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Can I survive without tech for three days straight? | CNBC Reports


That’s me eating lunch alone, without any technology and in total silence Let’s rewind

We’re only about 10 minutes away from this retreat, and I’m feeling a bit nervous oddly I’m attempting to do three days of a total technology detox It’s at a place called Bali Silent Retreat That's the GPS in bahasa And it isn’t just about giving up your phone and gadgets, but also about giving up talking too

Kind of like when you’re about to go on a roller coaster, you know you gotta do it, but you’re not necessarily eager to do it And as part of this journey, I’m exploring how the increase in technology use has created an entire new billion dollar industry of events and, ironically, apps aimed at helping us to unplug and chill out I’m definitely an extrovert so it will be weird not be able to talk My smartphone journey began back in 2007, when I got my very first iPhone But has our smartphone usage evolved into a smartphone addiction since then? I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to technology, but I’ve definitely noticed myself using my phone more and more

And in a hyper-connected world, can I even survive three days without my phone? Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Maps, Uber, Slack; All of these kinds of apps that I’m so used to using A recent study found US adults spend 10 hours and 30 minutes per day interacting with media We’re pulling up

I’m nervous Why are you nervous? I think because I like to talk I can tell Wow Social media has gone up dramatically for U

S teens over the years And about two thirds of parents said they’re concerned about their teen spending too much time in front of screens Yet simultaneously, 36% of parents said they themselves spend too much time on their cell phone My phone has already gone down to 3G, it’s like I’m transitioning to the start of this three day retreat

While there’s no denying the benefits smartphones have added to our lives, what are the downsides of too much screen time? One study found a higher rate of depression and anxiety among young adults who engage many social media platforms, compared to those just using two Hi, hi! The retreat costs me about $85 per night, which includes vegetarian food mostly grown on or near the property I‘m going to turn in my phone, my laptop and even this camera After this line, it’s pretty much complete silence, so these are my last few words I don't know why I’m laughing, maybe I’m nervous

I feel lost already And that’s pretty much as far as the camera is allowed to go While I attempt three days of silence, let’s go back to my trip to London, where I began to explore the booming billion dollar mindfulness industry Tech fatigue, as it’s called has inspired events worldwide focused on meditation and unplugging I’m at a wellness festival here in London which has everything from yoga to panels on how to avoid burnout

It’s taking place over 24 hours, and naturally, it started at 6am with a sober rave I meet two attendees who live in London So, you both have cracked screens, I feel like that’s a sign of a well-lived life Yeah, no, that’s me out dancing Do you guys feel like you’ve become addicted to your phones in the last few years? Yes, 100%

It’s really sad and it’s the fact that I’m so aware of how bad it is for you and how it's affecting everyone, and I can have so many conversations about it, but yet I still am just as addicted Have you taken any steps to combat that? I’ll take a book out with me one day instead of my phone and try and distract myself from using it I’ll put my phone on airplane mode every night at about 10:30 and know that I’m not going to use it until I wake up Both Apple and Google have introduced tools to help us track and limit the time we spend on our phones Sure, it’s a bit paradoxical that these tech giants want us to spend less time using their products and services

But it’s also an acknowledgement that yes, we are spending too much time on our phones What is the solution? Maybe highlighting the negative effects of always being on your phone I know it can cause headaches, things like that, probably things that we can't even know There’s so many things that they’ve come up with that are off-putting but it hasn’t really helped us though, has it? I don’t know what really would I think education, literally in primary school, you know how when we were young, it was like, "Drugs, don’t do drugs

" An electronic device though, isn’t a drug Yet many people I speak to equate it as such Social media addiction releases dopamine from the brain and that’s the same as taking cocaine or being addicted to gambling This is Joseph Pack He tells me he used to work 13 hours a day, which resulted in him having multiple seizures

And he ended up in the hospital Social media companies and apps earn their keep really by keeping people engaged, and if the apps are set up to keep people hooked in, that’s going to create unbelievable addiction That incident inspired him to start a career where he now helps people prevent burnout His company provides mental resilience training and puts on workshops for remote organizations But how do we find a balance of using technology in a healthy and limited way? We spoke to someone who thinks he’s found a solution by using technology

Rich Pierson is the co-founder and CEO of the meditation app, Headspace Technology can be used as a force for good, but I’m not sure that we’re using it correctly at the moment Smoking wasn’t a weird thing back in the day We may look back at our smartphone usage and how we’ve used technology in the same way that we've potentially looked at smoking The platform now boasts 45 million users

Meditation and sleep apps have raised hundreds of millions of dollars I’m not sure that we fully understand the effects that all of this technology is having on us He says we need to have a healthier relationship with our devices But wait, his solution is on a phone, and isn’t our phone the thing that’s causing us our issues in the first place? The phone is just a piece of metal, plastic and glass So if it’s sitting on the table, it’s actually doing nothing to you

It’s just sitting there, it’s an object But our relationship to it, I think is not quite right He hopes meditation eventually becomes as common to people as, well, brushing their teeth every morning While his solution to a calmer self, is meditating daily through an app, you’ll recall I took a more extreme approach Let’s go back to Bali to see how a complete and total digital detox affected me

2, 1! I did it, I can speak! Wow! I think I lost my voice after three days I haven't spoken I wouldn’t say I missed my phone that much at all to be honest, I really just missed human interaction and music and movies and videos and stuff, but I didn’t actually miss the phone per say, I just think the phone is a tool that allows for all of those things

I would instinctively reach for my phone because I saw something I wanted to take a photo of and I couldn’t Also, it was really hard not to constantly Google things, I had all these things come to mind like, what is the population of Bali or what is the population of Indonesia I just had to sit with not knowing the answer, but I guess I can Google that now By day two, I really started to miss people and music I’m the kind of guy who always has music playing or walking to work with a podcast or music in my ear

So the silence was starting to just be kind of boring Yes, the birds are chirping and that was nice, but I really just missed music Also on day two, I had a hard time at night falling asleep Usually when you can’t fall asleep you can reach for your phone, watch YouTube or Netflix or maybe even a meditation app that will help you fall asleep, but now I couldn’t do any of that I just had to rely on myself and I reverted to actually counting sheep

Day three for me was actually the hardest day By now I’m super bored, I miss interacting with people, I miss music, I miss stimulation, I miss screen time I know once I turn on my phone I’m going to fall back into that loop of news feeds, and likes, and posting and retweets and that incessant stream of news and information I’m going to turn it on for the first time in 72 hours I kind of just want to turn off my phone and go back in

But I’m also excited to see how my friends and family have been doing, I guess No it’s true, I’m excited to move on This I was a good experience The question is how do you discipline yourself to not spend too much time on these apps And it’s hard

Hey guys! Thanks so much for watching A few weeks after the retreat and I can’t say that my screen time went down all that much So I want to know how do you unplug? Let us know in the comments, and while you’re at it subscribe to our channel We'll see you next time!

Source: Youtube

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