"We are their slaves."

In light of my recent email rant I ran across this essay today by Stephen Heiner How I Ended my 6-Year Relationship with my Blackberry (H/T Daily Dish).

From the first part of the essay after he mentions a family who takes "Internet Sabbaths" on the weekends:

As I have coordinated with my employees the logistics of how to communicate with me sans Blackberry, I have also been taking practical baby steps by restricting my personal email. I started small. I cut off Blackberry access to my personal Gmail accounts. Gmail has an application for the Blackberry Storm that allows you to access multiple Gmail accounts (of which I have 4 – all differently purposed). When I deleted this app, it meant that for the first time in almost two years, I didn’t have access to my personal email until I got home from work (I didn’t allow myself to check it while there).

The first week was fascinating. I periodically checked the phone in my hand for the mail that wasn’t coming. I had deleted the application so I didn’t know whether I had new mail, but the vestigial reflex kept prompting me to check. I was reminded of the first month after I got Lasik, when I kept touching the bridge of my nose, my muscle memory adjusting the glasses I no longer wore.

In that first week I still faithfully checked my email twice a day and I found that this regimentation allowed me to be more efficient and thoughtful with my responses.

After three weeks, I actually didn’t check my personal email for a day or two. And the world didn’t end. In fact, I was perfectly fine.

As this breakthrough happened, I realized something deeper about the way we use phones – not just the smart ones: we are their slaves.
Read the entire essay, it's a thought provoking read.

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2 thoughts on “"We are their slaves."”

  1. This, of course, suggests that the problem is not the technology it is us. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off - so if you can't control the technology you're better off without it, but if you can avoid it controlling you it can indeed be your servant.

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