A thief lives in your house

Your smartphone has two jobs.

On one hand, it was hired by you to accomplish certain tasks. In the scheme of things, it’s a screaming bargain and a miracle.

But most of the time, your phone works for corporations, assorted acquaintances and large social networks. They’ve hired it to put you to work for them. You’re not the customer, you’re the product. Your attention and your anxiety is getting sold, cheap.

When your phone grabs your attention, when it makes you feel inadequate, when it pushes you to catch up, to consume and to fret, it’s not working for you, is it?

On demand doesn’t mean you do things when the device demands.

by Seth Godin

Reading this reminded me that I think of my phone as the morning thief. Yes. I use it in the morning for sharing one photo of my coffee or journal for example and this turns into a chat or automatic scrolling and before I know it 17 minutes of my precious morning routine have passed.

Since I’m starting the year with a being off from work for few days, I decided to do some kind of digital detox by turning off ALL phone notifications, all those whistles and breaking news that steal away my limited attention whenever I reach out for my phone to do a simple task like googling something. This is an easy option on my android. I only kept sms notifications because people who know me know it’s best to sms me if they think it’s important as they would get a response faster.

One less drastic way to complete my morning routine without being sneaked on by my phone is to keep it out of the room while I’m working or out of sight as some research suggests. At the same time I keep a handy notebook or small stack of post-its by me to write down reminders I need to set on the phone or calls I need to make or things I absolutely feel the need to search after I finish. Some call such notes the distractions lists. I take these notes with me or take a photo of them when I retrieve my phone after I’m done with the my priority tasks. Some “urgent” notes I wrote feel silly after I check them later. That’s how our mind works to avoid important focused work.

I’m sharing this so you would consider becoming more mindful about your own usage and think for a moment who’s really being used whenever you interact with your device. Maybe you will find some ways that work for you like I did.

A thief lives in your house

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