Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 15, 2012

Why We’re Missing Out on Real Life (plus a Primal Health Challenge)

By Mark Sisson
178 Comments

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve identified two deficits in our modern lives – the lack of sprinting and the lack of walking – and proposed a series of corresponding challenges to address (and hopefully fill) those deficits. Judging from the responses, I think these articles were  successful. Today, I’m trying my hand at highlighting another problem, this time one that has nothing to do with physical fitness. In fact, it deals with perhaps the most physically inactive activity you’ll ever do: staring at a smartphone as the world gets on around you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-technology (duh), or even anti-smartphone (got one myself). I have the accumulated knowledge of the world in my pocket, and that’s pretty darn useful. I can find out where to get the best Greek food within five miles. I can bank, I can order flights to far off lands, I can check traffic, I can check shopping lists, read email, text, tweet, friend, defriend, like, oh, and make phone calls – all from the comfort of my 3.5 inch touch screen. That’s incredible. It also makes it really, really easy to get too comfortable and avoid actually experiencing the real, physical world.

I mean, when you stop and step outside of yourself for a second, and you think about the level of technology we can access, it starts feeling like we’re in the future. Of course, the future will never actually feel like “The Future” because we’ll have caught up to it and gotten used to it, but if a Connecticut Yankee appeared in our midst from the 19th (or even late 20th) century, he’d be blown away. It’s awesome and empowering and all those great things, but is there a dark side to it, too?

Our relationship with technology is not quite as dire as a Philip K. Dick novel, with programmable moods and emotions replacing real ones and electric pets replacing organic ones. It’s also not quite like the Jetsons, where flying cars, robot maids, moving sidewalks, auto-cooking kitchens, and other advanced tech enhanced human engagement with the world and its inhabitants. Ours lies somewhere in between. We’re getting along, it’s not a dystopia, but I think there are some very real problems that need to be acknowledged. Namely, smartphones, social media, and the Internet in general has changed the way we experience the world. For many, it has replaced engagement with the real physical world almost entirely. And that’s bad. We’re really missing out.

Okay, how about some stats? Let’s see what we’re dealing with.

In Britain, 81% of smartphone users have it on all day, every day. Almost half of smartphone users, upon being woken up by a phone call or text or misplaced alarm at night, end up using the phone instead of shutting it off and going back to sleep. Over half of adults and two-thirds of teens regularly use their phones while socializing with others in person (there’s nothing like a tableful of people staring at their phones in unison, is there?). About a quarter of adults use their phone during dinner. A third of teens can say the same. 47% of teens use their phones on the toilet, while just over a fifth of adults do the same (don’t they know the bathroom is for thumbing through the wife’s Cosmo?).

In the US, 59% of teens admit that they go online too much, 58% say they use smartphones way too much, and 48% use Facebook (and other social media sites). Of course, they admit it, but they don’t do anything about it. But hey, at least they’re watching less TV!

Internet Addiction Disorder is now a real thing, gaining acceptance as a legitimate clinical disorder and characterized by the classic trappings of a substance addiction. A series of studies out of China have found large structural differences between the brains of Internet addicts and controls, including impairments in white matter fibers involved in emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control (PDF). I’m not saying we’re all full-blown Internet addicts, but there’s a spectrum, and I think a lot of people are hurtling along it.

Near as I can tell, this is a real problem. A recent study even found that people who stopped checking their email for a week were more productive and experienced less stress (as indicated by the heart rate monitors attached to them for the duration of the experiment) than the folks who maintained their email habits. Those who checked emails switched windows an average of 37 times per hour, while the email abstainers switched windows just 18 times per hour. More than objective effects on productivity and stress, though, I just find it really sad to see people miss out on life because they “had” to check their phone. It’s sad seeing strollers full of wide-eyed babies who are absolutely amazed at everything they’re seeing – that bushy squirrel tail flashing across the powerline overhead, the cat sunning itself on the sidewalk, a garbage can left out from garbage day, a bush, a cloud, a man on a recumbent bike, a leaf fluttering down from treetops  – pushed by moms and dads with their eyes glued to their 3.5 inch screens, totally oblivious to the sensory explosions going on in their offspring but completely up-to-date on whether or not someone “liked” their most recent status update. “Ooh, red notification!” At least take a photo of the kid or something, sheesh.

Okay, time to fess up.

