Digital devices are amazing. They enable you to find the answer to virtually any question, any time. They help you fill in knowledge gaps like grout. Or mortar. Or caulk.
So we end up filling our free time by answering questions: What is the weather like tomorrow? Tap. What’s the balance in my bank account? Tap. What is Debbie doing? Tap. Is she still in Dallas? Tap. What was Gregory Hines famous for? Tap. What do you call water from the faucet? Tap.
The Dark Side
But these omnipresent digital devices have a significant downside too. They are depleting one of our most valuable resources: our free time. That precious time when we can let our minds wander in empty space. The time we can use to imagine exciting new ideas is disappearing at an alarming rate. In fact, the planet is losing free time faster than we are losing rain forest (acutally I just imagined that fact in my free time).
If we are not careful we will squander our most fertile time to invent, improve and inspire. That time lost can never be recovered. Not even with LoJack.
The world needs more great ideas. So do businesses, communities, schools and households. Great ideas are born in the quiet spaces in between. Those spaces that are now being filled in with screen time.
Starting today, take back some of your thinking time. While you are waiting for something to start, or something to end, or someone to show up, keep your smart phone in your pocket or purse. Instead, let your mind go wherever it wants. If you give it enough time it is sure to arrive somewhere exciting and new. Once it does, pull out your phone and tell me all about it.
*If you know someone who could benefit from more free time and less screen time, please consider sharing this post.