In Create A Meaningful Lifestyle Part 1 we learned about a digital addition we may have never known we had. We also learned that top executives at companies like Facebook at aware of this additive causing behavior and are coming forth sharing this information in hopes to help societies improve. Are they too late? How can we coexist with highly addictive digital technologies and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
As we will discover through these chapters, we need to realize the importance of activity providers and their impact on communities around the globe. It’s more important than ever for these organizers to be as efficient as possible, allowing them to increase capacity, reach more people, spend less time on admin tasks and improve activity quality.
In this excerpt from Chapter 1 we will follow Anastasia on her journey to digital detox and learn how she is far from alone. Many people are well aware of their problem with digital addition and are actively take steps to improve. From attending more activities like yoga, art classes, music and more, to switching to a “dumb phone” in attempt to live in the present moment, it’s clear this trend isn’t going anywhere soon.
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Chapter 1: What Is Going On and How Did We Get Here?
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Blaise Pascal
“It’s Day 1 of my unplugging journey, November 2014. I’m standing in a mobile phone shop, and the shop assistant is glaring at me with suspicion, and I can understand why. For the past hour, I had been performing the same strange action. I picked up a box containing a phone from the shelf, held it in my hands for a few seconds, and then put it back. I came to the store to buy a basic phone to replace my smart one. I found it immediately, a Nokia, £20 worth, £10 of which is credit, but I can’t make myself pick it up. I feel as if I’m contemplating plunging into icy water. Before finding myself standing in front of that shelf, I had never realized how dependent I had become on my smartphone. How would I find my way, talk with friends, stay updated, call my family abroad? Then I remembered a friend of mine who ran a telecom company. Remarkably, he had no smartphone (due to security concerns). I exhaled long and slow and took the Nokia phone box to the cashier’s desk. I felt both empty and excited as if a giant balloon inside me had just burst. My journey to freedom began.
Famous unpluggers: Have we seen it all before?
In 1750, a French philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau threw his watch from a cliff in protest at technology, “… undoing all that is authentically human about both the arts and the sciences”. If we were
ever to write a history of the unplugging movement, Rousseau should be considered one of its founders.
If he was still alive today, Rousseau would be surprised to find that he has a bunch of rather unlikely followers around the globe. In 2015, British musician Ed Sheeran announced he was quitting social media, phone and emails. “I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes,” he said.
According to some critics, Sheeran has since recorded his “best album ever.” A year later, rapper Kanye West tweeted, “I got rid of my phone so I can have air to create.” Unplugging is the new black among creatives. Another artist, Ex-Take That singer, Garry Barlow, doesn’t use any “blue-light” technology after 8 p.m., nor does he allow his family to use it either. Actress Julia Roberts 24 doesn’t use social media as she’s afraid that she’d be using it all the time.
Singer Selena Gomez spent three months digitally detoxing, which brought her a “refreshing, calming, rejuvenating feeling.” 25 Singer Sir Elton John does not have mobile phones and went so far as to suggest shutting the Internet down for five years to “and see what sort of art is produced in that span”.”