It used to be that we kept our devices separate, our MP3 player from our phone along with our books, cameras, and notepads.
Today, the phone has officially swallowed these things into one. And the quality is just as good if not better than the separate products by themselves.
For example, the camera on the iPhone 5 is sharper than any handheld camera I’ve ever had. I rarely miss a chance to catch a good idea or observation because of the phone’s quick accessible notepad in my pocket. And my book and music collection is more organized and searchable than it ever was in CD format.
There’s only one major issue in converging all of these amazing features into one device: Distraction.
Convergence saves us time, money, and space but it owns our attention. We can hardly read a book on the iPhone without itching to check our social networks, texts, and email. Sometimes we even do these things simultaneously while on a call.
The phone stimulates dopamine which in turn makes us addicted to checking. There’s always a fresh stream of content and new likes to see on our own shares.
For the past few years, the Kindle has been my only sanctuary from all this digital madness. The interface is completely dedicated to reading, although you can still share clippings to your social networks. I never do though for the simple fact my Kindle requires Wifi and because it just takes too long; certainly more than standard three clicks.
A lack of functionality in digital devices creates more focus. We don’t need one potent smartphone device, we need a few unconnected devices so we can consume or work uninterrupted.