Do Smartphones Make Attorneys Less Creative?

Law is a creative profession. Arguably, the sheer volume of rules forces lawyers to be creative.

I recently attended the CT Forum’s Seminar on Creative Minds. It was a great night.

One of the points made by Jonah Lehrer was that smartphones rob our brains of moments where we can day dream. He said that day dreaming is an essential component to the creative process. Instead of being alone with our thoughts we are now filling that time with checking our email or Twitter or Facebook.

Here’s Lehrer (from a different panel discussion) on daydreaming and smartphones:

Many attorneys, including me, are very plugged into their smartphones.

Since purchasing my Galaxy S2 in September (a giant leap in connectivity from my HTC Hero) I’ve had great difficulty coming up with blog post ideas. To the point that I’ve toyed with closing this site.

Initially, I chalked these problems up to being busy. After all, being a new dad and training for a marathon while practicing law results in long days. But that wasn’t it. I had the time to blog (a post usually takes about 15 minutes), I just couldn’t think of ¬†anything to say.

Looking back, my problems thinking of post ideas, began when I started running with a group of runners. Time that used to be spent alone with my thoughts was now being taken up with conversation and socialization. ¬†I never run with my iPod because I’ve found that the time away from being digitally stimulated was productive to my practice.

As much as I love my phone and what it does, I can’t help but wonder what it’s costing me.

I fear Jonah Lehrer is right, it is costing me opportunities to allow my mind to find creative solutions to the problems in front of me.

Ironically being more connected is robbing me of the ability to connect with readers of this site.

I can’t disconnect completely but I’m going to make an effort to turn my phone off a lot more than I do now and see where it takes me.