Smart devices

My name is Bastian and I am an addict.

I confess that I spend too much time with my smart phone. More time than I actually want to spend with it.

It often reminds me of my time as a smoker. In the end of my "smoking career" I smoked more unnecessary cigarettes than necessary – if you can call it that way at all.

I remember how often I found myself with a cigarette in my hand that had nothing to do with enjoyment but everything with habit and boredom. Being disgusted about myself and my lack of self-control finally helped me quit smoking.

I'm trying to get away from my smart phone for quite a while and I have to say that I find it more difficult.

I still remember watching that legendary keynote in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced. This is going to change everything, I thought, and it did.

Owning an iPhone left no excuses not to reply to emails or tweets or any other notifications and messages within a couple minutes. The internet has no opening hours. There's no time to relax and in order to stay professional you have to keep up or drown — I thought.

Just a couple weeks ago I disabled all my email accounts on my phone, deleted my support app for Kirby, deleted Tweetbot and just tried using that damn phone as a phone. It felt good for a while and then the feeling of being disconnected kicked back in. I could have possibly missed something important. I keep telling myself such stuff, but I know it's a lie.

Always being available and online doesn't make you more productive or reliable. Personally it even did the opposite to me. I'm often less focused, more distracted and it didn't help me a bit to be more professional.

If I could focus on using my phone for personal communication with my wife, family and friends, it would be all fine. But somehow I can't.

Just like the many unnecessary cigarettes, there are too many unnecessary moments with my smart phone.

It disconnects me from real events around me. I'm annoyed, often frustrated and even afraid to miss important parts of my real life just because of it. Every other day I just want to throw it out the window. I don't like the way it controls me.

A love relationship has turned into a nasty habit or maybe even an addiction. I want to get over it as much as I wanted to quit smoking. I know that it's just a matter of time and discipline now.

Of course this is all very much personal. Maybe I've already started to become a grumpy old man, frustrated with the latest and greatest consumer technology. But I can say one thing for sure: after just seven years with a smart phone I want less personal smart devices in my life, not more.