In the past week, what’s the longest you’ve gone without checking your smartphone, surfing the web, or checking Facebook, Twitter, or your email? Just give a ballpark figure. You don’t need to be exact. Sleep doesn’t count (nice try). Waking hours only.

In other words…

[poll id=”32″]

How’d you do? I didn’t do that great, actually – I’m in the four to six range.

So here’s your challenge for the week: don’t use your phone or check your email after 7 PM for the next seven days. Extenuating circumstances? Sure, fine. Don’t lose your job over this or anything like that, but do your best to avoid those frivolous mindless thoughtless check-ins “just because.”

This may sound easy. 7 PM? Psh. Assuming you go to bed around 10, 10:30, 11 PM, that’s just a few hours of downtime. You can do that. Right? I was originally going to make it a bit more hardcore, but I think this is easy enough that everyone can hit it if they try, and dramatic enough that you’ll see and feel a real difference.

We’ll see. If it was so easy, if real life was so preferable to a smartphone, you’d already be doing it on your own. Don’t disappoint me!

One more thing: don’t just turn off the phone and close the laptop and turn on the TV. No, do something. Go out dancing. Light some candles and have a game night. Go for a walk. Go for a night hike. Take a short vacation (and leave the phone altogether). Engage with the physical world and its inhabitants, face to face. And let this engagement with the world carry over to the rest of your time, your “connected” time. Smartphone usage and being present are not mutually exclusive, believe it or not.

Please, whatever you do, keep that phone off, in your pocket, or back at home when you go on a walk with your kid. Don’t shuffle along, oblivious to the world around you, eyes and attention trained on that screen.

Okay, I’ve said my piece. Now it’s your turn. Get out there and stop missing out on real life!

Oh, and tell me how that sprint challenge from last week went. Did you get it done? Leave a comment!

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178 Comments on "Why We’re Missing Out on Real Life (plus a Primal Health Challenge)"

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cTo
4 years 4 months ago

Oh, I feel like we’re living in The Future. I say as much whenever I pull out my phone to look up information about whatever I want, from where-ever I want, whenever I want. Yes, I agree entirely that such information accessibility is a double-edged sword, but still… When you think about how much information I have access to, in comparison to what our thousands of millions of ancestors had…well…we must literally seem like gods by comparison.

Nathan
Nathan
4 years 4 months ago

We have tons of information, but most of us lack the knowlege to truly apply it. Worse, the vast majority of information on the Internet is just noise.

David
David
4 years 4 months ago
Technology and the internet tests our gullibility yet can hone our ability to identify the truth, when the truth appears. Unfortunately you often must wade though s**t to find the truth. But that is life in this world. Most of the best knowledge of living wisely, taking care our health, the earth, and each other – important information to be passed on to our children, has been hi-jacked by corporate interests. But websites like this one are presenting a lot of truth about those very things, making up for a lot of the damage, and proving healthy ethical traditions to… Read more »
Jacob
Jacob
4 years 4 months ago

What I’ve also started to realize is that this easy access to any and all information has allowed people to become “lazy” in terms of what knowledge they actually hold. What’s the point in knowing a fact or how to do something when you can just look it up online when you need to? It’s like the internet is replacing our brains…we are holding less knowledge ourselves and relying on the internet to provide it for us. It honestly scares me, especially after seeing the movie Idiocracy. I fear that’s actually where we’re heading.

K
K
4 years 4 months ago

LOL, yes. I encounter scenarios that remind me of the movie Idiocracy on a regular basis. Scary.

Primal Pants
Primal Pants
4 years 4 months ago

I agree! I see things ALL the time that make me think of that movie. We call it a documentary! hahaha

Renick Marsh
3 years 8 months ago

So with all this access to technology and information , why do people in general appear to be dumber???

http://www.cafepress.com/coolstuffzone/9729798

Josh
Josh
4 years 4 months ago

I’m young and attached to my phone. It really is sad whenever I think about it. I’m going to try my best to complete the challenge. I can’t lie, it will be hard. Luckily, I get to see my niece this weekend, which never fails to make me forget about my phone.

Scott
Scott
4 years 4 months ago

Mark — you shouldn’t tell us your answer, it will bias the result… !

Daniel
Daniel
4 years 4 months ago

For the challenge, I’m probably going to have to do no internet at all after 7 pm. Otherwise, I’ll be too tempted to check my email.

