I knew I was going to be late.
Today was my 16 year wedding anniversary. I had a reservation at the hottest French bistro in town. I was dressed. I had my gift. I was ready to go pick up my bride from her work. Then it happened.
My phone started ringing and it was my best client calling.
I took the call.
The good news is that there was not a lot of action required with this call. It was more of a venting frustration with an audit process. I am insurance agent by day.
I broke my rule and put on my headphones and started driving.
Youtube is a funny mistress. The videos you make that you think are really good and helpful get ignored and others that you make that are more off the cuff get views and comments.
This video for example. It has over 1,000 views - which is a lot for my small micro micro channel of 270 subscribers. It is my best recommendation on what to do if you are considering not using a smartphone and purchasing a flip or dumb phone.
I recorded this video 1 take in my local park after a swimming workout. I almost did not post it.
In the video I gave the advice I was trying to use for my anniversary dinner.
Leave your phone at home for a period of 4 hours.
Not in the car. Not in your pocket. Not in your purse.
Leave the phone at the house.
I promise you the world is not going to end.
I have been reading, thinking and adding main cards to my ANTINET (a real analog Zettelkasten) about addiction to smartphone, sugar, and alcohol for over a year now.
The one thing that I am convinced of is that running away, numbing out (with food or booze),changing your venue (location) or getting a new device - are all just a different form of escapism.
That is why Van life videos are so popular. Who does not at some point each week dream of leaving all the stress of daily life behind and just drive off into a new day full of adventure.
As you move from awareness - “I have a problem with my smartphone, alcohol, sugar”- to acceptance “I want to do something about it” most people approach it like a problem to solve which looks like this.
I want X.
I do not want Y
I want to drink when I want and how much I want. But I do not want any of the shitty consequences.
How can I hack this.
Start the search for the perfect solution on Youtube.
It is not that moderation is not possible. For some it is. Early in the the use of these things moderation happens. But there is a tipping point, a point where we do not feel fully in control of our use and we see consequences.
Do not negotiate with yourself.
If you cannot control your use then it is time to take stronger measures which is to take a break from the device or substance. A period of abstinence.
Therefore my best advice is to take a break and journal about how you feel.
The journal part is simple.
A thought comes to your mind about this experiment and you write it down. Collect information about your thoughts and feelings.
In my experience with working with people, the attachment is stronger than they realized. This helps the acceptance and the call to action part of the plan.
In bullet points:
- Pick a 4 hour block of time that you plan to do errands etc
- Tell your spouse your plan - that you will not carry a phone but you plan to be home at X time.
Go do stuff - no phone.
- Dollar Store - Crossword puzzle book -
- Library - check out a novel to read -
- Sit on a park bench - Talk to a stranger at a store or just smile at someone.
- Coffee Shop / Journal Time
Do the same experiment with alcohol. Sugar/food choices.
Start doing this once a week for a month and see how you feel without your smartphone.
This is the process of breaking the cycle of addiction.
You might just find yourself leaving it in another room and going for hours without looking at it when you are home.
We made our reservations on time and I left my phone in my truck.
I had the duck confit. Amazing.
Are you starting or trying to quit something and change your life?
The paradox of change is real:
- You cannot do it alone
- Only you can do it.
That is why I want to offer Accountability Email Support. -
I have been helping a few people and I ready to open this up to more people.
It looks like this.
- I give you my special email address.
- Email me to ask questions, share successes or vent frustrations.
- I respond, as your friend with insights, resources or just "I get it".
Cost is $1 a day paid monthly. Simple. This is a limited offer due to my time. You can apply here.
Let me know if you have questions.
PS. Email me if you want my comments on the power of being in love for 16 years. That is what I wanted to write about but I am guessing that is not why you joined my private email list.
Sober since 2018.