Learning how to be Digitally Sober.

Hi, I’m Sandy, and I have a problem. I’m addicted to my iPhone.

It’s a phenomenon, we all do it. If you look around everyone is checking their phone, they’re texting, checking email, browsing, Instagramming, Facebooking, tweeting. We’re slaves to this tiny portable device that consumes so much of our day.

Americans spend 2 hours a day social networking and check their phones some 46 times per day. In some studies’ it’s stated an average of 5 hours per day. The younger you are, the more you’re connected. We need to begin to evaluate the repercussions of all of this. Not only does it mess up our necks, giving us ‘tech-neck’ because we tilt our head 60 degrees to peer at our phones, which puts 60 lbs. of pressure on our neck. Issues of concern are also with vision, fatigue, headaches and low quality of sleep all because we’re addicted.

Firstly, please admit your addiction and now let’s combat and create rituals in order to achieve digital sobriety.

Some suggestions to power off are:

Track it: Your sitting on the couch, watching TV and you grab your phone. You begin to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, commenting, stalking, viewing, reading, texting, and two hours have passed. The first step, is understanding how much time you’re actually spending on the different programs, so you can then limit that time. There are some great applications for your laptop and phone, one being ‘Rescue Time’ in the background it tracks your mobile usage, email, social networking and other programs you use. This will give you a time tied to each program so you can have a real look at where your time is going and where it’s most wasted. There is also a free app called ‘Moment’ which does the same type of tracking however for iPhones and iPads.

Out of sight, out of mind: Allocate a time within your day, perhaps when you just return home from work, to put that phone away. The key is to put it somewhere out of sight. A drawer, the pantry, the kitchen cupboard, or anywhere that you can’t see it, this alleviates temptation.

One day of zero tech: Grab your phone, shut it off, put it away and don’t pick it up until the next day. A full 24-hour period of time to completely shut it off, get away from it and forget you ever had one.

Get up and go: Technology can be fun but, wouldn’t you rather do something else? So if your giving yourself a 1–2-hour break, don’t sit and stare at the wall, go and replace that time by doing something in nature, talk to someone that you haven’t in awhile, go out and socialize with real people, face to face, read a book, meditate, yoga or anything that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t made the time for, because Facebook took priority.

Phone pool: At a group party, the last thing you want to do is check your phone, it’s quite rude but everyone does it. The solution is once everyone arrives you put all of the phones in the center of the table and nobody picks them up until the end of the dinner. Apparently there are games associated with it such as, if you do pick it up prior to the end of dinner, you have to pick up the tab. Whatever rule you chose to make, just do it. It’s another hour or two away from that digital addiction we need space from.

These are all suggestions, I send to you, in the hopes you will admit your addiction, and head down this journey with me. I know I’m addicted and now it’s all up to me and you. We need to do this for several reasons so let’s begin today.


Flurry Mobile Analytics Report, US Consumer Time Spent on Mobile Crosses 5 hours a Day. http://flurrymobile.tumblr.com/post/157921590345/us-consumers-time-spent-on-mobile-crosses-5

TechCrunch, US Consumer spend 5 Hours per day on Mobile Devices. https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/03/u-s-consumers-now-spend-5-hours-per-day-on-mobile-devices/

GlobalWebIndex, Social Media Statistics. http://blog.globalwebindex

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com