Nicky
Nicky
4 years 4 months ago

I hardly go anywhere without my iPhone but rarely do anything with it except make/answer phone calls (even though I have a ton of cool apps). I’m a Luddite at heart–I like books, paper maps, working with my hands. Since I spend all day working at a computer for my job, I’ve declared Saturday a tech-free day. I’ll answer my iPhone if it rings, but that’s about it.

Matthew Caton
4 years 4 months ago
I once disconnected my Iphone service (it’s expensive for just one line) and planned to just use my house phone. More than a few family members and friends freaked out. They did not like it at all that they did not have instant access to me. I tried telling everyone that if they left me a message I would call them back when I got it. I had to reconnect my Iphone. Part of our problem is that we have grown accustomed to instant gratification, and satisfying impulse upon arisal. Patience and delaying gratification seem like ancient virtues now. Can… Read more »
ces
ces
4 years 4 months ago

I abandoned my mobile phone for (the more expensive) land-line. Did this when I had my son- did some research on the DNA dangers of phones. Oh the freedom outside- so lovely. That was easy enough, but now everyone emails me instead of text/phoning… How can I dump the ‘net?! Well and truly sucked in to this one…
I was wondering when this subject would come up.
On ya Mark. Voicing the great subconscious… keeping us honest with ourselves.
: )

Kerstin
Kerstin
4 years 4 months ago
I amaze people when I admit that I pay for my cell phone by the minute – so no, it’s not a smart phone. And my husband doesn’t have a smart phone either – his is a work phone, so he doesn’t use it much outside of work (unless it is a work call). My cell phone also doesn’t do messages, so people really either have to call my landline (and leave a message if I don’t answer) or they have to send emails… And while I just finished sending out lots of postcards on vacation, I really don’t get… Read more »
Aaron
Aaron
4 years 4 months ago
I amaze people when I tell them I don’t have a mobile phone. I had one before, when work provided it, but have never had a smart phone. And I’m a software engineer. Have always loved technology. I’ve even worked on apps for the phones I don’t have. While it would be nice to have in certain circumstances I haven’t found it to be necessary. Some people ask me “What about emergencies?” And talk about how kids in school have them in case of emergencies. I state that I will deal with it the same way I did and my… Read more »
DirectM
DirectM
4 years 4 months ago

Hurray, for challenges and experiments! Keep them coming Mark!

Cathy
Cathy
4 years 4 months ago

I agree! These are fun. I was able to do the walking one, though I am saving the sprinting one for a couple of weeks down the road, as I am in the middle of doing a 4-week-to-run-a-mile training program (made for those of us who have never really run in our lives!). This one sounds great.

Team Oberg
Team Oberg
4 years 4 months ago

I frequently turn off the computer and leave my phone at home while my husband and I are enjoying our weekends. It amazes my how angry people get when you are unreachable, as if having cell phones means I have to be instantly at someone elses disposal 24-7.

Mae
Mae
4 years 4 months ago

I get on my husband’s case all the time about his face being burried in his phone. It also drives me nuts when people get mad that they can’t get a hold of me. I tell everyone the phone is for my convenience, not theirs, unless they want to pay my bill.

Wayne
Wayne
4 years 4 months ago

+1 on the convenience thing. And I get funny looks from people when I don’t run to the other room and get my phone when it rings. Just because it rings doesn’t mean I have to answer it.

croí
croí
4 years 4 months ago

+1 on both of these. I get on my boyfriend, for texting or looking something up while were out to dinner or having a serious conversation. Dude – I’m here not in the phone. Is whoever texting more important than me and the kids?
And then he gets on me cause my phone is on vibrate cause I can’t hear it.. Sorry I’m not going to run for my phone every time it goes off.

kapo
kapo
4 years 4 months ago

Matt

I idolize you. From the very beginning of telecommunications, it was always an intrusion to call anybody without permission. K

