In this week’s podcast, we take a look at the impact of not allowing ourselves to have any alone time with our thoughts or moments of silence by filling that time with our smartphones. I believe part of the creative practice is allowing yourself to have moments with your thoughts and observations. However, recently I noticed that when I have a spare 30 seconds to a few minutes, I reach into my pocket and grab my phone. Most of the time, I don’t even know I did it. This action has become an involuntary response. I spent that time looking at social media, playing a game, or just randomly checking out various apps on my phone rather than observing, thinking and reacting to my creative ideas.
As I caught myself doing this recently, I began to wonder how much is that impacting my creativity and photographic process. A significant part of the photographic process is observation and being present and observing things in the world. I began to wonder, is my smart phone causing my creative muscles to atrophy.
Creativity, like any muscle, needs to be exercised on a regular basis. Had I inadvertently started to use my smart phone like a candy bar or a doughnut providing little value to my creativity muscles? As I began to pay attention over the next several days, I realize that I grab my phone without even realizing it to fill small little moments of my day. I started to wonder if I filled those days was something that moved and pushed my creativity and my creative muscles would I be better off. I’ve learned that in a lot of ways an unconscious use of my phone I do believe is leading to a detriment to my creativity. I would encourage you to try the same exercise that I did and see how many times a day you grab your phone how long that last and whether or not it made a significant difference in your creative or personal life. If you are at all like me, you may find that you do it more out of habit, and the bad habit at that, then getting anything of significance out of it.