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Smartphones = Cigarettes

When I was listening to a random old podcast interview with Cal Newport, he mentioned that a knowledge worker using a smartphone is similar to an endurance athlete smoking a cigarette.

Smartphones and the apps on them are designed to catch your attention. They end up distracting you from getting on topic and staying on task for long enough to actually accomplish a good work.

It is an interesting comparison and one that rings true. I certainly wouldn't touch a cigarette, yet I regularly use my phone. In fact, I am writing this post using my phone. But perhaps I would be better creating a focused environment and writing on a full sized computer. I might manage to write some longer posts. I could write some more that require looking for references or ones that involve some coding projects. But then, I can just as easily get distracted on my laptop.

I can't see myself giving up my smartphone habit. But I can see the benefit of viewing the phone in this new light and will more suspicion. I ought to be using it, not allowing it to use me.

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