Digital Hygiene: Breaking The Technology Addiction for Adults and Kids – Episode 51

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In this week's episode...

Digital Addiction is back in the spotlight this week. Tune in as Jonathan and TeriAnn share more statistics on this building epidemic. Children and teens are especially negatively affected by increasing digital addictions. Don’t despair! We have sensible tips to help us finally break the digital addiction and reconnect in a healthy way.

Empowering You Organically – Season 7 – Episode 51 
Title: Digital Hygiene: Breaking The Technology Addiction for Adults and Kids

Hosts: Jonathan Hunsaker, TeriAnn Trevenen 
Guest: None 
Description:  Digital Addiction is back in the spotlight this week. Tune in as Jonathan and TeriAnn share more statistics on this building epidemic. Children and teens are especially negatively affected by our increasing digital addictions. Don’t despair! We have sensible tips to help us finally break the digital addiction and reconnect in a healthy way. 

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Understanding Behavioral Addiction 

  • Behavioral addiction affects a vast number of individuals and occurs when people find themselves unable to control the frequency, or amount of, a previously harmless behavior such as love, sex, gambling, work, internet and chatroom usage, shopping or exercise.  
     
  • Behavioral addictions are considered impulse‐control disorders and share many underlying similarities to substance addictions, including aspects of tolerance, withdrawal, repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit and impairment in everyday life functioning.

What Statistics Show 

  • Teens who spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 71% more likely to have suicide risk factors than those with 1 hour of use. 
  • Teens that spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices ate 51% more likely to get under 7 hours of sleep when compared to 1 hour of use. (Long-term issues linking to high blood pressure and weight gain) 
  • 8th graders who are heavy users of social media have a 27% higher risk of depression 
  • 67% of surveyed teachers observed students being negatively distracted by mobile devices. 
  • 90% of teachers stated the number of students with emotional challenges INCREASED. 
  • 50% of parents are concerned for the impact on their mental health 

How to stop kids being addicted to their phone: 
When looking to resolve teen phone addiction, the obvious option of taking your child’s phone away often doesn’t work. This can just result in the withdrawal symptoms of the internet and technology addiction. Your child or teenager will lack the maturity to realize the bigger picture, so you’re going to have to try some other tactics to evoke healthier usage. 
 
Use apps to monitor use:
Smartphone manufacturers have been criticized for the addictive nature of their devices. Both Android and now Apple have released software that will help people curb their addition and monitor usage. The new iOS Digital Health and Android’s usage tracking can help you to know how much you or your child are actually using the device as well as the nature of the use, e.g. apps, emails, messaging. 
 
Manage your own use:  
You need to be the role model in this situation, if you spend hours looking at your phone, check it during conversations and let it come between you and family interactions then you’re setting a poor example. 
 
Create rules around the house:  
By restricting the use of smartphones in certain areas of the house or certain times you can create a much healthier environment. For example, no phones at the dinner table or after a certain time at night, perhaps even ban children/teens from having phones in their rooms at night. 
 
Nurture other interests:  
Another way to reduce how kids are addicted to phones is to involve them in more social and physical activities (sports/hobbies) to help them develop real interactions and reduce stress through exercise. 
 
Communicate:  
Spend time as a family without mobile devices, communicate and be close enough with your child to know if there are underlying problems that the overuse of smartphones is masking issues such as depression or stress relating to issues at home or school. 
 
Self-Help Tips 
We recommend using the new iOS Digital Health and Androids usage reports to keep track of the time you’re spending on your phone. The best place to start is by understanding exactly how much time you’re using your device and what apps you’re using the most. 
 
Realize what the triggers are that make you addicted to your phone, find better uses for your time to reduce your daily stress and boredom. 
 
Make conscious efforts to interact with people in person rather than via your phone. Our bodies and minds are built to thrive and develop off of human interactions, isolation with technology will impact you negatively. 
 
Recognize when you’re using a smartphone as a wall. If you find it easier to communicate with others through messaging or social media or vent online, work on those skills rather than hiding behind technology. 
 
