My iPhone has been draining my creative juices! …or so said the story that I heard on NPR last Friday. Apparently there’s a project called Bored and Brilliant: The Lost Art of Spacing Out. The founders say that rise of the smartphone has led to a decline in original ideas, so they’re issuing us a week-long challenge that kicks off on Monday.
I don’t know if I can do it — I’ll be traveling, so it would hard to stay off my phone — but I do agree with their premise that our best ideas happen when we’re day-dreaming. For me, I get the most aha moments when I’m driving (and being on my phone is illegal) or in the shower (and being on my phone would break it).
I remember when my friend Dishi (David) became the first in my circle of friends to get an iPhone. He said that the best thing about it was that it filled the time when you’re stuck somewhere with nothing else to do — like standing in line at the store, waiting for your flight at the airport, or sitting the lobby at the doctor’s office. Now that smartphones are everywhere, it’s rare to see a person in these situations who is not connected to a device!
The NPR story also mentioned the concept of “autobiographical planning” which gets stifled when we’re over-stimulated. I agree with that. Setting my own goals has never happened while I’m busy reading about or watching the lives of others. The magical, ambitious thoughts have only happened when there’s a moment of blank space — or “ma” as the Japanese might call it.
Think about it. You might read about something cool on Facebook that touches you. But when you reflect on why it does so, don’t you at least draw your eyes away from the screen for a moment to stop and think?
If you want to sign up for the Bored and Brilliant challenge, CLICK HERE.