Thank you for all the advice last week. A real mix.
Some big Winnie the Pooh fans out there. And, yes- EH Shepherd illustrations only going forward. I’ve learnt my lesson.
But this week I’ll focus here:
What would I say if I didn’t care what you think? Good question…
If you’re reading this but haven’t subscribed you can do here:
Don’t get too excited.
If I really didn’t care what you think?
I’d use this space to prepare for a speech I have on Wednesday.
So that’s what I’ll do.
The brief is to share a big idea. One that can improve the future of London and beyond.
You probably know where I’m going with this.
For me the big idea is normalising digital detoxing.
The rest of this post will look at 1) why’s it important and 2) how it’s going to change the world.
Let’s get into it.
Why is this important?
A 2019 study found that 28 percent of American adults said they were on screens “almost constantly”. For young adults that was closer to 50%.
That was 2019! Before the world changed.
What does the post-Covid world look like?
The University of Leeds found 50% of UK adults now look at screens for 11 or more hours a day.
That’s adults full stop, the young generations are no doubt higher.
Take a minute to think about that. 11 or more hours.
Two generations ago screen time was zero. How we spend our days has dramatically changed.
So what? You might say. What’s wrong with screens?
There’s an huge amount of research on that too. One study finds “Excess screen time effects can include depression, obesity, poor quality of life, unhealthy diet and decreased physical and cognitive abilities.”
But there’s studies saying everything. There’s a better canary in this coal mine.
The better question is how do you feel after 11 hours of screen time?
We all know how it feels. We can feel ourselves degrade.
But then again, everyone does it. It’s normal.
So here we are. Accelerating to world of constant screen time. The dystopian future in Pixar’s WALL-E isn’t looking so dystopian.
But it’s not too late.
Might Just Save Us
Digital detox sounds like a fad.
When we started Unplugged the term actually made our “terms not to use list”.
But it might just save us yet.
Let’s be clear about what it’s not:
A digital detox is not a silver bullet. The scrolling can and does return. We’re just too addicted.
What it does do is it gives us space. Space we don’t even realise we need.
In the last couple of decades screens have gradually taken over our lives. And we’ve barely realised. From the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night.
The cost is that we’re living in a constant state of overstimulation. That’s the source of our misery.
A digital detox gives you your mind back. It gives you the space to think. That’s the spring board for positive change.
I’ve done a few by now, as you can imagine. What I’ve found is the more I detox digitally- stay off screens- the more I seek time off screens. The more I seek it, the more I talk about it, the more I do something about it.
Digital detoxing brings screen time under the microscope. It’s only when we step away that we can truly see what’s going on. What we’ve become.
What if this becomes the norm? If the majority took themselves for breaks from the online world. Wouldn’t that start some reflection.
I don’t know what that future looks like but I'll bet it looks better than WALL-E.
I suppose there’s one way to find out…
My Week in Books📚
Discipline is Destiny by Ryan Holiday
I love a good Ryan Holiday book. Easy to read, unpretentious, and packed with wisdom. This one’s no different.
Slogging through The History of the Pelopennesian War w/ Hector Alexander, so this was welcome respite.
I’ll be updating the books I’ve read this year here. Any recommendations? Let me know! See 2021’s books here.
A Final Thought 💡
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe
A friend of mine, Gabriel, is crowdfunding for Tutti.
Take a look. I am a small investor and have no doubt they’ll be a big success.
This is investment advice. In case of a loss I’ll personally refund newsletter subscribers who invested as a result of this post (plz send the receipt as proof)
Definitely think the detoxes are part of the solution. We need that space!
Need to book my next one in.
I can see detox cafes in your future ...