If you’re wondering how to break cell phone addiction, the best way is to think of it as physical addiction such as smoking, drinking or eating. It’s about recognizing habits and working on slowly reducing the time to manageable amounts. 
 
Limit times that you can use your device. Try checking your phone after meals, don’t take it with you to the bathroom and ban it from the bedroom. 
 
Turn off your phone or put it out of sight. Placing your phone in a drawer at work or leaving it in another room to charge can help reduce the anxiety of wanting to check it. 
 
Don’t let your phone interrupt your sleeping patterns. Looking at your tablet, phone or laptop before bed can impact the quality of sleep you get. Try turning it off. 
 
Focus your boredom on other activities. If you’ve just sat there with the TV on in the background and scrolling aimlessly on your phone, try putting that time into the gym, a hobby or going to meet friends and catch up. 
 
Limit times you play games or look on social media. Perhaps only use a game at certain times of the day, or try deleting social media apps you’re spending too much time on (social media being one of the primary causes of phone addiction) 
 
Checking your phone every 5 minutes? Wait for an hour or more, you’re probably getting an underlying feeling you’re missing out, but you can wait for your fix. 

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Deeper Dive Resources

Organixx – Supplements You Trust 
 
Carpe diem instead of losing your social mind: Beyond digital addiction and why we all suffer from digital overuse 
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311908.2016.1157281 
 
Is it meaningful to distinguish between generalized and specific Internet addiction? Evidence from a cross‐cultural study from Germany, Sweden, Taiwan and China 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/appy.12122 
 
The Emerging Requirement for Digital Addiction Labels 
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-16101-3_13 
 
Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations Across Seven World Regions 
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2014.0317 
 
KIMBERLY S. YOUNG.CyberPsychology & Behavior.Jan 1998.
http://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237 
 
Prevalence of digital addiction and use of digital devices by students 
http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:xijmms&volume=3&issue=7&article=012 
 
Online Peer Groups as a Persuasive Tool to Combat Digital Addiction 
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-31510-2_25 
 
The Challenges of Defining and Studying “Digital Addiction” in Children 
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2734210 
 
Hicks, Tyler M., “Digital Detox – Addressing the Issue of Screen Addiction in Millennials” (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 513.  
https://dc.etsu.edu/honors/513/ 
 
BankMyCell 
https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/smartphone-addiction/ 
 
Should DSM-V Designate “Internet Addiction” a Mental Disorder? 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719452/ 
 
Internet addiction update: diagnostic criteria, assessment and prevalence 
http://www.jneuropsychiatry.org/peer-review/internet-addiction-update-diagnostic-criteria-assessment-and-prevalence.pdf 
 
Internet Gaming 
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming 
 

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Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker, joined by my cohost, TeriAnn Trevenen. 
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Hey, everyone. 
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, last week we were talking all about digital addiction and the feedback we got was phenomenal.  So, I highly encourage you, if you have not listened to part one, go back and listen to last week’s episode.  Today is part two, and we’re really going to talk about just some quick tips you can use to kick that digital addiction and really live a healthier, happier, more stress-free life.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Sure.  So, just to start things off, last week, we really covered that technology is becoming an addiction, and we talked about that in comparison to sex, drugs, gambling, beyond.  We don’t look at it as a true addiction, but as you listen to what we discussed last week, you realize it really is an addiction when something becomes more important than anything else in our lives.   
 
And I think we could all agree; our phones are pretty much an extension of our hand.  There’s images out there that show really powerful—the powerful impact of technology, where they draw technology into our lives.  If you haven’t seen them floating around on the internet, they’re really humbling when you look at someone’s hand being replaced with their phone or something like that.   
 
This is a true addiction that we’re facing.  And we talked about even down to our children having access to phones and technology, and how are we monitoring and controlling that?  Just to kick this off with some stats, one of the biggest users of technology, specifically phones, are teenagers.  And today, we are going to talk more about tips and tricks, but I just want to remind everyone, based on what we talked about last week, how serious phone usage is when it comes to health and our overall long-term health.   
 
