I love my phone, really. But it’s a two-timer, like a bad boyfriend. I mean, I’ve spent hours personalizing my phone, so it knows me. It loves me. And I’ve spent hours understanding it, its nuances, how it wants me to interact with it, even how to talk to it so it can interpret my accent. But, sumpin’ isn’t right. I’m afraid we’ve morphed into a co-dependent relationship.
For instance, when my phone starts to pull away from me, aka I’ve left it somewhere, I panic. And just when I’m about to say, “you know, phone, we need some time apart”, or “I need a rest from the panic”, or “it’s not you, it’s me…”, my phone begs me to stay. It hits me with a Facebook notification (someone really likes me!), or I’m told my favorite artist just dropped a new album, or someone texts me at 1 am and, like Frankenstein’s monster, I RISE out of bed to see what’s up.
Then I’m back in love with my phone. It’s got me back. It threw me that little crumb to stay. I’m super happy.
Then my stomach starts to hurt again. No kidding, there are times my heart races a little too, and not in a good way.
Well, I’m happy to say there is a GREAT book by Catherine Price called How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan To Bring Back Your Life.
I first heard about this book on CBS Sunday Morning and was intrigued.
For context, here are a few things about me:
- I’m not a prolific reader of full-length books. I love books, but I don’t knock out one book in a day. I’m more of a short story gal or magazine reader; anything more bite-sized. UNLESS, they really, really get my interest. Then I’m all over it. Let’s just say, I read this book in two hours on a plane.
- I’ve been an advocate for healthier work practices for years. As a VP of People, I witnessed and experienced employee burnout too many times to be comfortable saying nothing. Our workplaces are killing us because we’ve allowed them too. Most of it is self-driven, caused by an inability to make boundaries, an overflow of information, and the unsustainable desire to do it all. And when your C-Suite knows that, or models that, or feels forced to keep up a horrid pace from their equity partners—it’s a shit show. One that is dangerous.
SO – Back to the book.
Price captures everything in one book I’ve been presenting on for years. Finally!!!! She breaks down:
- Why our phones are great (cause they are)
- Why they are addictive and who that addiction serves
- What happens to our brains when we are on the phone all the time
And then she provides a 30-day plan to help you break up with your phone.
It’s informative, fun, gives practical advice and doesn’t insult your intelligence. It doesn’t suggest we should live without devices but shows how to set some boundaries with them.
So, I’ve decided to dump parts of my phone. I ain’t got time for a stomach ache because I can’t make it to a party someone I hardly know is throwing. But more importantly, if I can learn to set boundaries with my phone it will help me set boundaries at work as well. Win-win.
Dawn Burke, founder/advisor for Dawn Burke HR, is an HR leader, speaker and writer specializing in new HR practices, engagement and workplace culture. Her HR/leadership career has spanned the last 20 years, most recently serving as VP of People for Birmingham, AL’s award-winning technology company, Daxko (And yes, Kris Dunn and Dawn are making Bham the HR capital of the world! Who knew?). You can also check her out at DawnHBurke.com and a variety of other interesting places. Google her, it’ll keep you posted on what she is up to.