December 3, 2018

Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone

When the iPhone came out, in 2007, it was shiny and beautiful and cool and I flat-out wanted one. But I needed a justification, so I convinced myself that I needed it for work. After all, the iPhone had email, a web browser, and even a stocks app — this was a serious tool for serious people!

So I got an iPhone, and just like that, I signed myself up to check and respond to email wherever, whenever. No pay raise, no new job title, not even a request from my boss. For me, this was a 100% self-inflicted responsibility because I wanted a shiny object.

Over the years, as new apps came out — Facebook, Instagram, news, games, etc — I installed them. They were shiny, they were free, and they helped me “get my money’s worth” out of my phone. Every app created new responsibilities. More inboxes to check and more feeds to read. Every app latched onto my brain, tethering my phone to my skull with invisible string.


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