Teens, here are some stats around teens and technology usage.  Teens who spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 71 percent more likely to have suicide risk factors that those with 1 hour of use.  Teens that spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 51 percent more likely to get under 7 hours of sleep when compared to 1 hour of use.   
 
8th graders who are heavy users of social media have a 27 percent higher risk of depression.  67 percent of surveyed teachers observed students being negatively distracted by mobile devices.  90 percent of teachers stated the number of students with emotional challenges increased.  And 50 percent of parents are concerned for the impact on their mental health.   
 
So, on our last episode, and we’re not really touching specifically on the health issues today, but I just wanted to drive this home starting off, how much our phone usage and usage of technology does impact our health.  Depression, not getting good sleep, stress, distraction, and not being present and intentional in our lives.   
 
So today, we’re going to, like Jonathan said, talk about some ways that we can improve our technology hygiene, I’m calling it, so that we can improve our overall health, emotions, mental wellbeing in our lives.  Technology is a beautiful thing.  It’s a powerful thing.  I love that I can talk to my family members thousands of miles away.   
 
I love that I can jump on the internet and read a well-researched and written article on how I can do something better.  I love that I can research information on my own health.  But when does too much become too much?  And so, we talked about this last time, and today, we’re going to, again, give those tips and tricks to help you get away from so much usage of technology.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  And I really want to touch on the fact that not only do we want to give you tips for how to break the addiction yourself, but really, if you have kids, I mean this is becoming an epidemic, the amount of kids that are using phones, using iPads, that digital addiction.  And we really have to start addressing that sooner rather than later.   
 
And we talked about with really young kids, like I have, 2, 4, 5 years old, that young, I really think just don’t introduce them to it, or if you introduce them to it, take it away and extremely limit the use of it.  Like even our iPads, if they use the iPad, they’re using it to watch Daniel Tiger or something like that, it’s not even to play the games and get overstimulated like that, it might be to watch something if we’re going on a long drive or something.  And so, the first thing is, I just think that you cut it out from the young ones and don’t let them get introduced and overstimulated or you’re going to have a hard time breaking that addiction.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yep.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: The second thing I want to talk about, too, is we have to lead by example, right?  Not “Do as I say, not as I do.”  It’s not the hypocrites in all of this, especially for those of us that have teenagers and the ones that are at the highest risk right now. If we’re going to have any amount of influence on our teenage kids, we have to lead by example.   
 
We can’t tell them “Don’t be on social media, don’t be texting your friends, don’t do this, don’t do that,” while we’re looking at our phone telling them not to do it, right?  So, we have to be the ones to lead with example.  And I just want to make that really clear, because I think it’s often easy for us as parents to not think that the rules apply to us.  We’re the grownup, we’re the parent, we don’t have to follow the rules.  Well, you know what?  If you follow this rule about limiting your digital addiction, you’re going to have much more influence on your teenager when you ask them to put the phone down than if you didn’t.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely, I agree.  And I think, too, that that goes back to a conversation around communication.  I think sitting down with your family and determining together “How is this going to look for our family as far as technology usage goes?  Do we want to be a family that sits and spends time together more, communicates more, has relationships, have long-lasting relationships, memories, and things like that?”   
 
I think talking to your kids about why setting boundaries, limiting use, monitoring what they’re doing matters.  We’re either going to raise our kids or we’re going to let technology raise our kids.  If they’re learning—not learning things from us, they’re learning it on their phone, you know?  I think we have this misconception about kids, that they don’t understand at our level, they don’t know things, they don’t learn things as fast as us, they can’t comprehend things.   
 
They can understand it, and their understanding comes from what they see in you and their conversations with you.  If you’re not having those conversations, someone else is having it with them, and in this day and age with technology, they’re getting it from an unknown source in an unknown way with things you don’t know that they’re experiencing.   
 
