to them playing by themselves, I’m going to scream.  “This kid will be in college before you know it,” I want to shout.  Never mind that, in fact. Within three years the kid will have his own smart phone and you will cease to exist.

And I’m not saying all this technology is bad. I love it. It’s made it possible for me to be in contact with people I love much more easily, and answer any question without having to use my memory, and be reminded of the thousand things I’ve scheduled in my life. But texts interrupt us, notifications distract us, email inundates us, and the idea of watching a TV show while playing a game on your iPad and checking Facebook every ten minutes seems as antiquated as riding a horse to work.

And let’s also dispel the myth of multi-tasking. It’s been absolutely demonstrated with brainwave studies that we are simply switching back and forth between the tasks, not multi-tasking. Which means we are losing our ability to focus for more than a few seconds.  In a single generation we’ve gone from reading War and Peace to not being able to finish reading a Tweet because it takes too long.

And I’m just as bad. I drive in a hurry even when I’m not going anywhere. I panic if halfway through my workout the podcast seems to be a load of nonsense. I look at my Apple Watch the second it buzzes with a message. (Although half the time it’s just telling me to stand up.)  Is all this bringing me joy?  Honestly, no.

So where am I going with this rant?  I have no hope or even intention of rolling back the atomic clock on technology.  What I am suggesting is that we re-learn how to savor. This mad pursuit of multiple activities has suppressed our ability to savor what can be delicious single moments in life.

When I was in college we all used to sit and listen to an entire album (that’s a vinyl LP, for you young ‘uns) and then have to flip it over to hear the other side.  And that was all we did.  And those songs still play in my head now.  It was wonderful.

We skied without listening to headphones, and we read books from cover to cover, sometimes in one sitting.  We sat and had a few drinks without six televisions in our eyeline.  We played Trivial Pursuit and actually had to use our brains instead of our phones.

So all I’m suggesting is that for 2019, maybe take some part of your day and just do one single thing sometime during the course of your day, and savor it.

Sit and just drink your half-caff almond latte.  Enjoy it, the flavor, the warmth. Without checking your email.

  • Listen to an entire song, maybe even an entire album, without doing anything else.
  • Chat with a dear friend, phones on silent, tucked away.
  • Take a walk without listening to a playlist or a podcast. Just enjoy the air, the sky and nature, or the bustling world around you.
  • Cook a meal from scratch together, and eat it, enjoying every bite, devoid of electronic distraction.
  • Listen to an old person tell you about their life. Ask them questions. (I have a thousand questions I wish I could ask my dad.  Sadly, he’s long gone.)
  • Meditate. For ten minutes even. (If you have no idea how, go to calm.com. It’s easy.  And good for just about everything.)
  • Or just take fifteen seconds and look up at the clouds. Or the stars.  Or down at a flower. Or watch your kids play.

Savor.

Just a little bit, for a few moments in the day.

And maybe we’ll discover that happiness isn’t so hard to find after all.

It’s Time to Elevate Dentistry!

Let’s face it; the majority of the population doesn’t value dentistry anywhere near as much as they should. And they don’t value it anywhere near as much as other things of considerably less value that they spend money on gladly.

Now couple that with the fact that there is no single place where people could find out anything they wanted to know about oral health, and then find a dentist and even book an appointment right there online.

Which is why Dentistry.com was created. Imagine a website with all the benefits of WebMD, ZocDoc and Yelp, rolled into one, and none of the negatives. That’s what Dentistry.com is–a website dedicated exclusively to our profession, the ultimate resource for the dental consumer.

Dentistry.com is the new, free online platform from Dentsply Sirona. The goal for the site is simple and powerful: to improve the state of the nation’s dental health by increasing the number of new patients who go to the dentist and accept treatment.

It’s time we elevate dentistry to its proper place in healthcare. And no one else is in a position to do it–not the societies, not the search engines, and not the review sites, because they don’t have the resources and they don’t have a comprehensive goal in mind.

Consumer Education Is Essential for Dentistry

We all know that dental health is integral to overall health, but the rest of the population doesn’t. We don’t go six months without finding some new disease that is linked to periodontal disease. And we’re the only ones who aren’t surprised.

Understanding the value of dentistry and then easily finding an appropriate dentist will do something very simple and profound: more people will go to the dentist, more often, and will accept more treatment.

Dentsply Sirona wants more people to understand the critical role good oral health plays in their overall wellbeing, which is why Dentistry.com was designed as the ultimate consumer site for all things dental. And they also understand that consumers want things fast and easy, and they want it on their smartphone. And they want it in one place. Which is why Dentistry.com features:

  • An active community of dentists sharing advice with patients
  • Authoritative information and articles from dental professionals
  • The most detailed directory of dental practices – anywhere
  • Advanced online dentist search and booking tools

Best of all, it costs nothing to join Dentistry.com. As a new member of this online community, you’ll receive a free profile that helps you to attract more new patients online, improve your website’s SEO, and receive online appointment requests.

