“Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves.” – http://www.manoushz.com/book/
I spend a lot of time driving and have developed the habit of listening to audiobooks through Audible. Our #ucet18 keynote speaker, Manoush Zomordi, has a book out and I added it to my queue. Last month I had the chance to listen and really enjoyed it. Manoush does the narration and is very engaging. Bored and Brilliant helped me re-examine my tech usage and introduced me to a new game, Two Dots.
Basically the book expands on some of the Bored and Brilliant interactive challenge from the Note to Self podcast. This challenge had a different task for each day:
- In Your Pocket
- Photo Free Day
- Delete That App
- Take a Fauxcation
- One Small Observation
- Dream House
The two challenges that really got me thinking were In Your Pocket and Delete That App. The first challenge asks that you keep your phone out of sight any time you are traveling. I started thinking about how often I pull my phone out of my pocket when I’m standing in line, walking in the hall at work or sitting in the car while someone else is driving. Ten years ago that wasn’t even an option. I usually had a book in my hand though. This new trend of ‘wexting’, walking and texting, just looks a little different for me. Back in the day, I would walk and read. I was pretty good at spotting tree limbs and signposts out of the corner of my eye. Now the behavior hasn’t really changed, just the item in my hands. I knew this would be something to ponder over the next month.
This In Your Pocket challenge also led me directly into the Delete That App challenge. The main app I use on my phone is the Kindle app. So, I decided to delete the Kindle app from my phone and tablet. There are still actual books in the world. I also still have every library card I’ve ever been issued. With the Kindle app deleted and all my social media apps moved to the second screen instead of the first, I was ready to spend a day without checking my phone so often. I’ve only had the apps missing/moved for one week. I can already feel a difference in how often I use my phone. The added bonus is now all my nieces and nephews can see me reading again instead of just looking at my phone. They are used to seeing me with books in years past. As I’ve moved more and more of my reading to Kindle it’s hard to tell from across the room that I’m reading a book on my phone rather than scrolling through Facebook. How can I still show kids that reading is important to me? I can read picture books to the younger kids but the teens won’t sit for a story any longer.
Another decision I made as part of this challenge was to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite. This way I can still carry hundreds of books in my hand which makes me feel happy. It also looks completely different from the phone and tablet I already have. This is a visual cue that I am reading a book. This change has already sparked some discussion with the kids on what new device I have, why I bought it and why I decided a change needed to be made. It has also sparked more discussion on why and how we should use our phones.All in all, I enjoyed listening to this book and plan to listen to the podcast episodes, the TED Talk, and check out the new projects; Privacy Paradox and Infomagical. I know there are so many pros and cons with technology and I appreciate the challenging ideas put forth by people who enjoy tech as much as I do.