I’m returning from a significant hiatus. In the short life of this blog, I’ve sworn off smartphones, facebook and instagram. I’ve lived with the smug luxury of surgically removing these seductive annoyances from my life. Mere months later, in an early July entry, I acknowledged my excitement holding my new IPhone mid phone number transfer. Still, I vowed no return to facebook or instagram. This also did not last.
So, now I’m a full-on working class anti-hero once more. I’m working on restoring the heroic to my life right now. Until then, here are my pros and cons (what a great book title “Pros and Cons: Consultants in the Age of Experts” ha)
Anyway, as promised…
pros: connectedness to worthy humans I care about, awareness of news and ideas
cons: a difficult-to-resist pull towards believing that people are what they seem and an equally disorientating forced neck-turn towards thinking that I (Maurna Desmond) am only what I seem to be. Pretty toxic! Plus, nothing cool happens. I also find myself checking it alot when I’m bored instead of DOING SOMETHING or THINKING DEEPLY.
Pros: connectedness, a bubbling feeling of self-worth with each friend request and like. A heightened sense of the fleeting nature of time. For instance, as I find myself struggling with the perfect selfie. How modern! (and pathetic 🙂 )
Cons: A distorted sense of one’s community. Warped really. Encourages vanity and superficiality. Celebrates extroverts and posers. In a relatively short period of time, I find it depressing like candy in the morning. Tastes good in the moment but the anti-wholesomeness of it kills you within a few hours. I also find myself checking it alot when I’m bored instead of DOING SOMETHING or THINKING DEEPLY.
I’m in a bit of a personal renaissance. I may have discovered what really makes me happy intrinsically. I may have discovered it (again) but this time I will shape my life around it (again.)
Sometimes, my life feels like it’s just remembering and forgetting.
Clifford Nass, professor of communication at Stanford University, reckons, “It is not physiologically healthy for you because (humans) are not built to do a multitude of tasks at one time. Your phone makes you feel like you have to respond, which then increases your stress and harms your cognitive thinking.”
Dr Bhinderwala agrees. Multitasking, he says, lessens our ability to focus on what is relevant, and rewires the brain to make us shallow thinkers. Varied communication features (SMS, video, Whatsapp, BBM, Facebook, Twitter) available on our finger tips, makes us less responsive to the immediate environment.
Dr Sandy Chapman, chief director for the Center for Brain Health in Dallas, who has studied the effects of technology on the brain, was quoted in nbcdwf. com, saying: “It’s really keeping us at this distracted level, so everything that we’re thinking about tends to be quicker, less synthesised, and that’s what’s making us dumber.”
In the last two weeks I’ve repeatedly found myself searching for my flip thinking I’d lost it. I’ve found it in my purse most of the time but once I’d left it on my bed — it had been hidden in the folds of my duvet. (that’s a lot of past participial right there) The vibrate sound is subtle in cloth and I had to walk around my apartment several times, macbook air in hand, calling my own phone using Google Voice and listening closely for the soft drone of my muffled flip.
This is a serious concern. If I lose my flip I lose the 12 numbers inside it which probably took me 90 seconds each (or more) to enter. I also have to activate another one of my free flips which I think takes 2-4 days to complete. During that time, I could miss an important text or call. In reality, that’s unlikely but I can’t really escape the cult of now and accessibility entirely.
Also, you can’t be without a phone unless you notify everyone via facebook these days and I’m off it. If I post it on G+ only Guy Kawasaki will know. And if I post it on twitter, I might lose even more followers than I already do with each retweet or post I make. That’s how I know my diminishing flock aren’t bots. They abandon me.
Anyway, I don’t really have a plan for finding my tiny phone. It’s tiny and untrackable. This is a going concern.
This is day four of waking up naturally to the sound of birds outside my window. I never heard them before this week. In the past, my IPhone alarm would wake me up at 630 and I’d use the snooze button until around 6:48. Because I tend to ignore issues or work around them, I do not have an electronic device for waking myself for work. So I guess my body is cooperating with my laziness by sleeping lighter and being more sensitive to morning sounds. I’m pretty sure lighter sleep means more REM which means I’m getting better sleep.