Are You Addicted to Your Phone? It's Time for a Digital Detox



Are You Addicted to Your Phone?  It’s Time for a Digital Detox – 024


In this Episode 24, we start our digital detox. Jenny and I are definitely both addicted to our phones and it’s time to make some changes to create a new relationship with this technology that is both more positive and sustainable.  We introduce the book that we will be reading to guide this month’s challenge which is How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price.  We answer the question: How many hours each week are you on your phone?  I’m diggin’ My Huatulco Vacation and Jenny is diggin’ Matt D’Avella once again.  My win is related to time slowing down and Jenny’s learn is related to a break in her meditation streak.


Tune in and Listen Below



What You’ll Hear (and don’t want to miss!)


1:44: We introduce our monthly theme which is related to digital detox and smartphone addiction.  We really are addicted to our phones and we aren’t feeling good about it.  Jenny and I have resolved to make some changes and we hope that you’ll join us.  Check out the first 7 days of assignments for breaking up with your phone below in Resources.

26:07: Who Are You Anyway, we ask the question: Using a tracking app, how much time per day are you on your smartphone?  The answer to this was shocking to both Jenny and I.  I felt a bit nauseous to be honest.

34:40: What Are You Diggin’ Lately?  I’m diggin’ My Huatulco Vacation and Jenny is diggin’ Matt D’Avella again

38:16: You Win or You Learn: My win this week is related to time moving slower and Jenny’s learn is related to another hiccup in her meditation habit.

42:32: We wrap it up for this week.  Next week we will continue with our breakup with our phone and the process of building a more positive and sustainable relationship with this amazing piece of technology.  We hope you’ll join us.


Resources + Links Mentioned in This Episode:


Right click here and save as to download this episode to your computer

Book: How To Break Up With your Phone by Catherine Price


The Smartphone Compulsion Test developed by Dr. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

First 7 Days of the Smartphone Breakup

Day 1: Download a Tracking App: If you have an iPhone with an operating system that is up to date, you’ll find screen time under Settings.  It will give you stats associated with time on the phone, the amount of times you pick it up, the notifications you receive etc.  If you have an Android, you could use the app Quality Time.  (The app that Jenny and I mentioned in the podcast which is Moment is only available for iOs)

Day 2: Assess Your Current Relationship With Your Phone: What do you love about your phone? What don’t you love about your phone?  What changes do you notice in yourself (positive or negative) when you spend a lot of time on your phone?

Day 3: Start Paying Attention: Pay attention to how and when you use your phone, and how you feel when you do so.  Over the next 24 hours, try to notice situations in which you nearly always find yourself using your phone (waiting in line, the elevator, passenger in a car etc).  Note the first time in the morning and the last time at night that you typically look at your phone.  Does your posture change when you use your phone?  Does your emotional state change right before you reach for your phone (bored, curious, anxious, happy lonely)?  What is your emotional state after you use your phone (better?  worse? did the phone satisfy the emotional need that caused you to reach for it?) . How do you feel when you are using your phone?  How do you feel when you realize you don’t have your phone?

Day 4: Take Stock and Take Action: Look at the results from the first few days of the tracking app and then notice what you found.  Check in with what you noticed when you paid closer attention for the last 24 hours to your habits and emotions associated with your phone.  Take action by creating your first speed bump….a small obstacle designed to slow you down.  You could ask yourself each time you go to pick up the phone.  What am I picking this up for and why now?

Day 5: Delete Social Media Apps: This may cause some stress but you can do it!  Remember that this is not an irreversible decision…you can always put them back.  Also, you can still check social media whenever you want…just check it through a browser or on your desktop computer instead of the app (you are creating another speed bump)

Day 6: Come Back to Real Life: You will gain a bunch of time by deleting social media apps, so make a list of some things that you’d like to do to make use of this newly reclaimed time.  Start with:  I’ve always loved… I’ve always wanted to… When I was a kid I was fascinated by… If I had more time, I would like to…  People I want to spend more time with are…  Then make a list of fun things that you can do instead of reaching for your phone.

Day 7: Get Physical: All that screen time is usually sitting down and not moving.  Go for a walk without your phone.  Reconnect to your body!  You are designed to move!

My Huatulco Vacation:  The company that John and I booked our vacation through.

Matt D’Avella:  Video Break Your Phone Addiction


Key Quotes:


‘Scrolling is the new smoking’ –Peggy has been hearing this rather than ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’

-Americans check their phones about 47 times per day. For people between 18 and 24, the average is 82. Collectively this adds up to more than 9 billion phone checks every day.

-The average person spends more than 4 hours a day on their phones. That amounts to about 28 hours a week, 112 hours a month, or 56 full days a year.

-Nearly 80 percent of Americans check their phones within a half hour of waking up.

-Half of us check our phones in the middle of the night. (among 25 to 34 year olds, it’s more than 75 percent)

-We’re using our phones so much that we’re giving ourselves repetitive strain injuries such as “texting thumb”, text neck” and “cell phone elbow”

-More than 80 percent of Americans report that they keep their phones near them “almost all the time during waking hours”

-Nearly 5 out of 10 Americans agree with this statement “I can’t imagine my life without my smartphone”

-Nearly 1 out of every 10 American adults admit to checking their phone during sex. Yes, sex.



Share your thoughts… We’d love to hear from you!


What was your biggest take away from this episode? Let us know if you took on the challenge of taking stock of your smart phone use and then deleting social media apps from the phone.  Was it difficult?  We would love to hear your experience.

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The Improvement Project podcast is hosted by Dr. Peggy Malone and Jenny Couse.  Peggy is a health care provider who encourages her patients every day to create better habits associated with their health and wellness.  She is wife to John and mom to fur baby Calvin the fat orange cat.  Dr. Peggy is also a human being on a mission to create better habits for herself and by doing so, she hopes to inspire others to take up the challenge with her!  Jenny is a marketing professional in the international trade sector.  She and her husband Jeff are parents to hilarious 5 year old Ethan.  Her year of monthly habit resolutions in 2015 piqued her interests in how habits are created and best kept.

Join them weekly to explore how to create healthy habits that stick on the journey to becoming better humans!



Until next time,


Let’s get to work on improving your most important project.  That’s YOU!  Stay focused and get after it!

Thank you so much for listening.

Big Love,

Peggy and Jenny