Killing My Creativity

I heard a snippet of this story yesterday; I twirled and swirled around the kitchen, inspired and energized and cooking. I was distracted by broccoli and cauliflower and chicken. And my phone, of course. And the internet (BECAUSE I WAS LOOKING UP RECIPES Y’ALL.)

But I heard just enough of this story to have something stuck in the crevice of my brain all day long. In fact, I woke up thinking about this quote:

“I kind of realized that I have not been bored 

since I got a smartphone seven years ago.”

I heard the host say, “So and so admits to checking her phone between 50 and 100 times a day…” Cue judgemental thinking. That’s ridiculous!! Isn’t it?

Upon consideration, I decided that I hoped no one was watching me. And counting.

I decided that I should send a text to my eldest son – the one who is attached to his phone – and strongly encourage him to read the story. And then maybe encourage my daughters to do the same.

But then I thought perhaps I should pay attention, myself.

So, today I left my phone in the office most of the day, on my unattended desk. I worked alongside fellow staff members on a cleaning project in another room. I led a little ‘Noodling’ seminar for the speakers and musicians on our team – in another room. I talked to people – in other rooms. I listened to people – in other rooms

I wrote notes, on paper, in my Moleskine – not on my phone.

I even went into the bathroom without taking my phone. Seriously – I can’t be the only person who checks Facebook and Instagram in the bathroom.

Am I?

/ / /

My handheld device connects me to the world, instantaneously.When I need stimulation – when I’m bored, before my mind begins to wander, I open it to find what fascinating, interesting, compelling, IMPORTANT tidbits of information might be dangling out there.

Except, generally,they’re not.  Not really. Not fascinating. Not interesting, nor compelling.

Certainly not important. Truth be told, the act of ‘checking my phone’ is simply a placeholder. A time killer. A brain drain.

I stave off “boredom” as if it’s the Dread Pirate Roberts, as if The Very Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen Is That I Got Bored While Waiting For The Light To Turn Green.

Without boredom, the brain doesn’t recover. It has no room to wander, to be creative.

It took this, I think, to wake me up. I’ve allowed my iPhone to be a constant source of stimulation – cheap, easy, stimulation.

There’s something almost vulgar about it, really. I’m trying to leap over the present time, push away the here and now, trading my brain resources to focus on somebody’s Instagram of their lunch plate.

In doing so, I’m killing my creative energy, slowly – but surely. I’m filling up my head with information that hardly matters one bit to me, in reality. I’m distracting myself.

From what?

“Studies also show that smartphones impinge on our ability to do “autobiographical planning” or goal setting, which may keep us even more stuck in a rut.”

From my life, apparently.

Read this article, really. Put your phone down. Just go do it.

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