12 Things to Do Instead of Picking Up Your Phone
This is the year to de-center your smartphone
For the sake of yourself and your country, it is time to get off your phone.
Yes, I know you needed to see the latest inquiries into January 6th, the most recent QAnon theories, the debunking of those theories and then the debunking of the debunking. Then perhaps you’ll want to check in on the stalled Covid-19 vaccination effort and compare the US rate of infection with that of, say, Myanmar. And then poof, before you know it, the 2024 elections will be ramping up and you’ll need to scroll and scroll and scroll.
But what do we get for all this scrolling and what could we have done instead?According to online analytics company Chartbeat, Americans burned 173 million hours reading about Trump on their phones over the last four years — more than twice as much time as they spent reading about him on their laptops or desktops. Those same 173 million hours would have been enough time to clean all of our beaches of plastic debris, or tackle any of our myriad personal goals.
What’s also significant about all the doomscrolling time is how it has affected our minds. Phone-based news reading tends to be done in spurts, with scant attention paid to nuance or substantiation of argument. It is, in short, the perfect cave for Trumpian thoughts and conspiracy theories to dwell. We need to move our attention away from Twitter and TikTok and focus instead on fact-checked and fact-based arguments.
An Easy 3-Step System for Reclaiming Your Time from the News Cycle
Raise your hand if you’ve come up for air after a doomscrolling session only to discover that you forked over an hour…
How to do this? As I write in my book Goodbye Phone, Hello World, changing your relationship to your phone requires a change in your relationship with your daily life. De-centering your phone won’t cause you to lose money, friendships, “connectedness,” or opportunity. Rather it will be an opportunity for you to take your life back from Big Tech’s agenda and start…