I would hazard a guess that as you read this, you’re probably using your smart phone. You may be reading out of genuine interest (possibly) or it may be a result of procrastination, as you scroll through Twitter or LinkedIn, rather than sending that email you should have sent yesterday. Either way, your phone is likely to be involved.
For those of us working in the tech sector, we’re perhaps inevitably the worst offenders. We no longer simply attend and passively listen during a conference or event - we multitask. Absorbing nuggets of information, we simultaneously take that Instagram-worthy photo, compose the perfect tweet and tag all the people who should be tagged. All this whilst clutching the business card of someone sat two rows in front, whose profile we’re now viewing on LinkedIn…
There is no getting away from it, technology has had a seismic impact on our lives. Be it professionally, politically, creative or socially, many of us live with technology in our pockets and by our sides, 24 hours a day.
In my own small world, technology has made my day-to-day professional and personal life easier. Used correctly, the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn and Slack are wonderful things - things get done, and fast. For the most part, I would say my phone usage is in check *glances at notification*.
However, there is mounting evidence that suggests that spending too much time on our devices is detrimental to our mental and physical wellbeing, something that’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Just this week, two former employees of Google and Facebook launched a campaign to fight what they see as the addictive nature of the technology they helped to create. The Center for Humane Technology believes tech giants have “eroded the pillars of society” and “hijacked” our minds. Powerful stuff, but are we really doomed to a life controlled by our phones?
Whatever your view, I’d argue that many of us could reduce the time we spend staring at a phone screen. We live in a 24/7 digital age, but perhaps now and again we should stop, put down the phone and take a moment to remain truly un-notified.
Our Minds Have Been Hijacked by Our Phones. Tristan Harris Wants to Rescue Them