Monique
Monique
4 years 4 months ago
I love this post, although I can’t relate… yet. I’ve managed to resist getting a smartphone for the very reason that I don’t want to become glued to it at the expense of the rest of my life! With the iPhone 5 coming, I thought I would make the leap, but then again, what would I be missing? Nothing. Your post has steeled my resolve to keep the phone I already have (which is the equivalent of a caveman’s phone in comparison to any smartphone!). Until it dies, anyway. 😉 That said, I could definitely try to use less time… Read more »
Heather
Heather
4 years 4 months ago
Me too on this one. I have a mobile phone that takes phone calls and sends texts:that’s it. No camera, no apps, oh I think it has an alarm somewhere. I do get glued to my iPad, so I am aware of this, and will endeavor to put it down, and knit the jumper I planned for this winter. I have watched people interact with their phones like they are a precious child, cradling them while they find a seat on the train, and then punch their 4 digit code in and poof, they zone out. It’s a bit creepy.
Lori
Lori
4 years 4 months ago
This is a great challenge, something I struggle with daily being a stay at home mom. It is easier to give up the devices in the warmer months than to do it through the winter months. Technology is a slow fade. I never had a smart phone until this Christmas and purposely haven’t put my email on it. I am good at checking email 2x’s a day…now Facebook ….. a whole other monster. Trying to only resort to that a few times a day and short spurts…this challenge will be good to reconnect with my family.
Josh
Josh
4 years 4 months ago

This post has inspired me to leave work early and enjoy the beautiful weather I can see through the window. I’ll direct my boss to this post if he asks why I’m leaving.

Susie
Susie
4 years 4 months ago
I have an iPhone. My boyfriend has an old Nokia brick phone. And it is not at all because he can’t afford a smartphone – he can – he doesn’t WANT one. At first I was appalled by his choice of phone, but now I really admire it. He feels absolutely no need to have constant access to the internet, update his Facebook (which he also doesn’t have), or play angry birds during date nights. We spend our time hiking, cooking, going out, reading… He’s also challenged me to rely on my phone less and less for my normal life… Read more »
Adrienne
4 years 4 months ago

Good for your boyfriend…

Since I’m already addicted to my home computer the last thing I need is a iPhone. And we just dumped our old Verizon flip-phone for a tracfone. Saving about $400.00 a year.

Shannon
4 years 4 months ago

This will be a fun challenge! I have been trying to cut back on my compulsive email/Facebook/Internet checking. The last few days I’ve been doing better; I am online for an hour or so looking at websites and working on my blog, then a few minutes during my son’s nap, and after dinner. I’m going to try to cut out the evening technology. When I force myself to put away the computer or Blackberry, I really connect much better with my family. More challenges, please, Mark!

Alex
Alex
4 years 4 months ago

You guys should get a John’s phone.(the world’s most simplest phone)

I know I’m getting one.

Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo
4 years 4 months ago
I did five days without technology, electricity (except for heating,) clocks and transport earlier this year. It was eye-opening…and not at the same time. It was soooooo relaxing, I was so calm and productive the whole time but when I got back to the real world – the vibrancy of just a simple trip to Target in the car was like a huge adventure. Colors! Light! Sound! I came away thinking that if we could balance the two, it would be perfect – access to information (and therefore power) along with occasional intense sensory input balanced with calm, peace, home… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 years 4 months ago

Thanks to Hurrican Irene I did 9 days without electricity. Not cool when you have well water…

Tom Higgins
Tom Higgins
4 years 4 months ago

5 days for me, thanks to Hurricane Charley. Definitely not cool without well water. Or A/C. In August. In SW Florida….

knifegill
knifegill
4 years 4 months ago
Ditch the phone! No cell phones in our house. PC is enough, and that’s easy to cut back on. I’m always in dismay when I’m with someone and they put me on pause to stare into their hand. I put up with it, but it’s extremely rude and I’d never do it to someone else. On a bike ride, there’s no phone to ring. Just me and the road. On a walk in the woods to forage food, no distracting beeps – I’m free to notice patterns and make mental notes about which plants are doing what without being interrupted.… Read more »
Elle
Elle
4 years 4 months ago

I’m with you on this one! Well, I have a basic cell phone, but it is my only phone.

Joooolia
Joooolia
4 years 4 months ago

er… Can I do more sprints instead?

I’ll *try* to not check my phone while being social. Although, at this point, I might stand out for not doing so. (They *might* believe me if I say I forgot my phone or my charger.)

If that works, I might be able to swing at least once weekly where the phone is off 3-5 hours before I go to bed.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 years 4 months ago

By “Sprints”, are you refering to using the mobile provider for brief period of time or actual running 🙂

Joooolia
Joooolia
4 years 4 months ago

Nice!
As actual as I run. I’m pretty slow. I finish a 15K in about 2 hours. But I finish it & am not completely wrecked by the run. (It’s the heat & beer that do me in… although, perhaps not this year.)

