Several years ago, we shared our experience with bringing company owners to our home in North Carolina for three-day retreats with limited cell service and internet. What we thought would be a drawback to participants became one of the greatest takeaways. I was reminded of that newsletter this week in a conversation with someone on the challenges of being addicted to our smartphones. With time spent on these devices growing every year, the pandemic has caused an even larger dependency on that piece of technology so close within our grasp. Forbes reported in April of 2020 with the pandemic, average time on mobile devices was up 20% over 2019 to 4.3 hours per day. Most people check their phones 58 times a day and 30 of those times are during work hours. Even though most of those diversions are only 2-3 minutes in length and total screen time may not be impacting your efficiency, how often you are picking up your phone and getting distracted undoubtedly could be. With this in mind along with my own personal struggle to manage the impact of technology on my time, we have provided a few updated statistics on what most of us have turned into an obsession and will also share the previous insights on the value of getting disconnected from the distractions of our times.
Are You Addicted to Your Smart Phone?
Smartphone Addiction Statistics from Review.org Article - 2/11/20
Our phones are constantly asking us, “You up?” And more often than not, we are up. According to our survey, over 65% of people sleep with their phones. For some people, their phone can end up being the only thing they sleep with—45% of folks say they would rather give up sex than their cell phone for a year. Perhaps Flappy Bird will keep them warm at night.
- Survey asking people how they use their smart phone and 75.4% said they are addicted
- 32% of survey respondents say they spend more time on their phones than they do with their significant others
- 79.5% use their phone as an alarm clock.
- 87.8% feel uneasy leaving their phone at home.
- 55.4% use or look at their phone while driving.
- 75.4% consider themselves addicted to their phones.
- 65.6% check their phones up to 160 times per day.
- 57.4% say they use their phone on dates.
- 64.2% have texted someone in the same room as them.
- 60.6% have upgraded their phone in the last year.
- 7.4% said they “always” use or look at their phone while driving.
- 48% said they “sometimes” use or look at their phone while driving.
- 35.2% said they “never” use or look at their phone while driving.
- 9.4% said they “don’t drive.”
- 17.3% of parents said they spend more time on their phones than with their children.
- The average price an American would have to be paid to trade-in their current phone for a flip phone without “smart” features is $2,150.20.
- 36% said they would be willing to go without their phone for “one week or less” if it meant they could erase all of their debt.
- 58% reported that they spend over three hours on their phone each day.
- 45% said the private information on their phones (photos, contact information, text messages, apps, etc.) was worth less than $500 to them.
If you would like to understand better WHY we are addicted to our electronic devices, be sure to watch The Social Dilemma, a documentary, to learn how the technology that connects us also divides us, controls us, manipulates us, polarizes us, distracts us, and monetizes us.
How much are we allowing technology to distract us from the people, experiences, discoveries, and beauty of life that surround us each day?
Below are a couple of new concepts that have evolved out of old ones that you may consider as you think about some ACTIONS you can take to lesson your daily distractions. The intention is not to be cynical or fanatical about technology. We all know the importance and the absolute positive possibilities it possesses. Read through the concepts below, and consider the few actions we discovered at the Owners' Summit that may help you to reduce your distractions and make even more discoveries.
THE WORLD WIDE WEB - Think about the amazing structure of a spider web and the amazing structure of the world wide web. It's really almost beyond belief how they are built. What may be even more amazing is what their function is, at least for the spider web; it is to capture the prey of the one who built it and then consume them. Do the words "capture and consume" have a correlation with the man-made web?
THE SMARTPHONE - Is it called this because it has our calendar, phone book, camera, mail, running companion, photo albums, alarm clock, entertainment, library, shopping, friends, and life all in one place; or is it because it has made us so dependent on IT for all of these things? If we are totally dependent on our SMARTPHONE, does it make us a smart person?
TABLE CONVERSATION - Do you remember what it was like to have a wonderful conversation at the table with the people that are sitting at the table with you?
TWEET - There is nothing greater than a tweet . . . a real tweet, that is . . . to make you stop, think, smile, and reflect on the world around you. When is the last time you have allowed yourself to rise above the noise to experience the beauty of a cardinal, robin, sparrow, wren, meadowlark, or red-winged blackbird tweeting and then found yourself re-tweeting it as you hum or whistle it later in the day
TEXT - "Do not text and drive." Think about another habit this phrase originated with: "Do not drink and drive." What does it say about the strength of technology and the weaknesses of individuals who will give in to a habit that can kill them and others?
THE CLOUD - Need we say more? A view from Highwoods reminds us of what a cloud is and the beauty of it.
How can you take the following ideas discovered as this group of owners discussed the freedom of being disconnected from technology and put them into action yourself?
"When I was able to get back on the internet back in my room, I realized it only took 30 minutes to do the work when I could concentrate on just returning e-mails or texts. I am going to start a discipline of turning off the notifications and select one or two times throughout the day to focus on e-mails, freeing my time to be more productive the rest of the day."
"I noticed how many 'CCs' I was getting from my team going back to clients or other people that did not really have an impact on me. I may not change my team, but I am going to reduce the number of people I cc or even worse, bc."
"We are going to begin setting up 'TECHNOLOGY FREE ZONES.' It is an eye opener seeing how much we can get accomplished in the meetings and how much more focused I am, without the tethered pull of the internet or cell phone signals."
"Without the constant distraction of my phone ringing or text buzzing, I became more aware of things going on around me . . . and also realized I am not so important that I have to know everything going on in my company. There are much smarter people than I to handle a situation, if I'm not there to be 'the hero.'"