Friday 28 February 2014

Are smart phones smart?

Just about everyone I know has a smart phone and no doubt they are fantastic gadgets. And if you're reading this blog on yours, thank you very much for taking the time to check me out!

My phone, I think, just about counts as a smart phone, but it's basic pay-as-you-go and I only use it for essential calls and texts. I don't access emails or the web on my phone, preferring to use a laptop or tablet.

I see many people every day, with their head down at that characteristic angle, looking at the screen, often while walking along outdoors, or on the train, or at work, or even during a training session. (BTW, please don't do that, the trainer may feel you're not exactly engaged!)

Therein lies my problem with smart phones. It's an attention issue. Head down in a smart phone, you're going to miss an awful lot of what's going on. And much of that is exactly what makes you feel good... like taking in a lovely day and the interesting cloud formations, sharing a smile, checking out the architecture, watching other people and their interactions, or the nature around you (for me that is a deep pleasure, something I savour).

It's also potentially a stress issue. It's reactive and not mindful. You're always available. And there's that tendency with social media to compare your life unfavourably with others'. And to check out the news, which isn't usually a barrel of laughs either.

Too much smart phone time is not smart. It's good sometimes to pay attention to what's going on, now.