Do Not Disturb 📱

5 minute read

Katy Kawasoe
In 2019 the average person spent more time on screens than sleeping. -Brick 

Do you think of the time you spend on your phone as an addiction? What happens when you spend time away from it? As humans, we are more connected than ever before. We are on our phones every day, and for the most part, all day long. “We are in this world between real life and screens, and screens have won. We use screens as a lifeline,” says Tommy Sobel, CEO & Founder of Brick, a digital wellness company. 

Yes, our phones are wildly useful, for directions, background music, or finding out the answer to any question you’ve ever wondered by simply asking “Siri.” But, how much time is too much time? Are phones taking away from important moments?

What is lost in life when we are physically present, but mentally unavailable? You know what we’re talking about. Being at dinner with a friend or family member lost in text messages. Scrolling Instagram while out walking the dog. We’re replacing in person connection with on screen ones and ignoring what’s really in front of us. According to Sobel, the more time we spend on our phones, the less happy and less satisfied we become.

Sobel isn’t preaching theoretical knowledge. He’ll be the first to tell you he was addicted to his phone and the urge he used to feel where he would wake up and check his phone in the middle of the night. Overuse of the phone is no joke. Like alcohol or other substances, it can cause real disruption to sleep, relationships, and mental health.

For Sobel, his compulsive phone addiction made him realize how overstimulated all people are. He set out to find a way to help himself and others to fix the problem. A few years later Brick emerged. In his own language, Brick is a transformational three-step program for digital wellness in today’s “always-on” world. Sobel offers 1-on-1 coaching, along with group workshops to help you put down your phone and pick up your life.

Less screen time and more presence with others is an indicator that leads to happiness, being connected via our phones isn’t inherently bad. We’re tribal creatures and we need interaction; after all, it does boost oxytocin in our bodies. Because phones and technology in general are neutral tools, the devil is in the details as to whether our usage is productive or harmful. Indeed, 1-on-1 calls with family may raise our spirits and feeling of connectedness, which is helpful to our well-being. At the same time, starting or ending your day with social media may be detrimental or the hurdle to where you want to go.  

Here’s 5 Ways to Ditch the Screen be more IRL 

  1. Check Yourself—Realize how much time you spend on your phone and make a promise to only be on for a certain amount of time per day. 
  2. Turn off all those notifications—Every ding or buzz encourages you to reach for the phone. Hello, Do Not Disturb mode.
  3. Delete certain apps—Just because you take the Instagram app off your phone doesn’t mean you’re deleting your account. Once the app is off your phone, a lot more effort is required to sign in. Think you can do it? You may even enjoy social media more that way.
  4. Don’t bring your phone to the bathroom—Need we say more? You’ll thank us when you don’t have to fish your iPhone out of the bowl. 
  5. Give yourself no-phone time before bed—Sleep with your phone in another room and dare we say it, invest in an analog alarm clock.

Are you addicted to your phone? We know, that’s a tough question to answer on your own. Good news is you don’t have to. Brick is now offering a free, first digital wellness consultation on Murmur to help you transform your relationship with your phone.