The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”

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Excerpt from this article:

A few nights ago I saw Jack White in concert. It was a wonderful night, and a big part of that was due to a new rule he has imposed on all his tour dates: no phones.

The no-phones policy illuminated something about smartphone use that’s hard to see when it’s so ubiquitous: our phones drain the life out of a room. They give everyone a push-button way to completely disengage their mind from their surroundings, while their body remains in the room, only minimally aware of itself. Essentially, we all have a risk-free ripcord we can pull at the first pang of boredom or desire for novelty, and of course those pangs occur constantly.

Every time someone in a group of people deploys a screen, the whole group is affected. Each disengaged person in a crowd is like a little black hole, a dead zone for social energy, radiating a noticeable field of apathy towards the rest of the room and what’s happening there.

 

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France Bans Smartphones in Schools Through 9th Grade. Will It Help Students?

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The eighth-grade girls already know what to expect from France’s new smartphone ban in all primary and middle schools because their school voluntarily instituted one last year.

“Annoying,” was the assessment of Zoélinh Masson, 12, as her friend Grace Blahourou, 13, agreed.

Still, they said that with no smartphones, students did talk to one another more.

France’s education ministry hopes that its smartphone ban, which took effect at the beginning of September and applies to students from first through ninth grades, will get schoolchildren to pay more attention in class and interact more, and several studies suggest such correlations.

One person’s electronics ban is that same person’s needed respite

Can't use laptop? Royal Jordanian suggests meditation, small talk

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Most airline passengers will be unaffected by the ban, because it covers a limited number of airlines out of a small number of countries. But even if you aren’t forced to stow away your laptop or tablet in your checked luggage, you may want to anyway.
A device-free hiatus is a gift.

But for others, it’s definitely NOT a gift:

For travelers who frequently cross through the Middle East and North Africa, the choices put them between a rock and a hard place: They can check their devices and lose a day or more of productive work, as well as run the risk of damage or theft, or trade a nonstop flight on a high-end Persian Gulf carrier for connecting flights on one of the major American or European airlines, where amenities and leg room are likely to be skimpier.

…“There are a lot of policies out there that basically say you can’t be separated from your laptop,” said Greeley Koch, executive director at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.