The boss was talking on the show this week about the dangers of social media and smartphone addiction. Particularly when it comes to Gen Z. People are hooked on their social media feeds. It’s causing short-term memory loss. IQ scores are going down. It’s a problem, and it’s one I’ve been concerned about myself for the past few years. Starting with a Kevin Hart clip from Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Hart shared a story about when he realized his smartphone had turned into more of a curse than a blessing.
Kevin Hart on the Dark Side of Social Media | Joe Rogan
Hart makes two key points. One is the sudden realization of how addicted and reliant we’ve all become on our smartphones. For him, it was when his phone died while he was on a road trip and realized how little he knew without his phone: where to go, who to call, etc.
My sister lives three blocks away. I pick up my nieces and nephew from school all the time. If my phone ever died, I wouldn’t know my sister’s phone number without scrolling through my phone to find it. And even then, it’s not the number. It’s her name. If my phone ever died during a road trip, I’d still be pulled over to the side of the road.
The other Hart point was putting the phone away at a certain point of the day, and being present with his family. It’s like the drug commercial from the 80s, “I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU.” Kids pick up their device habits because we as adults always have ours in our hands.
It was after watching this clip I started to look at my own life and how addicted I am to “the scroll.” These are three changes I made:
No phones at the dinner table. It’s funny because adults fight me on this more than kids do.
Wear a watch. Part of the problem is I’m always grabbing my phone to check the time. Then I scroll through Twitter and check email before putting my phone back in my pocket…forgetting to check the time. Wearing a watch cuts down on that.
Listen to vinyl. Aka records, as opposed to Spotify or Music. In the olden days, you had media collections and a single stereo. Now I have my iPhone and eleventy different Bluetooth speakers. I love music but grew dependent on my phone to listen to it. Then when I would be listening to Spotify since my phone was in my hand I’d be too busy scrolling to listen to the music I had on. Putting on a record is my way to completely get off the grid for an hour or so.
You have to retrain your brain to accept the world will get along fine without you if you aren’t connected to it 24/7. DeSantis stans and Trump marks will still be fighting. People will still argue over movies. The news will be every bit of “everything sucks,” “everything is terrible,” and “oh my God, someone do something” without you tweeting about it.
Take care of yourself first. Disconnect.
Brodigan is Grand Poobah of this here website and when he isn’t writing words about things enjoys day drinking, pro-wrestling, and country music. You can find him on the Twitter too.
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