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We All Need a Tech Detox

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We All Need a Tech Detox

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot and anybody driving faster than you is a maniac?” -George Carlin

Let’s talk about phone and social media addiction.  Let’s start with the fact that like “driving like a maniac” we have a much better ability to judge other people’s lack of restraint with tech but never our own.  We look over at the couple in the restaurant that are both on their phones instead of enjoying each others company and scoff.  Of course when we do that it’s different!  We were looking up something important.  Promise!

We have a real problem in our society, and it’s the device in our pocket.  Fortunately thanks to documentaries like the social dilemma and some recent whistleblowers, I think we are starting to wake up to the harm that the common uses of our devices are causing us.  Since the invention of the smartphone there have been no guardrails on its use, no knowledge or disclosure of the harms, and an army of our best and brightest innovating to keep our eyeballs on our screens.  The best way to keep us engaged?  Keep us angry and afraid.  We just can’t resist the call of our lizard brain and they know it.  We constantly experience fear of missing out yet our devices cause us to never fully be in the moment.  Who’s met up with a friend they haven’t seen in a while only for the friend to be on their phone more than they actually talked to you?

I think in 5-10 years we are going to look at this time of completely out of control tech use and realize how wild it is.  “You mean you continued to carry this little brick in your pocket that had more computing power than what put the man on the moon and you used it to constantly feel afraid, upset, insecure, and pissed off?  All while you were busy with lots of other things to do yet you were able to give hours to this device?”

If you think you aren’t that bad about this, do me a favor.  Give me your best guess about how much time you spend on your phone.  Then, in your iPhone, go into you settings and view your screen time report.  Tell me that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable what the REAL number of HOURS that you spend on your phone is!!  Writers note: I say “we” and “us” not in the royal sense.  I am a man of the people.  I phrase it that way because I struggle with all of this as well.  Also the irony is not lost on me that I will share a link to this article across multiple social media channels.

I don’t think that smartphones or social media are necessarily EVIL.  My argument is that like alcohol, tobacco, or gambling, you can throw your whole life away if your use is without any guardrails whatsoever.  In order to establish some personal rules, I think it’s important to do a short but thorough detox of your tech usage.

Enter, the tech detox!  We will be doing a tech detox in the third week of our New Year Program at the gym.  This program will be 4 weeks of no sugar, no booze, a week 3 tech detox, 3 days a week personal training, and 1 hour rucks on our non training days.  If you aren’t a member of the gym and want to find out more, you can book a free strategy session HERE.

What will this detox look like?  7 days of no social media apps on phone and no streaming.  I have also provided a small reading list to encourage grabbing a good book during the week.  Atomic Habits by James Clear, The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter, or Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton are all great choices.  We will run a screen report before and after as well as journal a little on the subject.  By the end of the 7 days we’ll have a clear head.  We can decide what can go back on the phone, what stays deleted, and what app limits, screen time limits, and other guardrails we need to maintain our sanity.

I’ll leave you with this: “Some poor, phoneless fool is probably sitting next to a waterfall somewhere totally unaware of how angry and scared he’s supposed to be.” -Duncan Trussell


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