I have a question for you. How far away is your mobile device at this very moment? How physically far away from you is it at any point in your day? It is actually on your body, in a pocket, or in your purse? Or nearby within your reach?
Can you leave it at home for an entire day? It may not even be a mobile device, it may be your laptop or ipad. As I began to answer these questions for my self I realized there are almost no hours within my day that my phone or laptop is not within about 10 steps of my body.
And leaving my phone at home for a day. On a “work day” that would feel irresponsible. Maybe when I am away on vacation, but even then it is my camera so I may want to snap a picture of something beautiful I discover.
The old axiom seems to apply. Technology, you can’t live with it and you can’t live without it.
Recently Apple launched a new campaign slogan that acknowledges our tenuous relationship. We have all been enamored with the “things” we can now do with our personal devices. Yet we also have realized that with this sense of digital connection there seems to be a growing sense of isolation. The other curious thing we have realized is that the number of increased distractions having these devices at our fingertips introduces into our lives.
Arianna Huffington, a powerhouse woman with many accomplishments and founder of the Huffington Post, now leads a company called Thrive Global and she is an advocate for balance. She recently wrote an article highlighting this new campaign with Apple.
Huffington writes, “The past year has been a great awakening in our relationship with technology. The impact of our always-on culture on our mental health, our relationships, our productivity, and our children has become increasingly clear. And as a result, the need to set boundaries in our relationship with technology has become increasingly urgent.”
You may remember Apple’s 1997 campaign, Think Different. They still want to be different as noted in a recent NY Times article. This time the campaign is Live Different and the intent is to address the distractions and addiction we may have developed to our devices. Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi, said “Apple felt it was time to address smartphones’ oversize impact on everyday life. “For some of us, it’s become such a habit we might not even recognize how distracted we’ve become.”
Apple is trying to help us use their products less? Google is also recognizing the need for balance and also has launched a campaign called digital wellbeing. Hmm. I’m not so sure about all of this. Again, the companies who give us the shiny toys are now going to help us not want to play with them.
While some of the features I am reading about seem good…oops my time for my online google time per day just went off and my computer screen went dark. Now I’ll need to go in and find a way to override it…Which puts me on the device even longer.
What do you think? Can more technology help us limit distractions and help with our technology addictions?
I don’t know but this all has inspired me to go outside, for a walk, without my phone.
This week here is my invitation…how much time can you spend outside, in nature, without your device? I’m even going to just use a piece of paper and pencil to track it. 😉