The other night I was out at an event with my sister, when I decided to test myself. She went to the restroom, and I was left standing alone at a table. I told myself, “Just stand here, and leave your phone in your bag.” I saw it as a perfect opportunity to test myself, and within seconds the uncomfortableness creeped in. It was amazing how many times I felt a craving to reach for my phone and fiddle on it doing nothing of great importance. Since I am a girl who likes a challenge, I refused to cave into the feelings, but was very disturbed by how I felt. It’s probably safe to say that I have an addiction – mild, but it is there.
I know I am not alone in this, and as an educator my mind automatically goes to – how is this impacting us as learners? How are we being impacted as a society by constantly having our heads down and consumed by non-stop information? What is this doing to our minds and our souls? So – with all of these thoughts fresh in my head, it was serendipitous that I came across Manoush Zomorodi’s project Bored and Brilliant – The Lost Art of Spacing Out this week. It started earlier this year, so I am a little late to the game, but the research and results that have come out of it are super interesting.
Above she speaks at the PSFK 2015 Conference about the importance of being bored and how that prompted her to start the Bored and Brilliant project. She points out that there is real value in those moments of boredom, stating:
[W]hen we are bored and we let our minds wander, when our body is doing nothing, our brain goes to this amazing place, and it’s called the ‘default mode.’ This is a network in your brain where you do your most original thinking, where you do your problem solving, where you do the really deep creative stuff, and where you do something called autobiographical planning— where you make sense of things that have happened to you in the past, and you set goals and ways of getting to them in the future.
What are the ideas that you are missing by being constantly connected to your tech devices? More importantly – the original ideas that have the power to make change – in your life and others. It all concerns me a bit, and I realize that I need to be more conscious about the number of times that I pick up my phone – for no good purpose but to fill time – versus when I am using it with purpose.
Do you think you are addicted to your smartphone? What are some of the ways that you work to limit the unnecessary use of it?