... and I'm obssessed with my smartphone. It’s said that smartphones make the tasks in our lives easier, faster, more efficient. But what use is a life lived efficiently if it has no core, no organizing principle? It is the essential rock of human purpose that smartphones so dangerously erode. By diverting our natural curiosity to more and more random and less and less meaningful tasks, they diminish our energy and time, leaving us lost. By following the trails of marketing and manipulation, we are doing the bidding of others rather than that of our souls.
Interruption from devices is now a regular feature of the modern working day. According to a 2008 UC Irvine study, workers who function in a frequently interrupted state experience more stress, higher frustration, and more time pressure, and must expend more effort than workers functioning in an uninterrupted state.
That the smartphone first appeared in the United States was both surprising and inevitable. America is a country built on the concept of Manifest Destiny—a nation organized around constant expansion into new territory.
It’s an idea that has unfortunately bled into other countries, other ideologies, allowing humans to push the natural world into a smaller and smaller corner of the planet.
And now that humans have exploited the majority of the planet’s physical territory, that same tendency has turned toward the unclaimed territory of the mind.
But this mind is your land.
You must occupy it fully to own its power.
Next time you pick up your phone, take a moment to think about the thought you had just before you did so. Focus on that thought, that person, that task and hold it in your mind. Look into it rather than avoid it.