There's this recent photo project capturing moments of smartphone distraction, there's the "phone stack" dinner game where the first person to look at their phone has to pay the bill, families are instituting bedroom bans, buying cell phone lockers, and even throwing dinner parties where guests are asked to put their phones in a box at the door.
All this is pointed at one noble idea: reducing distraction, aka the nemesis of mindfulness.
Distraction means you're in a million other places but here. In the digital age, where everything you could ever need is a finger tap away, it's way too easy to get distracted.
But I'm going to tell you something that you may not want to hear: IT'S NOT YOUR SMARTPHONE'S FAULT.
Your phone is just a tool. It can connect you to people near and far. It allows you to share a piece of your life with your friends no matter where you are. It's a newspaper, a scrapbook, a journal, a map, a camcorder, a dictionary, a translator, a market, a travel agent, a TV, a stereo, and yes sometimes it's even a phone. It has a lot of power.
With great power comes great responsibility. But that responsibility is yours and yours alone.
You can use your smartphone as a distraction, taking you out of your conversation, away your dinner with friends, an escape from real life, an abrupt end to your mindfulness.
Or you can use your smartphone to connect on a deeper level. It can be a phone call, a video chat, or sharing a moment with your friends. You can use it to set up a dinner with friends or to map out your after-dinner destination. Your phone is there to look up a yoga schedule to find your zen or even to read this blog so you practice your mindfulness.
Both possibilities and both uses of smartphones exist. It all depends on how you use this amazing tool. It all depends on YOU.
There's all this power sitting there in your pocket. As you go through your day today, will you choose to use that power for good or for evil?