Get a Notebook

— 2 minute read

I often catch myself judging others who pull out their iPhone/mobile phone/smart phone/dumb phone in the middle of a conversation, while knowing full well that I'm probably as guilty of it as the next person.

Matt writes about the societal norms, or lack thereof, when it comes to use of these devices in public circles:

I am now, as in many cases, reminded of Wendell Berry’s respect for the Amish in their insist­ence that all new tech­no­logy must be eval­u­ated through the ques­tion of “how will this impact our com­munity?” Pocket com­puters, when used indis­crim­in­ately and out­side of agreed-upon social norms, can def­in­itely be harm­ful to the pos­sib­il­ity of being present to one another in community.

Spoiler alert: He decides to buy a real, honest to goodness notebook instead of pulling out his iPhone to jot down a thought.

I went through a similar bout of technological guilt and came home from a shopping trip with a new notebook. My problem is that I never have my notebook with me when I actually want to use it. Unlike my iPhone, which is usually in my pocket or somewhere nearby, I always leave my notebook in my laptop bag.

So I ended up with PlainText on my iPhone home screen. By turning off most notification/warnings from apps, I don't often get distracted while I turn on the iPhone and fire up PlainText.

Also, I'm impressed Matt lets his wife read early drafts of his posts. I can't even stand to be in the same room with my wife if she's reading my blog - never mind listening to a podcast I'm on.