How many times did you see a notification on your phone, tap to check it out, and next thing you know, 2 hours have gone by without you even realizing it?
You might be a little disappointed in yourself, thinking you should have more self control and waste less time. That’s a good thing to work on, but what makes it difficult is that every single action you take, every step of the way, has been carefully and precisely planned and worked out by people hired specifically to capture and direct your attention.
Everything from the operating system, the stock apps, the notification systems, every tap, every suggestion, all of it designed with a specific purpose, which is rarely altruistic in nature.
How do we take control of our digital devices? How do we make sure we’re using our smartphone, instead of the smartphone using us?
The most important thing might be awareness. What is this for? Why am I doing this right now? What am I getting out of this? Simple questions, with easy answers. If you don’t have a good answer, stop doing what you’re doing and make better use of your time.
Use your device on your own terms. Do you really need notifications, flashing lights or sounds for your friend’s Facebook cat video uploads? Do you need to know everything right now, all at the same time? Can’t it wait?
In a sea of endless updates and information, choice plays a bigger and bigger role. What do you really care about? Prioritize. You can’t read everything at the same time, you can’t be up to date with everything and everyone.
Make your choices wisely.