Mercedes
Mercedes
4 years 4 months ago

I am 23 and I HATE sitting at a table with friends and ALL of us are staring at our phones. I have made it a resolution this year to be present with the people in front of me. I think they really appreciate it. I know I dont feel important when I am in the middle of a story and they pull out a phone and start texting someone else.

Abigaillyn
Abigaillyn
4 years 4 months ago

YES! This times a million. It is the most irritating thing in the world when you make plans with someone and they spend the whole time checking their phone. The funny thing is if there’s a night I know they’re hanging out with someone else, they spend the whole time texting me. Presence is so important

Primal Pants
Primal Pants
4 years 4 months ago

I think it is so RUDE when you are hanging out with friends and everyone is on their phone. I think its almost an UNSPOKEN rule among my friends that we put the phones away when hanging out.

Heidi P.
Heidi P.
4 years 4 months ago

My problem is taking calls when my kids are walking with me. Walks are perfect for getting your kids to talk to you, so I am going to make a point to not take those calls.

Thanks for not vilifying technology. It’s all about using the tools we have reasonably. Balancing life.

Vince
Vince
4 years 4 months ago

I must say this is one of the biggest contributors to hard feeling I have towards my wife. I have to compete with her smart phone for any attention. And the smart phone wins.

Meesha
Meesha
4 years 4 months ago

Interesting choice of posts, considering 50% of the commenters for yesterday’s post wanted an app!

croí
croí
4 years 4 months ago

HAHAHA!!!!!

Leah H
Leah H
4 years 4 months ago

I thought of that too. lol!

mars
mars
4 years 4 months ago

Good article! I’m totally up for this challenge. I need to disconnect more.

I’m blown away at how many parents I see at the playground with their heads down staring at their phones, while their little ones go on about playing and being children… it’s really sad actually..

em
em
4 years 4 months ago

Meh. I’m not buying into guilt on this one. My kids don’t need me to watch their every movement, every moment. I used to go to the park alone, or roam the neighborhood with a pack of other kids. Were my parents missing out on my precious development? Was I missing out on my parents’ nurturing presence? No. We were doing our own things and it was awesome.

em
em
4 years 4 months ago

That said, I find the number of babies tucked away in car seats and strollers and ignored like so much baggage to be appalling. And the fact that jogging strollers come with iPod holders. Not being able to see *or* hear your baby… Yeah, that’s good parenting.

The Jaded NYer
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t have a smartphone (dumped that fun-stealer last fall) but the computer definitely commands all of my attention. I accept this challenge and will shut down internet access at 7pm. Maybe I will finally finish my writing projects!

Thanks for the push!

ChaiKe
ChaiKe
4 years 4 months ago

I’ve managed to shun technology pretty effectively for the past few years.

Especially when travelling abroad, I don’t take a phone and only check e-mails every month or so.

Whenever I’m travelling with a friend who insists on using a mobile, I scowl at them until they stop or abandon them.

I think this makes me a better person.

Goyo
Goyo
4 years 4 months ago

I’m skeptical. Who is this “we” you speak of?

Technology saves labor which reduces stress.

I work behind a laptop all day and I tend to not be on it when I am not working but I still use my mobile phone which can do almost everything my PC can do…and I am less stressed for not having to sit behind my laptop when I am not “on the clock”.

Besides, it seems incompatible to use the interwebz to critique the way technology affects “our” livelihoods.

Ida Palma
Ida Palma
4 years 4 months ago

My New Year’s resolution was to unplug…the laptop and blackberry are put away at 6pm weekdays and they don’t get used on weekends, holidays or vacations any more. Life is much much better!

Leah H
Leah H
4 years 4 months ago

Way to go, Ida!

PeaceKaren
PeaceKaren
4 years 4 months ago
I remembered this weekend’s “Mom & Kids” overnight camping trip and thought, “Ha! Great timing! I get to check the 8+ box!” Then I remember I sent 2 texts to my husband while we were camping — one to let him know we arrived safely and one to send him a picture of the kids fishing. I did forgo all e-mail, phone calls, web surfing and other electronics while camping. We were certainly fully engaged in “real life” out in nature. But it was very comforting to have access to the technology to use in a mindful way. Anyway, those… Read more »
spayne
spayne
4 years 4 months ago

I think sending a text to let your significant other that you are okay should be exempt. As a husband I am always happy to know that my wife and/or kids have arrived safely at their destination.

