How Your Phone is Keeping You Stuck

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I am never bored anymore. In any moment of down time, my device calls out to me to check in and see what’s happening on social media and email.

This is great from one standpoint: I don’t have to be bored anymore. And who likes being bored? Certainly not me.

It’s not great from another: what do we lose when we lose the ability to be bored? Even more disturbing: what happens when we no longer allow ourselves to feel the more difficult feelings?

Technology is powerful but it can be a distraction.

Your best work usually comes from difficult places and challenging feelings. Boredom, dissatisfaction, tension, longing for more, angst over where you are versus where you want to be. These are all feelings that you need to feel. These are feelings that push you toward something bigger than yourselves.

Your best work may be on the other side of these feelings.

You need to feel the tension— finding your passion and your true work may depend on it.[Tweet this]

The more you use your technology to distract yourself from difficult places, the more it may be keeping you stuck in those very places.

I can’t stop wondering what would happen if I never allowed myself to feel uncomfortable? It’s so easy to check twitter instead. What happens when a whole culture and society looses the ability to push through difficult places? What happens to our sense of purpose? What happens to our creativity and art?

Instead of doing work worth doing, we play on our phones.

Your technology use may be part of what is keeping you stuck.[Tweet this]

Your phone use may be a coping mechanism — even an addiction. Your best work might be on the other side of the difficult feelings that you don’t allow yourself to explore. You may need to let yourself feel them. You may need to move toward them and dig deeper into them. And you may need to turn off your phone, delete apps, or take other measures to help yourself stay with those feelings.

In the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts about your technology and difficult feelings. How do you avoid overuse of your technology? How do you know how much is too much? Share your thoughts.

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places meaning, life, & work intersect. He is the author of The Meaning Manifesto. Read more about him here, and connect with him on facebook and twitter.

There Are 7 Comments On This Post.

  1. Darci

    For me it’s not so much my phone, but rather the internet. Netflix, reddit, tumblr, they all seem to suck up more of my free time than I would like. I have all these ideas and ambitions and then I open my computer and they are just gone. Definitely something I am becoming more aware of and trying to deal with!

    • Hey Darci! You’re totally right here— it’s not about phone vs. no phone, but about how we use technology/media. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow, I’m flattered, Jennifer! Thanks so much for writing and sharing! I love it!

  2. Debbie

    What a great article – for sure I recognise I use my phone often as a distraction. Anything but sit with the feelings. You’re right. Thanks for the idea to turn off..

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