Guest Post by Joe Pawlikowski
I’m Joe, and I’m a smartphone addict. The signs are all there. I check my phone constantly. I write about phones every day. And oh yeah, I own four of them.
Before this addiction got the best of me. But now I’ve channeled the lessons from that addiction into blogging. It has yielded many insights.
Picking the right tool
It seems sometimes that everyone has an iPhone, right? In the same way, it seems that every blogger uses WordPress. While these might be the most popular tools of the trade, they aren’t the only ones.
My personal phone is a T-mobile smartphone. They don’t even have the iPhone! Yet for my own personal use it makes sense. In the same way, a blogger might be better served using the Blogger platform, or even Drupal.
Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Compulsively checking in
If there is a smartphone in my pocket, chances are I’m going to pull it out and check for new notifications in the next five minutes. It’s the most distracting, pointless, counter productive practice. But an addict will do it — it’s our fix.
Bloggers have a similar addiction. They constantly check their stats. How many page views? How many uniques? How long are people staying on the site? They might check these numbers hourly. It’s their fix.
It took a lot of thinking and planning, but I finally quit. I don’t have any more notifications that go to my phone’s home screen. In the same way bloggers need to let go. Checking your stats a couple times a week? Perfect. Checking your stats hourly? Distracting, pointless, and counter productive.
Using it with a purpose
Before admitting my addiction, my smartphone would be out during any lull in action or conversation. Even if I had checked all my email, my Twitter mentions, my Facebook timeline, I still browsed around. I’d make all my plays in Words With Friends. I’d watch a view YouTube videos. On and on it went. I was using the phone without a purpose.
Bloggers can display similar behavior. Instead of checking every app on the phone, they try to write every post on the internet. Many bloggers, even on single-author blogs, try to match pace with Gawker and BuzzFeed. They’re aimlessly blogging about any topic that arises. And it’s killing them in the long term.
Every time I pull out my smartphone not, it is with a clear purpose. I’m going to send an email. I’m going to add an item to my to-do list. I’m going to confirm an appointment on my calendar. Bloggers too need a purpose when they write a post. Do they have something to say? Or are they just trying to pump out posts? One clearly has a purpose. The other not so much.
It’s been a long road to recovery. I still have four smartphones, but I no longer check them compulsively. I’m still an addict, of course, but the ticks are under control. Bloggers can learn a bit from this. We all can, really.
Joe Pawlikowski writes several mobile phone blogs, hence owning four of them. He keeps sanity logs at his personal blog, A New Level.