So, I think sitting down as a family and having conversations around the beauty of technology, the dangers of technology, and putting a family plan together, “What’s our usage going to look like?  How many times a day are we allowed to use it?  For how long will we use it?  What can we use our telephones for?  What should we not use our cellphones for?  What can we use technology for to benefit us?  What should we not be using technology for?”   
 
I think it starts with education, I think it starts with having family conversations, I think it starts with setting boundaries.  That open communication helps kids to be thoughtful and be good stewards over themselves when it comes to technology is because you’re putting that power in their hands.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: It’s a conversation that we don’t have enough anymore, quite frankly, is families.  And that is that family conversation.  “How are we going to be as a family?”  And that conversation, quite frankly, is not had enough around eating, right?  “What are we going to choose to eat?  What are we going to be intentional around our eating, right?  What’s our intentions around using the digital phones and the TVs and all of that?”   
 
So, I love the idea, and who would have thought we’d be doing a podcast and just talk about families talking more?  But just getting together and talking and creating a plan is essential and imagine the closeness that you would have having that conversation over dinner sometime and doing things together as a family.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: It would feel old-school, right?  Maybe feel like when you were a kid again.  And I don’t know, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with like turning back the clock and going back to some of those older habits, those old-school routines that really emphasized a lot on family.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Sure.  I think another thing, too, is we oftentimes, we talked about this in the last podcast, 4 to 5 hours a day on our smartphone.  Think about a skillset you could create in that amount of time every day.  Think about the time you could spend on your body.  Think about the time you could spend sitting at family dinner, looking at your kids and talking to them, looking at your significant other or your friend you invited over for dinner and talking to them.   
 
I think it’s important to note that we’ve talked about this being an addiction.  Addiction means that we’re more involved and more tied to a thing than we are anything else in our lives.  And I think to replace that addiction, you have to look at what you’re going to fill your life with in place of that.  What healthy patterns, habits and things can you put in place of that?   
 
Like I said, family dinner time.  What are passions that you or your children have that you could, instead of turning to the phone, put time into each day?  When it’s like “Oh, I want to sit down and play on the iPad,” mom’s like “Alright, why don’t we get your bike out and go for a bike ride instead?”  I think we have to look for things and consciously have things in our mind that would replace time that we would use on our phones to really help us connect with ourselves, with our family members, with our children, and really get present in our lives again.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  And we need to monitor it, just like we monitor anything else, right?  So, if, as a family, you’re going to choose to eat healthier, then everybody’s going to be more intentional, you’re going to monitor “What are we eating for breakfast?  What are we eating for lunch?  What are we eating for dinner?  How much exercise are we getting?”   
 
[0:10:40] The same thing with the phone.  There’s apps out there to really monitor.  I know it comes standard in iPhones, but even for parents, you can get an app where you can monitor what your child, how much they’re using their phone, how much on each of those apps?  And I’m sorry, but if your kid’s under 18, you should know exactly what they’re doing online, where they’re going online, who they’re talking to, you should have access to all the text messages.  I just firmly believe that thinking, “Oh, that’s an invasion of privacy,” and this, that, and the other, is just an excuse of your laziness to let the internet raise your kid, and that’s the last thing you want to have happen.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, monitor the use, and then, set some goals around it.  There’s nothing wrong with setting up a reward system around it.  “Hey, little Jenny, you’ve been using the phone 3 hours a day.  We’re going to start cutting that down.  Let’s get it down to 2 hours a day and we’re going to go to a trampoline park, we’re going to go wherever,” right?   
 
And have a reward system.  “And then next week, we’re going to drop it to an hour a day.”  Maybe that’s the goal is just an hour a day.  And every week that they hit it, there’s a reward.  Maybe they get their allowance, or same thing with the chore chart, right?  Hopefully your kids are cleaning and helping around the house and all of that, and so maybe they get rewards in that way.  Or maybe they just do it because that’s the goals that you’ve set forward as a family.  But that monitor.  You have to pay conscious attention to it all the time, not just one conversation and hope it happens, enforce it.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Sure.  I love that.  I want to give some other tips.  I have a friend, and I have not personally done this, but I have a friend, who as a family, they had a box, and after school, after work, when everyone was home, and this may look different for different families based on your schedule, they’d all put their devices in a box and close it, put it away, nobody could see it.   
 
