Did you know the average American touches his/her phone 2,617 times per 24 hours? But first (and along those lines), last fall I began placing strict boundaries around how and when I used my iPhone. My brain was fried and I was disgusted by the way I felt after browsing the news and social media. I felt like I needed to take a shower, wash off the negativity, and repent for my judgy and hardened heart. I HATED my brainless scrolling that took me through the rabbit hole to hell. I HATED that I felt the urge to start and end my day with iPhone in hand, checking missed texts, emails and news. I HATED the example I was setting for my children. I HATED my terrible memory that I blamed on my 44 year old brain….please! I HATED all the time I was throwing away. I HATED how easily distracted I was, and I HATED that I had allowed it to steal my focus from all that I deemed important. My habits and relationship with my iPhone was debilitating, toxic, addictive and did I mention, I HATED it! I wanted to crush it with a baseball bat, run it over with my car, and rewind to 1999 when there was none of this crap. So, I stepped away, reestablished priorities, and developed new habits. The result: freedom, time, focus, joy, creativity, clarity, peace and calm.
Throughout the next several weeks I am going to share my process, as my sense is if I was struggling, there are others…and maybe that’s you? But I’m going to begin by sharing three critical findings from an eye-opening book I began reading in January called Stolen Focus by Johann Hari— after reestablishing healthy iPhone habits and feeling like a high functioning human again. Prior to reading the book, I stayed motivated (to keep my healthy habits) by focusing on my “why” and asking and answering these questions: Pre iPhone and app. addiction/dependence, was I or the average human happier? Was life simpler and less toxic? Were we less divided and more tolerant of one another’s differences? The answer is YES, YES, YES!
I also concluded that I/we are being manipulated to spend ridiculous amounts of unhealthy time on our devices and intentionally being sucked into the dark, angry, divided and lonely abyss, NOT for our benefit but for the benefit of the technology companies. Frankly, I was tired of being their pawn and feeling like a fried robot. What makes Stolen Focus so valuable is it’s filled with scientific research to back up what I was feeling, experiencing and the conclusions I had drawn…and it confirmed I wasn’t crazy, and that was reassuring. Johann, the author, traveled the world to meet the leading scientists and experts investigating our focus and attention (that’s being stolen right from under us)….as well as our peace, calm, time, joy clarity and creativity. Here are just 3 findings from the over 250 scientific studies. Get ready to have your mind blown, buy and read the book, and begin paying attention to the relationship between your phone and your focus, peace, joy, creativity, time and clarity. I think you'll be amazed.
For the average American, we touch our phone 2,617 times every 24 hours.
Dr. James Williams in Ethics of Technology at Oxford University: “If we want to do what matters, in any domain, any context of life, we HAVE to be able to give attention to the right things. When attention breaks down, problem solving breaks down. Solving problems requires sustained focus. With the influx of technology/information via our devices: this massive expansion of information is exhausting us! Depth in anything takes time and our ability to experience depth and problem solve is being affected.
Hewlett Packard performed an IQ study on their employees. They tested the IQ of undistracted workers vs. distracted workers who were tending to and receiving emails and phone calls. The IQ difference between the distracted and undistracted was 10 points (higher for the undistracted). This means: You are better off smoking cannabis while working, then working while being distracted, as this is twice the knock on our IQ than what you experience from smoking cannabis. In other words, you are better off getting stoned at your desk than checking texts and Facebook messages.
With love, freedom, peace, joy, time, clarity, focus and calm,