Losing a Phone, Gaining Perspective

For the first time for as long as I've had an iPhone, I left it at home today. I couldn't believe how much it affected my day- suddenly, I was without a cellphone, personal planner, calendar, pocket recorder, todo list, GPS system, watch, dictionary, news reader, word processor, camera, MP3 player, radio, e-reader, metronome, and flashlight.

I felt naked. How did I manage before I had a smart phone? How did anything get done?

Over the 3 years I've owned a smartphone, I've become more and more attached to it for everyday living. My entire generation is permanently tethered to a little device we keep in our pocket. A device that didn't even exist when most of us were going into high school.

I personally think it's wonderful that we have the power to do so much good, and accomplish so much more using a smartphone. What did shock me was how much I rely on my iPhone to do everything, and how I've grown almost addicted to being constantly connected, constantly working, constantly on call.

In the past and even today, my best work has always come when I was either bored or had a long period of uninterrupted time to work on a project. A smartphone can can be the death of both of those scenarios. How many of my generation's greatest thoughts and brightest ideas have been shoved to the side in order to respond to a Facebook comment? How many resourceful people have never been given the opportunity to develop an idea because of the constant stream of email piling into their iPhone's inbox?

Today was an accident. Perhaps leaving my iPhone at home for set periods will become a habit- a deliberate statement that my life is not defined by the quantity of things I do in a day, but the lives I affect by developing a deep understanding of the things and people I love.

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