I also know people who, like I said in the last podcast, my kids do not have cellphones and they won’t have cellphones until they can get a job and pay for it, but I know families who have set up time where it’s like after 8:00, the kids phones get taken away and they don’t get them again until they leave for school the next day.   
 
I’m talking kids high school age, right?  On the weekends, there’s no phone time, like where they actually have set hours that they don’t get on their phones.  I know for myself, one of the practices that I’ve implemented and tried to be better about, and I’m not perfect with this, I’m working on my technology hygiene just like everyone else.   
 
Sometimes I’ll just go to dinner with friends or family or my kids and I’ll leave my phone in the car, because it’s like when you re at dinner, it’s like “It’s going off,” you’re getting notifications, you’re constantly checking it.  And it is a little bit unnerving when you’re siting there and you’re like “Where’s my phone?  Where’s my phone?  Where’s my phone?”   
 
Like you want to check it, you want to look at it, but it forces you to say, “This is where I am, this is where I’m spending my time, this is what I’m doing.”  And so, I think making that conscious effort.  Another thing that I practiced for a long time, but I haven’t done this for a while and I need to get back to it is I was setting times in the afternoon when my kids got home from school where from 3:00 to 5:00, I put my phone on the charger in a closet, close the door, walked away.   
 
And it’s like we think “What if an emergency happens or someone calls us?”  Well, what did we do before we had phones?  We didn’t know anything until we knew, and we all survived, and we’re all fine.  And it’s like, you know, we all lived to tell the tale.  We run off in the morning and go play with our friends on a Saturday, we didn’t go home until our parents called us back.   
 
And I’m sure parents worried about us, but that’s life, that’s experiencing life as a normal human being.  So, I’d leave my phone in the closet.  I’d twitch a little and I’d want to go check it, and I’d be like “I don’t have my phone,” but I can tell you without a doubt, I was more calm, I was more relaxed with my kids, I was more focused on their homework, on playing games with them, on reading to them.  We went on walks outside.   
 
It’s definitely something I need to practice in my life again.  But truly, I felt like that was one of the ways I broke the addiction, if you will, was more time away from it made me realize I didn’t need so much time with it.  So, I think setting times for you family for phone usage, setting times for yourself, walking away, see how you feel just in 2 hours of walking away from your phone.  Everything in your body just seems to kind of like slowly melt into a more calm nature, you get rid of a lot of that stress and anxiety in your life.  “Okay, like I’m being present.”  There’s something so beautiful about that and it really relieves a lot of stress and anxiety.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  I mean I love the idea of the box.  And really, what came to me when you were talking is this is an addiction, and we should treat it as an addiction.  And we’re all addicted, quite frankly, at some level or another, to our phones.  And so, you say put the phone down and over the next 2 hours you’re going to calm down.   
 
Maybe on day four or five, right?  Day one and two and three, it may be hard to put your phone down, right?  It’s the same as when you’re trying to give up sugar, or when you’re trying to give up alcohol, give up smoking, or anything like that.  When you’re trying to give up sugar, when you’re trying to give up alcohol or smoking, I mean in the beginning it is harder.   
 
[0:15:43] But the more that you’re away from it, the less that you do it, the better that you feel overall.  And so, I don’t want everybody to think, “Oh, I’m addicted,” and think of it as a downer or somebody’s judging you, because 99 percent of us are addicted.  What I’m saying is, is if you look at it as an addiction, you’re going to treat it differently, right?   
 
You’re going to look at that phone like you might look at that cupcake if you’re a healthy eater.  You’re going to look at that phone like you might look at a cigarette if you’re a non-smoker, right?  Different things like that can make that conscious choice to not use it.  And I love the idea, I mean 2 hours away, 3 hours away, it’s going to—you’re going to feel yourself change.   
 