I don’t think that your use of technology violated the spirit of this challenge. It is not like you were on Facebook while the kids were fishing.

Mel
Mel
4 years 4 months ago

For the past year or so, I’ve noticed how my attention at home is on my smartdevices instead of my love. Thank you for this challenge! I will not be connected to technology and will instead focus on my girl. Oh gosh…. it is an addiction.

Tom
4 years 4 months ago

Wow that’s a pretty serious challenge! While I can’t stand when people are staring at their smartphones while I’m trying to talk to them, I am guilty of leaving my phone on 24/7. I’ll try it after 9 p.m. for the next 7 days and then work my way earlier.

Ion Freeman
4 years 4 months ago

As the parent of a young child, after he goes to bed is exactly when I check my email. I repudiate the challenge!

HopelessDreamer
HopelessDreamer
4 years 4 months ago

i think that its good you are not checking e-mail when you are spending time with the kids!i think that should “count” for this…imho

spayne
spayne
4 years 4 months ago
One part of the challenge should be to put your phone away while driving. As a motorcyclist, bicyclist and fellow driver, I would really appreciate it if everyone would put down their phone and pay attention to the road. I am not perfect, I have caught myself doing this myself many times (almost t-boned someone once) and decided that from now on my phone is going in my trunk or pocket while I’m behind the wheel. I challenge all of you to do the same. (Oh, and only checking your phone at lights does not count. It just screws up… Read more »
Nionvox
4 years 4 months ago

It’s illegal here to use your phone while driving. They are super, super strict about it, thankfully.

spayne
spayne
4 years 4 months ago

I am starting to believe it should be a federal law in the U.S.

Eric Evans
4 years 4 months ago

Since I live in one of the few places in the United States that smartphones don’t really work (yet), I don’t really have that problem (though I still check my email to much.)

However, every time I leave I am amazed at all the people staring at their tiny screens. Even just waiting for coffee in the morning or at a table in a restaurant. It still seems crazy to me.

Abigaillyn
Abigaillyn
4 years 4 months ago

I get so much crap for my flip phone but am totally committed to it. That being said, I am more addicted to it than I would like to be – constantly checking texts and the likes. The only reason I made it into the 4-6 range is because my work (Waitressing) forbids us from carrying them around with us. I will accept your challenge, Mark, although will leave my phone on to accept calls (because trying to coordinate outings on weekend nights without calling is…impossible). Thanks for the challenges!

Sri
4 years 4 months ago

Definitely guilty of this. The constant access to e-mail (and the workplace expectation of an immediate response to e-mail) has got to be a chronic stressor. I don’t think I’ve gone more than 3 waking hours in between e-mail checks this calendar year. Even my morning 2-mile walk to work is accompanied by music in the headphones, random web-surfing, and at least one click of the Gmail reload button. A dog might help.

yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
4 years 4 months ago
“The fear” got me when I saw today’s post title and the picture of a smartphone, but I think I can do this. I’ve been making more of an effort to do so anyway. I keep reminding myself that (fill in the blank) is more important than what’s on my phone and that the internet will still be there in an hour, or whenever the kids have gotten their needs attended to. Good challenge, I’ll give it a go. Oh, and the sprinting? I don’t run unless I’m chasing my kids. Which does happen. I re-instated an old knee injury… Read more »
Carol
Carol
4 years 4 months ago
I seem to be one of the few that has gone 8+ hours unplugged. Since I live on the west coast and most of my friends and family are back east, it’s easy to have my cell phone off at night because of the time difference. Even though, now that I’ve been here for a while my new friends get frustrated when they can’t get me in the evenings…but, I have a home phone they can call me on if they really, really need me. I also don’t take my phone on my walks, even though sometimes I wonder if… Read more »
Carla
4 years 4 months ago

The other evening around 8 p.m. my phone battery died and rather than plug it in and continue using it, I left it off. It felt so strange!!! I am going to do the challenge too! My kids and I play a lot of games together on our smart phones so I will miss doing that though.

Marie
Marie
4 years 4 months ago

You could try doing a game night with real board games or cards. Seems like no one does this anymore, but it was a regular occurance in my house growing up and we still do it when all the siblings get together at my parents house for the holidays. It always brings back great memories and even creates new ones! My kids love the game closet at grandma and grandpa’s 🙂

HillsideGina
HillsideGina
4 years 4 months ago

Love those games. We play Scrabble and bought a bar table with a revolving game middle – Scrabble, chess and checkers.