Boost Your Website’s Search Results

I’ll explain how that all works. First of all, being part of Dentistry.com boosts the SEO for your own site because it is a directory, and Google likes to index that information and boost results accordingly. (Sounds technical, but trust me.) And Dentistry.com will also appeal to Google because of the rich, detailed content about dentistry, along with advice directly from top professionals. And this is the latest online tool, written in the most efficient language (Google likes that too!) and will eventually have the most information about dentists that can be found anywhere.

I said “eventually” because that last part requires your participation. It costs you nothing to be listed, and there is substantial benefit to do so. But this is how we make it the ultimate destination, by thousands of dentists participating.

It’s time to give the people what they want: an easy way to research dentistry and find a dentist, and then book an appointment. Hey, it’s 2018 already–let’s join the future. And the result will be more patients going more often, with a better understanding of the value of dentistry, which will lead to easier and greater case acceptance.

So claim your practice now. (Did I mention it’s free?) It will only take five minutes. Just click here: Claim My Practice.

Let’s band together and elevate dentistry. It’s time!

Want to learn more about Dentistry.com?

Dentistry.com is hosting a free webinar on November 16th where you can get an inside look into the consumer research that led to the creation of “the new patient destination for dentistry.” Register now.

 

 

Is Facebook Over?

There is a LOT in the news about Facebook this year, and none of it is particularly good.  First, they let us know that if we wanted even our own followers to see our postings, then we were going to have to pay. Then Cambridge Analytica comes along and lets us know that they can easily influence elections using our Facebook data. And that our data is out there a million times over.

So dentists are asking me if they should stop using Facebook, because people are going to be bailing out of the site.  And so my question is, “And go where?”

People have a social media addiction.  They need that dopamine hit all through the day. The average person spends 50 minutes a day on Facebook.  So if they stop using it, are they going to start reading newspapers? Or worse, talking to people at the dinner table?

Or maybe they’ll switch over to Instagram. Well, Facebook owns Instagram.  And Whats App, too.  And Snapchat is losing people much faster than Facebook, and Twitter still can’t find its purpose, except as a national broadcast system for our current president.  LinkedIn?  Great if you’re looking for a business connection. Pinterest?  Not for the dental industry.

The reality is this: most of what’s going on with Facebook has nothing to do with small businesses.  The fact that they are curtailing their merging of outside data sources with their own data doesn’t matter except to large businesses, who spend hundreds of thousands targeting ads to people, and of course to political campaigns. For the rest of us, it’s a slightly different version of business as usual.

People will still use Facebook to connect with their friends, to get the news and to get spending ideas.  Ads will still work. Pages will still use it to learn what it’s like to be a patient in your practice.

Granted, Facebook shows a lot fewer people your posts than ever before. We have to adapt to this by making sure our content is interesting, and incorporating things like auto-responses through Messenger whenever anyone comments or likes a post.  And we’ll have to pay to boost posts. But the audience is still there.

The fact is, 20% of the world’s advertising dollars are spent on Facebook.  They’re not going anywhere. They need to make some major course corrections in terms of privacy of data and a few other things. But they are already moving in that direction.  And they will be forced to by the government if they don’t.

Stay the course. Post interesting videos and photos and contests and events, as well as patient testimonial videos and recommendations and reviews.  Boost popular posts. Test some advertising for implants, or aligners, or implants.  All the stuff I’ve been recommending for years. It will still work. You might just have to buy some more eyeballs, but hey, it’s been a free ride for a long time.

Are you prepared for the future?

Dentistry is changing – fast. The good news is that there’s still plenty of opportunity, plenty of options and great profit in dentistry, the biggest risk is staying the same.

If you want 2018 to be your best year in practice, you can’t do what you did last year.

It’s time to claim what you want and create a plan to get you there, so I’m inviting you to join me and dentistry’s leading experts, for The 2018 Future of Dentistry Event. During this free, online event, you’ll get a practical plan to transform your practice for the future and make 2018 your best year ever!

Click here to REGISTER for this special event. Don’t let the fast approaching wave of change overcome you. Learn how you can position yourself and your practice for an unbelievably successful 2018 and beyond!

 

January Is Make or Break Time for Dentists

January is dentistry’s busiest and best month for new patient acquisition. How your front desk handles new patient calls during the next few weeks can make or break your year. Knowing exactly what to say to callers as well as how and when to say it can mean the difference between hanging-up in frustration and adding thousands of dollars in new production to your bottom line. I hope you can join me and my special guest Laura Hatch, founder of Front Office Rocks, on January 12th for a special live webinar where you’ll learn how to take advantage of  January’s exciting growth opportunities year round. Sealing the Deal. Call Handling and Front Desk Strategies New Patients Can't ResistIn this all-new free presentation, Laura and I will share proven strategies that will help your practice create the kind of warm and caring first impression – both on the phone and in the office – that lays a great foundation for a long-lasting patient relationship. Recognized as one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry, Laura is an expert at helping practices improve their day-to-day operations and create the ultimate customer service experience. In less than an hour we’ll cover everything from scripts for handling “shopper” calls about fees to tips on the best way a front desk can welcome new patients. It’s going to be great. We hope you can make it. Register now.