And I love what you said as well about—I mean there’s nothing that urgent.  I mean when’s the last time a true emergency happened, right, to you in your life?  Yes, we all have them at some point or another, but it’s not worth it to check our phone 63 times a day, according to the statistics, right, and wondering when that emergency is going to come, and that emergency doesn’t come for some of us ever, or maybe it comes once every 10 years.  Was it worth the anxiety and stress?   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.  No, you bring up a really good point.  I thought about this as you just said, like “We’ve got to check right away.”  I think we’ve lost the sense of mystery in life, in our relationships.  We constantly are talking, we constantly are communicating.  We never have time to wonder like “How was their day?  Like what did they do over there today?”   
 
Because it’s like “I’m doing this, I’m doing this, I’m doing that.”  I find that myself, like for myself, I enjoy my relationships more when I’m like ‘I haven’t heard from them all day,” and then the next day get a message, and they’re like “I did this yesterday, and this yesterday, and this yesterday.”  I love being connected to people, but at the same time, like we’ve lost the sense of wondering, we’ve lost this sense of mystery in life where we’re constantly like talking, talking, talking, talking.   
 
We don’t even have time to think about “What does that look like for them?  What are they doing?”  Like we don’t have that in our lives anymore.  It’s like a dying art, like really maneuver relationships in a truly connected way, because we’re connecting all the time.  One of the things that drives people crazy about me is that I have my phone on silent all the time.   
 
So, if I disconnect from my phone, not only is it on silent, but like I have no notifications turned on.  I have everything on silent.  My phone is rarely ever on ring unless I know I’m truly waiting for something to come in, like someone’s going to give you a call back and you need to talk to them that day, I’ll turn the ringer on.   
 
So, I lose my phone a lot, and this is why it drives people crazy.  They’re like “Why don’t you just turn your phone on ring, and then when you lose it, you can find it?”  I’m like “I don’t want my phone constantly ringing, pings, and texts, and notifications.”  All of the notifications are turned off on my phone.   
 
My phone is on silent almost all the time.  If you see me, if you’re with me, you can almost guarantee that my phone is on silent because I don’t want to hear that all day.  I used to have an Apple watch.  I took it off because it was constantly reminding me that people were talking to me and they needed me, and they wanted my attention.   
 
And I was getting into this habit of constantly feeling like I needed to respond to people, but I didn’t.  I didn’t need to respond constantly.  People can wait.  People can wait to talk to you.  Sometimes it’s fun not to talk to someone for a day, because then when you talk again, it’s like “Hey, I missed you.”  We’ve just lost so many things in constant communication.  So, those are just a few tips and tricks.  Walk away from the phone.  Turn your phone on silent.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Turn all your notifications off.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: And silent means turn off the vibration, too.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.  Oh, I don’t have vibration on, nothing.  It’s total silent all the time.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Right.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: And I get comments from people, “Did you see my text?  Did you see my call?”  No, I didn’t.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: And how many times has the world ended or came to a crashing end because you weren’t able to answer that phone [crosstalk 0:19:23] 
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: I can’t think of any emergency in the last 2 years where I wasn’t able to handle something when it needed to be handled.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Exactly.  And that’s the reality of it, right?  Is it’s not—it’s not that important, right?  I mean we all want to feel like we’re important, we want to feel like we need to know, we need to know, but you don’t.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: It’s probably better that you don’t, probably be less stressed if you didn’t know everybody’s business all the time and what was going on all the time, checking into social media all the time.  And here’s something, because I think the challenge, right, you have a lot of people that get frustrated with you because you don’t have your phone on.  It’s about setting expectations, right?   
 
So, and this is the same with email, if you want to be a lot more productive, right, only check your email a couple times a day and set an auto-response up that tells everybody that emails you “I only check my email between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. that’s it.”  Right?  Then the people that email you have this understanding that they’re not going to hear from you during that time.   
 
The same thing with your phone.  Set expectations with people.  “I don’t check my phone after 7:00 p.m. at night.  I don’t have it.  I don’t check it.  It’s not even worth texting me.”  Right?  And then people are going to be less frustrated.  This is really important for your kids as well.  Your kids can set expectations, right?   
 
