Thursday, February 12, 2015
Bored and Brilliant.
This past week I participated in a project called Bored and Brilliant: the lost art of spacing out - a project that challenges us to look at how (much) we're using our phones and what the impact might be. Turns out that boredom is an important element of coming up with creative solutions - and I am always on the hunt for new ways to boost creativity. Two years ago I wrote about taking a social media holiday, but this is focused on the use of cell phones.
Here's my experience so far:
I signed up a few weeks ago - big irony, I found out about the project while checking my phone - and immediately found I was more conscious of my usage. As an experiment, the last day of PhotoLA, I resolved to clamp down on my phone-checking. It was a bit odd to just stand there while everyone else was on their phones...but it did give me a chance to be more in the moment. I also worked on awareness. I feel like I've lost some of my ability to concentrate - I used to be a huge reader, and now, not so much.
Monday: Each morning there's a mini-podcast - this one asked you to turn off your notifications and just leave your cell phone in your bag, or someplace that's not touching your body. The average individual starts at 7:31am by checking their email and Facebook while in bed. Daily use is over three hours...and some of us check our phones almost 1500/week...is this possible? Yikes! The phrase that stuck with me from this morning's pod case was "phantom cell phone" which is when you think you hear your phone ringing. Yes, during the day it was hard to break that automatic habit to reach for the phone, but it's a good way to start.
Tuesday: Photo-Free day - as it says, today was a day without photos...which is not as hard for me as you might think. I'm not really snapping pix of my morning coffee (unless it's fab), so today wasn't so bad. An interesting tidbit - taking photographs of an event can actually dim your memory of it. Hmmm...
Wednesday: Delete that App, is as awful as it sounds. My fav was Flipboard, which takes up a good hour or more of my evening. As I write this now, it's been a week and I still miss it. But, it could be worse...I could be an Angry Birder!
Thursday: well...I liked to say that I stuck with it all week and did all the exercises. However, such is not the case - but Thursday, I just didn't feel like following directions any more and kinda felt the point had been made.
So...what is my take away a week later? I do spend less time on the phone and have really started to just sit and observe. My husband and I went out to dinner this weekend - sat in the bar area of a restaurant and had a great time people-watching. It was kinda sad how many couples we saw where one of them was just on their phone the whole time. But, sitting there, really taking in the energy of the place, watching the fab job the bartenders were doing slinging drinks, watching the "first-daters," the families, the couples...it was fun.
Did it make me more creative? I dunno...I did make two images this week and I actually started a new book... so who knows?! Anyway, you have the links and the podcasts are still active, should you choose to start the process yourself.