Opinion: Smartphones keep us distant from wisdom

Oct 11, 2021, 7:26 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2021, 7:30 am
Young woman blogger in spectacles publishing new post on own website and installing new application for editing photos in social networks on digital smartphone device connected to free 4G internet

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

Americans check their phones 96 times a day or once every 10 minutes, according to a 2019 survey by global tech-care company Asurion.

There’s a lot of people I know who check far more than that.

I had a conversation with a neighbor last night who said, “I work at home, and I find if I just walk from my office to the fridge, and I don’t have my phone, I suddenly panic that I don’t have it right there.”

Besides, breathing and walking, what else do you do 96 times a day?

Smartphones fragment my thinking

I get so worried about my phone and checking and checking that it fragments my thinking. And that’s a problem for me. Because if my thinking is fragmented, you’re gonna have bad radio to listen to.

If you’re bored, if you’re angry, if you’re tired, if you’re lonely and you’re checking your phone to find the solution, that’s a bad choice with a bad result.

How can anyone be present in the moment if you have to check your phone every 30 seconds? Can you imagine if your heart surgeon was checking his or her phone 17 times during your heart operation. Scary.


Information is not knowledge

We live in an Information Age. And with your smartphone, you can descend into a rabbit hole in search of all the information in this world. But that information is keeping us a very safe distance from both knowledge and wisdom.

I went back to something that Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska shared with me on this program. He’s got teenagers still at home, but they have a simple rule in their house about powering down their digital devices: One hour a day, one day a week, one week a year. 

Could you turn your device off for a day? If you did, you’d find yourself in new places and spaces, mentally, emotionally, spiritually — and ut would probably change your world.

Think about it.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Inside Sources

Inflation caused gas to skyrocket....
Curt Gresseth

Sen. Mitt Romney talks inflation and economy

High home and gas prices and inflation, are causing real hardships for Utahns and Democrats will be blamed by voters, Sen. Mitt Romney told Inside Sources.
2 months ago
cheeseburger inflation...
Curt Gresseth

Why does my cheeseburger cost so much? Most ingredients touched by inflation.

A reporter joined the show and walked us through the reasons that popular cheeseburger ingredients have jumped in price since March of 2021.
2 months ago
A Utah woman shadowed lawmakers...
Curt Gresseth

Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage

Frustrated and angry with politics, a Utah woman shadowed state lawmakers to gain a better understanding of the process and to lower her own political rage.
3 months ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

What’s the holdup on my tax refund?

A tax expert talked to Inside Sources about new duties given to the IRS and why your tax refund is taking so long to arrive.
3 months ago
Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 20...
Curt Gresseth

Everyone can do something to help, says advocate for homeless in Utah

Utah homeless advocated Pamela Atkinson said there are actions we can all take to help provide assistance to the unsheltered.
3 months ago
A U.S. plan takes off. An adjunct philosophy professor says a no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WW...
Curt Gresseth

Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean U.S. warplanes shooting down Russian fighter jets and that would lead to World War III, says a magazine columnist and philosophy professor.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Opinion: Smartphones keep us distant from wisdom