This century has already seen some of the most incredible changes to human behaviour in our history. E-mail and the touchscreen device has taken over our entire existence, with hours of each day dedicated to consuming something, anything, from a doodad in our hands.
But some people are realising the harm of succumbing to the dopamine hit from the beeps and dings of our phones. We realise that these billion dollar companies have done extensive psychological research to find out just how to manipulate our psychology to keep us consuming their products.
But just because some technology is new, that doesn’t mean that it is good or necessary. Just because everyone is using it doesn’t mean that we will gain real value by joining them. Those who subscribe to the idea that “any benefit” constitutes a good reason to use a technology will find themselves with very little time to do meaningful work. This is why many of the best authors, creators and linchpins don’t use Twitter or Facebook. This shallow work is a distraction (even a compelling one) and takes valuable time away from doing the best work we are capable of.
This time that we are dedicating to our phones and to shallow connection with others could be once again put towards making something of value and spending real time with the people we care about.
So from now on my phone is on “Do Not Disturb” mode all day until I have finished the work I want to do. After I finish at 6pm or so, I’ll switch it back on so that I can take calls if I need to. I don’t want to be a slave to the distracting noises of my phone. Do you?