Tell them to tell their friends, “I’m only allowed to have my phone from 5:00 to 6:00 at night.  That’s the only time I’m allowed to use my phone.  So, if you call me or text me outside of that, I’m not going to see it until the next day.”  [0:20:48] A lot of times, frustration comes up because of mismet expectations.   
 
And we can fix those expectations through communication.  And so, set the expectations with other people in your life.  Tell them “I don’t check my phone that often.  I don’t do this.  I’m breaking my addiction from my phone.  So, if you don’t get a text right back, doesn’t mean I don’t love you, doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about you, doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you, and all the 50 million other things you’re going to think of in your head happened, it just means I’m not checking my phone from this time.”   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Sure.  And it goes to—it speaks to gratification.  We live in a world of instant gratification, but truly, if you look at gratification, real deep meaningful gratification comes from long-term investment into the things in our lives.  And so, I think we’ve got to step back and look at how technology is.   
 
The last thing I want to touch on today, and I spoke about this in our last podcast that I was going to touch on this a bit, I’m big into scheduling your life and intentional living.  I started scheduling time for even my kids in my life. And sometimes, people say to me, “Like what?  You schedule your kids?”  Yes, I do.  Yes, I do.   
 
Because if I don’t make that intentional time for my kids like I do for meetings at work and people in my life, what does that say about my kids?  I’ll schedule a meeting with people at work, I’ll schedule a meeting with my friends, I’ll schedule this thing for myself.  Scheduling times for ourselves, for our kids, scheduling our life is really important.   
 
When I’m consulting people or working with people at work who say, “I’m overworked, I’m stressed, I have so much going on,” one of the first things I ask them to do is turn their schedule over to me.  And I’ll talk to them about “What is this on your schedule?  What is this on your schedule?  How much time are you spending on this task?  What are you doing with this?”   
 
Oftentimes, it’s tweaking our schedule and putting things in perspective.  I think that we can definitely do this with phone usage.  And actually, just talking about this on this podcast has actually leveled me up in my thinking when I look at people now moving forward and coaching them, consulting them on schedules, how to get more done in your life.   
 
I haven’t even thought about phone usage.  But think about that in context.  The statistics say we’re on our phone 4 to 5 hours a day, and as I touched on at the end of our last podcast, what could you do with that 5 hours a day? That’s almost an entire work week that we’re spending, or work day, in an entire week, 35-40 hours a week on our phone.   
 
What could you do with that time?  Think about that in a 5-hour time block of a day.  1 hour to improving your body, 1 hour to improving your relationships, 1 hour to that passion project that keeps getting pushed to the side, 1 hour to prepping better meal plans, 1 hour to going to visit that friend that you just keep putting off, putting off, putting off, and are you going to regret that later that you put that off?   
 
Think about 5 hours a day and what you could do, what kind of a return on investment in your finances, your relationships, your body, your health, your emotions you would get from putting the phone down, walking away from it, and focusing energy and effort on things in your life where you keep saying “I don’t have time,” and you’re making an excuse.   
 
And so, I challenge people all the time when looking at their schedule, first comes you, then comes your family, then comes business, then comes whatever else is filled in there.  I always talk to people in that order.  One thing that we can add in is our phone usage time.  “Where can I cut out in my life to put those things that are important for us?”   
 
Those are what are on my list, it may be different for you.  But I challenge people to look at your phone usage, your technology usage, how much of your time is that eating up?  I know for myself, I certainly need to go back and evaluate that in why I’m not hitting some of my goals and some of my downwind, and some of the things I want to get done, because it’s certainly impacting more, for me, more than I realize.   
 
And so, just a few tips and tricks from things that I do, things that I use when coaching people on their schedules, on their time, but also, pulling that from a technology perspective, where can we tighten up there to give ourselves more time back to improving our quality of life throughout different aspects of our life.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: And I think the benefits just way outweigh the use of the phone, right?  There’s so much more we could do.  Listen, I’m not saying it’s not fun to sit down at night and go through Reddit or Instagram or Facebook or something like that and kind of catch up and have some mind-numbing time, right?   
 
