Do you want a smartphone or a smart you?

I have a confession to make.

If you look through the items I’ve posted in this blog, you’ll see that on May 25 I wrote, “How to Keep From Being A Slave To Your Smartphone.” My advice there is good, yet my confession today is that I haven’t been following my own advice.

After only four months, I realize that I’ve been letting myself become a slave to my smartphone. In fact, “slave” is not the best word. The correct word ought to be “addiction.”

Here’s what drew the “addiction” to my attention.

I went to a junior college campus this week to listen to a friend who was going to speak for a group of students. When walking to the front door of the college and then when going down the hallways of the school, I noticed that none of the students looked up. They kept looking down at their phones, laptops, iPads, etc. Yipes! A woman slipped and fell on the stairway, and no one looked up to help her. No one!

This caused me to think about myself. I realized I’ve been spending my time looking DOWN at my phone and/or my laptop too, and — good gosh — I might have been missing a lot of important things, including people who need help.

Conclusion: Knowing WHAT to do is not the same as DOING the right thing.

Here, for example, is what I wrote in May:

“Let’s both realize that if we check our smartphones continually, we’re letting ourselves get DISTRACTED from key tasks and priorities and REACTING to what the phone brings us. Distractions waste time, right? And Reacting wastes time too, doesn’t it?

Let’s stop wasting time and start INVESTING time.

Please think with me. When you Pre-Act, YOU determine your priorities in advance; and when you Re-Act, you are letting any new items Prioritize you.

Ok, so how can we resolve this?

To break a habit we need to create a new habit to replace it, so I recommend that we:

1) Schedule (actually set up time blocks) times when we’ll look at our smartphones.

2) Set the phone aside, and look at it only when we’ve scheduled time to do so.
This simple strategy will encourage us Pre-act (plan), rather than Re-act (lose focus).

I fully recognize you’re apt to receive an important phone call that you must handle immediately. If that happens, fine, accept that priority call — It deserves your attention! Please also realize that any other texts, emails, and phone messages don’t necessarily deserve your immediate attention, so take care of them ONLY when you’ve scheduled time to do so,

I suggest it will not be easy to make this habit change, yet if you do, I propose that you’ll find you get more done in your day and you’ll reduce your stress — another big time-waster!.”

The last seven paragraphs are the ones I wrote in May and I rewrote them here to help you (if you need a reminder) and me (because I did indeed need this reminder.)

You see, I love my smartphone (iPhone), yet I first need to be a smart me.

What’s your opinion? Do you have a comment or suggestion?

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2 Responses to “Do you want a smartphone or a smart you?”

  1. Advancing technologies should help us do more in less time; a good theory, and it sounds logical…

    But it’s not what’s happening for most people….

    And they don’t even realize it.

    While we all think we’re mastering technology, it’s actually mastering us, isn’t it?

    What do you think of this: I bet the average person could more easily kick a herion habit than put his Smartphone down and never touch another one for life.

    Seriously. This sutff is that seductive, habitual, addictive.

    Hey, we know people have stopped using herion. Has anybody stopped using their Smartphone, the internet, email? Can it be done?

    BRILLIANT, Chuc.

  2. Barry Barnes Says:

    Before there was the iPhone there was the Blackberry…and it wasn’t called the Crackberry without good cause. The newer, smarter phones are even MORE addictive as you’ve pointed out. Following your advice on scheduling interruptions is going to be VERY hard for many folks since many are seduced into these devices in order to be immediately “responsive.” But I’d rather have a smarter me and a smarter phone…like you said.

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