Use Your Phone Smart

Your smartphone has two jobs.

On one hand, it was hired by you to accomplish certain tasks. In the scheme of things, it’s a screaming bargain and a miracle.

But most of the time, your phone works for corporations, assorted acquaintances and large social networks. They’ve hired it to put you to work for them. You’re not the customer, you’re the product. Your attention and your anxiety is getting sold, cheap.

When your phone grabs your attention, when it makes you feel inadequate, when it pushes you to catch up, to consume and to fret, it’s not working for you, is it?

On demand doesn’t mean you do things when the device demands.

Seth Godin – “When your phone uses you”

Opiates are not evil. They are chemical compounds derived from poppy seeds. Nothing more, nothing less.

Used under the proper medical supervision, they provide incredibly effective pain relief. Used as a way to make money – capitalising on their potent potential for addiction – they wreck lives, they wreck families, they wreck societies…

Your smartphone isn’t evil, either. It’s a pocket-sized piece of space-age technology.

Used mindfully, it can take photos, connect you with your loved ones, grant you access to every song ever recorded, order you your dinner, wake you up in the morning… Used on autopilot, however, and you might just find it taking over your day.

If you feel like your phone is using you, set yourself some limits. One thing that helps me is to spend just one day following this rule: I can only open my phone up if I can first say out loud why I’m about to open it up. Doesn’t matter if the answer is “to piss about for half an hour”… the point is just to be a little more mindful of it.

You only get so much attention each day. Unless you decide to bury it in the garden, some portion of that attention is going to go on your phone. Let’s face it: they’re too damn useful to live without. Well, that’s fine.

Just make sure you’re the one pulling the strings. Use your phone smart.

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