At a workshop on the importance of unplugged pauses during the workday, we talked about a recent 60 Minutes segment on smartphone addiction.  

Anderson Cooper interviewed behavioral scientists who are working to ensure our smartphone applications are as addictive as possible. That’s how they make money.  

One person in my workshop had this realization, “I’ve only had an iPad for about 3 years and have noticed a disturbing practice: I now first reach for the iPad and then turn on TV.”  Think about that.

Many of us no longer watch a single program or video without having a device in our hands in case we are bored for even 15 seconds.

We all nodded in agreement and shared our own examples, which got me thinking.

What did my life look like before device addiction?

Before:

  • Go for a walk with the dog without checking texts, and watch the sun rise.
  • Turn off my old fashioned alarm clock, daydream a bit and then get out of bed.
  • Go for a hike and smell the woods, enjoy every flower, the sky, and trees.
  • Ride in the car with the radio on letting my “mind wander a thousand miles away” with Bruce Hornsby.
  • Leave work at 5:00 or 6:00. Come back to the office at 8:00 or 9:00. Not a single check-in and everyone was fine.
  • Sit on the beach and watch the sailboats through binoculars.
  • Put an album on the turntable using imagination and good memories to guide my selection.

After:

  • Quite different from above.

To be honest, there are many things I love about technology: instant recipe ideas, music, research, mobile camera, video chats with family across the country, GPS, and more!  

I also believe that unplugging is extremely important to our well being.

Here’s a challenge: schedule a few moments or hours each day to do something you design without your device. Post your ideas and photos on the BreakTogether Facebook Page.

Be Well,

Elizabeth