I’m not opposed to that.  It’s a matter of limiting it.  It’s a matter of are you doing it in the middle of the day?  Are you doing it when you first wake up?  Are you doing it on your morning walk?  Are you doing it at all these times that it doesn’t need to be done, right?  And I mean I just love all of the things that you’ve touched on in terms of all the other places we can upgrade our life with less time to the phone.   
 
And listen, you hear from a lot of people all the time that complain about finances, “I work too much, I don’t have enough money.”  Put your phone down and learn a new trade, learn a new skillset, learn a new something, right?  [0:25:48] Or you’re complaining about being unhealthy.  Put the phone down and do the meal preps.   
 
I mean I’m not going to repeat everything that you said, but it really hits home for me when you put it in that perspective, all the more things that we could do.  And it’s a matter of making that intentional decision to choose you and eliminate the stuff that doesn’t matter.  And I can promise you, Instagram doesn’t matter that much, Facebook doesn’t matter.  That post that you missed doesn’t matter.  That like that you didn’t get doesn’t matter, right?   
 
And so, consider the things that do, like you say, yourself, your family, your business or your work, your hobbies, your pets.  The things like that, go spend some time there and less time on the phone.  So, for those of you listening, I hope you got some wonderful tips here.  Please go interact with people.  Put your phone down, talk to them, smile at them.  Ask for direction.  Who would have thought, right?  The person that you’re asking might fall over and think “How are you asking for directions?”  Get some human interaction, do something that’s changed the way that we operate from just being so dependent on our digital devices.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Absolutely.  Yeah, and I want to end on one last comment that’s been floating around in my brain.  We’ve talked a lot about usage and our time spent on technology.  I think a lot of the depression, the anxiety and the stress stems from our constant need to follow other people, our confidence and our security coming from people accepting who we are and what we believe and what we want, and we put on these personas when it comes to technology, specifically social media.   
 
I want to just say one of the things that I’ve been saying to myself constantly over the last few months is when it comes to social media, are you adding value to people’s lives or are you taking value away?  It’s easy to hide behind our keyboards, but I think both Jonathan and I can agree, and business is where we’re constantly trying to build businesses that add value to people’s life, adding value will pay off in your life far more than taking value from people.   
 
Be intentional when you leave those comments.  Be intentional when you create content.  Be intentional when you share in your life.  Social media and technology is a beautiful place, but it’s also a place that can damage people and ruin people.  And so, I just wanted to make that comment.  Are you adding value online, and are you adding value in your personal life?  Are you taking value away from people online and in your personal life through the use of technology?  Be intentional with your value and use it to benefit people’s lives.  I just wanted to make that last comment.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, and I’m not going to add any more than that.  I just—I agree 100 percent that the more that we just talk with each other as people and interact in person and less behind the phone, the more we’ll come back to our natural humanity, our love for our fellow person, the kindness will come out, the wanting to help will naturally come out.  All of these things that I feel like we may be losing grips on being hidden behind our phone will start to come back, start coming back into our lives more.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: More happiness.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: So, I hope you guys have enjoyed this episode of Empowering You Organically.  As always, go to EmpoweringYouOrganically.com to watch the video, to download the audio, look for the show notes, for any of the resources, for the transcripts, to listen to any of our other, at this point, 40 or 50 other podcasts that we’ve done.   
 
Everything there is 100 percent for free.  It’s all there just us wanting to give you value and give content, and hopefully empower you to live a happier, healthy life.  As always, subscribe on iTunes as well.  Find us on Spotify.  All of these places that you can find us and listen to us.  Like us, leave us a comment.  It will help us reach more people.  And yeah, thank you so much for your time.  Thank you for listening.   
 
TeriAnn Trevenen: Thanks, everyone.   
 
Jonathan Hunsaker: Have a wonderful day.   

 

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