I have finally figured out what has been bothering me about my lovely new iPhone and my recent foray into Twitterland. My wife has been reading Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth and watching Oprah's new webcast featuring Mr. Tolle every Monday night. One of the premises in the book is about being totally present in the moment and finding stillness in your mind. It is where creativity comes from. Jon Steele also writes about crushing your BlackBerry in his book The Perfect Pitch because it sucks your attention and doesnt allow you to be present in the moment of thinking and creativity.
About 9 months ago, I decided to move away from BlackBerry Pearl and go to a more standard RAZR2. Admittedly, it was liberating that I wasn't checking email every 5 minutes or looking at my phone while my daughter was tugging at my shirt or wanting me to watch her new dance moves. I think I was more present in the moments of my daily life. I'm told there was an office pool on how long it would take me to go back to a productivity phone. Well, it took me 9-months to succumb to the shiny new 16gb iPhone. Man, do I love this thing.
Layer on top of the coolness of this phone with the fact I am trying to participate in the conversation happening on places like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other places - it is now sucking the NOW from my life. I find myself checking, checking, checking my numerous email accounts, writing Tweets and editing my status on Facebook. It takes great discipline to not check the thing every 2-seconds. Trying to keep up has me wondering how some of the people on Twitter and other places maintain their work lives and their famiy lives while fueling the conversation. It is admirable, indeed.
So, while we are working hard to fuel dialogue and expand our circles of influence in our virtual world, I fear we might be missing the most important moments that are right in front of us due to these new devices and applications. Let's not forget to turn our devices off and spend focused time with our friends, families and children. Or, more importantly, lets not forget to sharpen our saws and take time for ourselves.