Steve Jobs would not recognize his iPhone?
It’s a constant companion...and more about how we don’t pay attention to our world, which is suffering. iPhones or Androids we are an epidemic and we are addicted ...and not a good one to better our lives and health or our world.
Today in the New York Times, Cal Newport, a computer scientist who comments on how technology is affecting our culture, says “Mr. Jobs seemed to understand the iPhone as something that would help us with a small number of activities — listening to music, placing calls, generating directions. He didn’t seek to radically change the rhythm of users’ daily lives. He simply wanted to take experiences we already found important and make them better. The minimalist vision for the iPhone he offered in 2007 is unrecognizable today — and that’s a shame.”
He says, “the “constant companion model”... model changes what we pay attention to in the first place — often in ways designed to benefit the stock price of attention-economy conglomerates, not our satisfaction and well-being.”
He goes on to say that, ‘Many of us would be better off returning to his original minimalist vision for our phones.”
We live in a distracted culture...and it’s harming our world.
For sure. Our phones are like fire, they can destroy the important opportunities of the moment in front of you, or they can enhance it. They may even be another epidemic level dopamine addiction...as the neuroscientists have found.
I agree with Cal on this. Is how I use my phone enhancing my life and the lives of others or not? It’s an important question for us all.
As a hospice chaplain, I am awake to opportunities for a good end in this ultimate mystery (and accounting). Death keeps time and can elevate our constant companion and its “To do list”. It is about the ‘mindful’ or heart-full appreciation of the moment in front of us.
How I use my phone:
iPhone transporter in sound meditations -
I can take you to the woods to experience birds at dawn or a camp fire without anyone getting a mosquito bite or having accessibility issues.
Direct YouTube Spiritual support from the patient’s own clergy - Pastor, Priest, Guru, Mullah, Minister, etc
It is all there on the Internet. It is a daily miracle. I ‘performed' a full Catholic Mass for a woman who was actively dying and by all earthly measures not responsive. With my iPhone and Bose bluetooth speaker, I gave her a full hour and a half mass that rocked the assisted living facility. Knowing she was a devout Catholic, I could see it on her face that she was calmed. Her family was, too, and appreciated the respect I showed their beliefs. It is my job, but the iPhone is real miracle.
By the way, being a hospice chaplain, is not about changing anyone. I am not on a mission to force another’s version of the Divine under the wire of life and overwrite the patient’s own lively preferences. I offer their own faith back to them...Okay...maybe I weight providence and love in the self-reflective mirror. But it is their mirror.
Time traveling at bedside.
Taking patients back to their adolescent days with top popular tunes from their past - I can sit with a patient that is infirm, or even a dementia patient who no longer recognizes his or her own adult children, and have a conversation with them about their own childhood or simply bring a smile to their (previously gesture-less) face. Music happens like that.
Playlists as re-centering play
I use my own phone to make play lists of songs that lift me up; it is self care. Some songs have become inadvertent matras to me. I play them in the car on my way home (oh, the S.F. Bay Areas traffic....) I am better for it when I arrive. Music has the deep ability to take us up, or get us to calm down... or allow us to glimpse a world beyond the separations of our own skin into the greater world.
Learning by listening
Audible and the Kindle Fire’s ability to do Text to Speech has changed the size of my world. Hey, I am a slow reader. I usually fall asleep reading a paper book. I like the experiential (as in creating stuff). I have recently discovered a grand ability to remember and uptake creative and factual information when it is given aurally. (I was always really good in classrooms- who knew I learned by hearing so much better.)
Human and Unique. The Time is Now. ‘Be here Now’... with effective self- care
Or perhaps my parents were too distracted to read to me as a child...(I think most of us suffer from having merely human parents. Yes?) What is important now is that I take care of my life in a kind and loving way. This is caregiving too. It is sustainable caregiving as in a golden rule cycling round.
Don’t Get Lost
Waze, the navigation app that Google purchased a few years back left them oddly with their independence, too, is still here and legendary. It gets me there. It avoids traffic, adjusts to crashes, notes within seconds where the highway patrol are camping, even has red light camera alerts. It is way better than Apple or Google maps. (You just have to turn off all the little noisy icons you don’t want)
I would be handicapped in finding my way to patients if I did not have it. I don’t even want to think about that (NOTE: denial is sometimes a good thing.)
How do YOU use your phone ?...Does it make your world a more caring and loving place?
Because isn’t that what we are here to do?
’Steve Jobs Never Wanted Us to Use Our iPhones Like This’ By Cal Newport - NYT 1/27/2019
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