Take a look around you — on the morning coffee line at Starbucks, at the airport, and now, in New York’s underground… in the subway. Odds are huge that everybody is staring at their glowing smartphones, not having a conversation. According to CNN‘s recent poll, 42% of people use their smartphone to tackle boredom, it’s obvious that we don’t know what to do with the naked space that exists in our lives. Like cigarettes, junk food, chewing gum, or biting our fingernails, it’s a hard habit to break. The Eagles said it best “We are all just prisoners here of our own device. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
When you are used to constant stimulation— i.e.: NYFW– and then it’s gone, anxiety sets in when faced with its loss. It is a question proposed to me numerous times a day by foursquare, pose, Instagram, Twitter, and other numerous apps usurping my smartphone. Stay connected and keep up with friends or close facsimiles? These
time suckers free apps that “make the world an easier place to navigate”, allow me and other users to brag about which restaurant, concert, flea market, pier, fashion show, strip bar, etc I am currently at unlocking badges, awarding points, or opening the door to the possibility of making it to the “popular” page.
Last week, I explored the option of not checking in, (How criminal)!, and left my phone charging at the bar as the batteries were dead. What would happen, I thought? And would my friend across the table notice that my hands were shaking? It got me thinking that I am a prisoner of my own device. I needed to stay in that uncomfortable place.
I recently started a great new book by Frank Partnoy called Wait: The Art and Science of Delay which has been slow going. Taking my sweet time corroborates the author’s point. He opines that our collective manic obsession over our phones, and quick pace of life is actually destroying our quality of life. Maybe we need to slow down and stop the multi-tasking madness. He believes people who take their time and slow things down as much as possible make better decisions…and enjoy a better quality of life, too.
So while there may be a need to slow down, in this day and age, is this a realistic expectation? This AIM away message sums it up” “I’m not addicted, I’m just afraid of the voice that says goodbye.”
What are your thoughts? I want to hear!
Happy Birthday Google.