"The media have become masters at packaging stimuli in ways that our brains find irresistible, just as food engineers have become expert in creating 'hyperpalatable' foods by manipulating levels of sugar, fat, and salt. Distractibility might be regarded as the mental equivalent of obesity. The palatability of certain kinds of mental stimulation seems to be hard- wired, just as our taste for sugar, fat, and salt is. When we inhabit a highly engineered environment, the natural world begins to seem bland and tasteless, like broccoli compared with Cheetos. Stimulation begets a need for more stimulation; without it one feels antsy, unsettled. Hungry, almost."
How do these words by Matthew Crawford resonate with you?
They hit home for me the first time I read them.
The numbers range, but the average person opens their phone between 80-150 times a day. We spend around 4 hours a day on our phones, which works out to 28 hours a week.
That's 4 full days a month, or 48 days in a year spent looking at our phones!
While some of the things we are doing are important and necessary, a lot of the time we just absentmindedly open up an app.
But we have a choice as to how we spend our time. And it's hard to make the choice when our visually appealing coloured apps, notifications of importance, and news that we might miss are constantly drawing us back in.
After participating in a challenge with Elena Rossini, the film maker of The Illusionists and The Realists, I decided it would be helpful to have a phone cover that reminds me I have a choice.
A choice with alternative actions that do make me happy and grounded.
And the best way to fight bad habits is with good habits. So I made a phone cover for my lock screen to remind me that each time I open up my phone, I have a choice. And you do to.
Take control of your life and spend your time on things that you actually want to.