I read this article today over on Quartz: At first life without a smartphone was terrifying. Then it was beautiful. I have kept my reading habits in a running list here if you are interested. I really just want a way to keep a log of the things I am reading, but this one caught my attention and I wanted to comment.
I do not feel that I am addicted to my phone and I like hearing other points of view. However, I feel and have felt similarly to the author in terms of the amount of time and attention given to the digital, while ignoring and neglecting the physical around us. For some, this might include people or sounds or vistas, but not matter what you are ignoring, the digital world requires attention that perhaps we should all think twice about giving it.
My thing is audio. I have a love/hate relationship with podcasts, something I am often moderately ostracized for within the tech community.1 I ended up removing my podcasting clients from my phone and I rarely listen to music on my commutes because I realized it was a distraction that was having an affect over time. My point is, we all have our thing that can be (but probably shouldn’t be) too much of a distraction from the things that really matter and, time and time again, humans are told through evidence and emotion that we are meant to work with, communicate with, have fun with other physical humans, not digital distractions.
I have to assume this is because the majority of podcasts are one or more white men talking about technology.↩
There is no better reason to not do something
There is no better reason to try
There is no better reason to fight
Against tyranny and strife
Removal is often the goal
Removal is often the challenge
Removal is often not enough
To completely fix what hangs in the balance
But it can bring about great change
But it can bring light
But it can bring great joys
In the darkness of the night
And so I live with friction
And so I live with what is hard
And so I live with what I love
But I stay upon my guard