Synonymous with the modern age. Now I can’t even get through my morning coffee without them popping up. Jeremy likes my photo. I should stand up. I need to go for a run today. Something’s happened in the news. Good morning, here’s what you missed while you were sleeping

And from there, it’s easy to segue into Distraction. I’ll just check the other news. See what so and so is up to. What’s on Reddit today?

But never do we stop to recount if we’ve actually gained anything from doing so. Our reward is a little dopamine hit and safety in the knowledge that we know that little bit more about the Syrian war, or who’s up for that Oscar nomination. [1]

And never do we stop and think if it’s actually something we want to do. For many, myself included, it’s reflexive. Wake up, check phone, brush teeth, check phone, chew breakfast, check phone. [2]

So it’s a distraction, correct? One which interrupts our flow, one which steals away our time for reflection [3]. The modern condition is one of constant multitasking, and one of pretence, can we really be just as effective this way as if we focussed on one thing at a time?

So I say, put your phones down more often, separate out the parts of your life. Eat breakfast and stare out the window. Take it slow. Reclaim your lost minutes. Be more deliberate about your actions, and maybe they’ll be more satisfying. Focus on one thing at a time for better results. Be yourself.

1. Aaron Schwartz: I hate the news  <— Do read this one.
2. Fun figures on smartphone use
3. NYT: The End of Reflection
&. I don’t know about this one. Medicalising everything isn’t healthy.

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