DIGITAL DE ADDICTION
Time is precious. For most adults we have only a few thousand Sundays left to enjoy the bounty of the earth and all the wonderful things in it.
Yet how do we spend it. 3 simple checks
- On your phone go to “screen time” if it is apple or “digital wellbeing and stats” if android. Check how much time you are spending on different apps and on the internet in general. This should include social media and streaming apps
- Calculate roughly how much time you spend on your phone / laptop doing work calls and making presentations
- Add the two – for most people this should mean 60-70 hours in a week glued to a screen – multiply that over a long period and the largest chunk of your life is gone into things that you hardly remember a few days later
Digital Addiction is real. It disrupts our life and well being. It impacts our physical health negatively and as is evident from all the fake news floating around it can make us think and do things that seriously negative and others.
It all started with an accident – our tv stopped working one day. I didn’t have time to repair it and the (un) friendly service centre kept telling me to bring the TV set to another part of town. In a month me and my wife realized we had not seen tv and didn’t seem to miss it much.
So I launched the Digital De Addiction Project
- Started by deleting Instagram as an app on my phone. I noticed I was spending 10-30 min
browsing videos of chocolate cookies, bikini bodies and Instagram celebrities
- A few weeks later I had forgotten how to log back in and the account had disappeared
- Then went the facebook app – responsible for 40-45 minutes per day ( 5 hours a week). I kept the account as was not sure that I might need the information later or want to find the birthdays of friends.
- Twitter – I had started using it professionally but the amount of hate and useless information on the site made it very hard to be suitable for the use. Twitter deleted
- Lived like this for 6 months. Was hyper productive at work delivering the best results ever in the 15 years I have been working. Not a direct link but a clear contributing factor was the absence of digital distraction
- Then one day I put an adult content filter on my phone to cut out porn to see the outcome. More time saved and bedroom results were better, not worse. Decided to continue
- Netflix still was the final saviour of evenings after a tired day’s work but I started to realise even the best series I had watched had left no impact on my life or changed me in any way and I could barely recall the plots and stories. Quite different from the books I read in my childhood – Mahabharata and Ramayana – I remembered them all. So cut Netflix since December
- In this time what are the benefits that I see
- Started publishing a blog, project that was pending for 10+ years
- Finished the manuscript for a book, idea pending for 5 years
- Spent a lot more time with my sister and her baby
- 1-2 date nights a week with the spouse to new and exciting locations
- Went to the gym for the first time in years
- I feel much more calm and relaxed overall
- I missed many birthdays too as there was no prompt from facebook – need to fix this
2 final steps
- I still have 100+ pick ups on my phone per day – 100 times I pick up the phone to do something. Need to cut this by half by keeping the phone away and touching it as much as possible on fixed hours
- Cut the work screen hours by 50% and see what happens – more about this in a separate article
Try some digital de addiction – you may change the way you live.