I like to pull out the Monopoly when friends come over. First they roll their eyes, then they get into it big time. We also have an electronic bar-style dart board. Folks have forgotten about these fun social things.

At a friend’s house we played DDR – Dance-Dance-Revolution. See that? So much laughing…

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
4 years 4 months ago

I have an office that overlooks the Trinity River here in Fort Worth, Texas. I was looking out my window the other day and saw a couple on the stone bridge that crosses the river. It was a beautiful day. The were both sitting there texting!

And Internet Addiction Disorder? Sounds like a big pharma invention to sell more drugs to me.

Jaclyn
4 years 4 months ago

I love this challenge, but I’m going to switch up the hours a little for myself. I’m a SAHM with three kids at home, and while I don’t have a smartphone, I keep FB running on the laptop ALL DAY. Awful. My challenge is to keep the laptop CLOSED between 8:30am and nap time. No more “quick checks”! Thanks for this push!

Chris Bryner
Chris Bryner
4 years 4 months ago

I completed 8 sets of 30 second hill sprints with 90 seconds rest in between.

Groktimus Primal
4 years 4 months ago

I mainly use technology to my advantage so I’m not usually stressed by it. I keep all else simple.

Cathy
Cathy
4 years 4 months ago
For me, this is very timely. I have just, in the last few days, recruited my husband and daughter (5 years old) to adopt a more primal lifestyle, focusing mostly on changing eating habits. But, I am also working hard to re-introduce some limits with my daughter that we had when she was younger, and about which I have become a little lax, specifically about the amount of “screen time” she gets on a daily basis. I actually made her go an ENTIRE Sunday without even turning the t.v. on! (I know, mom of the year goes right out the… Read more »
sofia
sofia
4 years 4 months ago

Neither my husband or I have smart phones but we have 5 online stores so the internet is super important to us. That said, we do take a “no computer” day once in a while but we can’t be off line for long as we need to reply to our customers and since most of our customers are in Europe and North America and we are in Japan….there isn’t really a “down time” for us. In fact it is 2:15 am here in Japan and I’m online!

Rick
4 years 4 months ago

As a techno-geek, the longest I ever go without checking an electronic device is 2 hours. Pretty sad! I did the sprint challenge last week, pacing off 50 meters at the park. I did 10X50m, all-out-max-effort sprints and came home way more tired than my usual 6.5mph 2.5 mile run. I was surprised that my shoulders and elbows were sore and my hammies were super-tight the next day. Great workout!

Damien Gray
Damien Gray
4 years 4 months ago

Last summer, I spent 10 days backpacking through the Philmont scout ranch with a bunch of teenage Boy Scouts. By and large, they talked about video games and tried to get to the next campsite as soon as possible, ignoring a goodly portion of the beautiful New Mexico mountains. I found it sad that even experienced scouts had problems realizing that the journey is the experience, not the end. I “slowed them down” more than once with my incessant photography ;).

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years 4 months ago

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” -Arthur C. Clarke

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 4 months ago
Here’s something else to think about: the following of you by Big Brother and Big Marketing. The only way to guarantee you aren’t being cyber-followed via GPS by either entity is to remove the batteries from your phone…and guess what? You can’t do that with a smart phone! When Steve-o sold you that phone, he may as well have sold you a tracking device ANYBODY can use to know your whereabouts at any given time. Yeah, you have the world in your pocket–that means NO PRIVACY for you! You know how Britain’s covered in cameras and the cops know your… Read more »
Andrew
Andrew
4 years 4 months ago

Actually I can remove my battery. Not every smartphone is made by Apple

eatsleepswim
eatsleepswim
4 years 4 months ago

I appreciate that this site is so much more than what we stick in our mouths. Thanks Mark!

WereBear
4 years 4 months ago

I didn’t get a smartphone either, but I do love my iTouch. But lately I mostly use it to… read books on my Kindle app.

I guess that doesn’t count since I’m not on the Internet? 🙂

Madmav
Madmav
4 years 4 months ago

Went on cruise and did not take phone. No contact with anyone for 7 days. Heaven!

Kristen
4 years 4 months ago

LOVE this!! I am extremely guilty of smartphoneitis. In fact, I voted in the 0-2 hour range (shudder). I am totally going to do this! Thanks for the reminder.

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