Opinion: Smartphones keep us distant from wisdom
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.