“The cell phone — an evil invention if there ever was one,” declares self-made multi-millionaire

By John C. A. Manley

“Now, the cell phone — an evil invention if there ever was one,” writes self-made multi-millionaire Dan Kennedy in No BS Time Management for Entrepreneurs.

“People really feel compelled to answer these things 24/7. It is the ultimate interruption welcome mat, and it has amazing, mysterious powers over its owner…. Personally, I refuse to own or use one at all. I had one for two weeks once. Wound down the car window one day and threw it as far as I could. Never been tempted again.”

At Dan Kennedy seminars, he imposes a $100 fine any time a cell phone “erupts” (as he put it). The offending phone is also confiscated for the duration of the seminar.

“I think restaurants and theatres ought to collect them when you come in and give them back when you leave,” writes Kennedy, “like civilized saloons did with gunslinger’s weapons in the Old West.”

When I was an art student in Italy, our instructor had a similar policy. Once one of the students was in the restroom and the handbag beside their easel began to ring. And ring. And ring.

This was back in the day when cell phones still had long antennas sticking out of them. Our instructor (who like Dan Kennedy refused to own a cell phone) reached into the bag and pulled out the phone by the tip of its antenna — as if he was dangling a dirty rat from the tail. He then walked away with it. We heard the front door open and close and he came back, with a big grin on his face, as he wiped his hands.

Now, I assure you my art instructor wasn’t concerned about getting cancer from cell phone radiation. He was a serious chain smoker. But he, like Kennedy, found they were the arch-enemy of creativity and productivity.

Yet smartphones are sold as being some kind of productivity tool — connecting you to Google Search, Wikipedia, ChatGPT, the cloud, your emails, your calendar, your to-do lists and endless YouTube videos of skateboarding cats.

In the end, whatever productivity benefits having a mini-computer with you everywhere you go seems far outweighed by the impracticality of typing on such a small screen that is bombarding you with endless distractions and notifications about things you aren’t in a position to do anything about while you drive on an icy road in a snow storm with your kids talking to you in the back seat while the radio is playing.

Nonetheless, many people believe that we need this hyper-connectivity to function in the modern world; while a self-made multi-millionaire such as Dan Kennedy argues that they are not at all “effective” for achieving our most important goals in life.

Read More: “The cell phone — an evil invention if there ever was one,” declares self-made multi-millionaire

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