While I’m a technology lover, I do agree with the point of view that by using technology (especially cell phones) so much we miss out on or plain avoid the opportunity to be alone.
There is a lot of self-knowledge to be gained from being alone and free of incoming information. But it often hurts and is scary. So we avoid it by reaching for connection (aka cell phone). Sherry Turkle argues that the kind of connection we get this way is not always authentic and satisfying. It is a cheap replacement, like a cheap “nutritional” drink is a replacement for a healthy, nourishing meal.
Anyway, arguments like the one above are boring. But this comedian explains it much better on Conan:
Can you try to pay attention and notice when you are using your phone to avoid being alone? Can you try practicing being alone, just sitting there, without music or any other stimulus, for maybe 5 minutes every other day, and see what happens?
We will talk more in class about this in a few weeks when we discuss the topic of attention and distraction.