It’s been a decade since the first iPhone and most of us now constantly reach for our devices to keep up with the world. It’s displaced so many industries via businesses built around the utility of apps. And replaced much of what we carried around with us to navigate daily life – and continues to do so from music to pictures to credit cards and money. Yet it’s also fostered disconnection with the physical world as we can no matter where we are, engage with our phone rather than the real human next to us.
The promise of convenience is having a detrimental effect on our kids and us that we’re beginning to recognize. My daughter – like many teens – can get caught up in social media where everything teens do is shared and you can see what missing out on. Parties. Trips. Shopping. Same goes for the curated lives most of us post on Facebook. It affects your self esteem.
Living in the analog world is becoming hip for some. I can tell a difference when my daughter steps away from her phone. I can feel a difference when I get lost in the day, not concerned about what’s going on in the digital realm. The flutter of updates and gamification of our lives is a seductive and powerful business model. It’s worked brilliantly to capture our thoughts and attention. I think there’s an opportunity for a business to innovate in ways to make such engagement healthy. Many years ago a creative consultant I worked with talked about future primitive where in we reach back into our past to find balance. This notion is much more real today than when she shared it.
It is noticing what we’re doing. When we’re reaching for our devices and why. It’s learning again to sit with ourselves. To sit with quiet. To be intentional rather than distracted and reactive. Out of this comes better thinking. Better creativity. A sense of well being. Happiness. And making digital work for us.