Smartphones have been incredibly helpful in the last decade. We have instant communication and access to information with the swipe of a screen.
They’ve also become incredibly addictive.
Perhaps it’s a little harsh referring to them as a “21st century cigarette pack”, but there are elements of smartphones that seem dangerous.
- People not engaging with each other in face to face conversation. Games and social media apps seem to draw our attention. To be fair, ten or fifteen years ago, people would have their faces in books, newspapers or televisions. However, the portablitiy of smartphones makes it easier for people to disengage and escape into their own little world.
- Smartphones can lead to a lack of productivity. A phone is one more distraction that pulls us away from the projects that we should be working on. Watching a YouTube video is a lot easier than intentionally writing your next book or screenplay.
- Sleep patterns are being affected by our immersion in this technology. For some, a phone is the first thing they grab in the morning and the last thing they look at at night. The result: terrible sleep, cranky work days and just an overall feeling of the “blah’s”. Chemistry Life Hacks has produced a video that explains link between smartphone blue light emissions and the disruption of sleep patterns.
I’m experimenting with how I use my smartphone. I’m trying to stay away my phone for the first hour of the day, unless it relates to daily mediation and prayer. No email, Facebook or Twitter.
When I arrive at work, I try to spend the first 30 minutes of my day engaging with co-workers face to face to see what’s going on in their day.
When I’m at dinner, the phone ringer goes off. That’s my family time.
Ideally, though I am still working through this, I stay away from the phone for the last hour of the night so I can prep for sleep. If I do read, it’s from an actual paper book.
The smartphone is an incredible and useful tool, but it’s important to establish healthy boundaries with the devices so they are not affecting our lives negatively. Tools have a time and place to be used.
I wouldn’t go to bed with a table saw.