Many years ago I read a book called “All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek.” I was attracted to it not only because I’m a fanboy but also because I do agree that so many of life’s great lessons are encapsulated in the great TV franchise that is Star Trek. Well, to be specific: The Original Series, The Next Generation, and Voyager – not Deep Space Nine and that horrible excuse for a reboot called Enterprise (If you think Roddenberry would have approved of Enterprise I will fight you. Jury’s still out on Discovery).
The book was written in the mid 90’s, so I think it’s probably time for at least one addendum: While the handheld communicator was the stuff of fantasy when The Original Series aired in 1967, in many ways we’ve far surpassed the capabilities of the Federation’s novel invention. One could argue that today’s iPhone is really a combination of a communicator and Spock’s tricorder, but with crummier battery life.
This got me thinking. Those devices were used in time of need only. Need to beam up? Communicator. Check for signs of carbon-based life? Tricorder. One thing we didn’t see? Officers on the Enterprise glued to their communicators, checking social media, playing games, etc.
About a month ago I decided to again apply life lessons from Star Trek, and I deleted all except for mission-critical apps from my iPhone (at least for a while). No social media, no games… Pagh (that’s Klingon for “nothing”).
I can still access the fun stuff when I’m on my laptop. But I’ve found that when I’m not in front of my computer, which is 90% of the time, I’m far more productive, attentive, and present. It was hard to make the transition, but I highly recommend it.
So for those of you out there who are making great media apps, games, and utilities – Keep building! It’s good to be commercial and to innovate.
If you’re like me and always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient, I’d highly recommend applying this easy lesson from Star Trek:
Want to explore strange new worlds? To seek out new life and new civilizations? To boldly go where no one has gone before? For starters, ditch the non-essential apps on your phone.