Remember that you will die. (WIRED)

from wired dot com

Wired magazine is starting to re-invent itself again; now as a paid-subscription service with interesting articles on a website called Backchannel. The first few articles are doozies: incredible thought pieces on the near-future of technology. I’m inhaling these; love the thoughtfulness behind the reporting.

This article speaks about the stranglehold our devices have on us; something that is prevalent in the news. The upshot, and most relevant recommendation to reduce your smartphone use?

Remember that you will die.

Wow, that’s a show-stopper. Makes you think, doesn’t it? I believe this is exactly what the victorious Roman generals, when they returned from their military conquests, would have whispered in their ear, during the celebratory parade back in Rome: “Memento mori.” (or, perhaps it is merely a cool meme).

Anyway, a good read. I’m trying various things to reduce my smartphone distraction. This memory is helping. I’m also trying out turning my smartphone screen to grayscale. I’m also turning off all my ‘bing’ notifications and red number badges for “unread messages” on LinkedIn, Twitter, Outlook on my desktop and on my phone. I’ve deleted my Facebook app (which is power-hog anyway) and only check it using a browser, and on MY TERMS, no longer drawn in by that siren-song red circle.

I’m trying to hack my own brain chemistry and reward circuits by removing visual triggers and cues. This is also described in the book Deep Work.

CMIO’s take? Time to start hacking your own motivations and actions.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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