Description: Originally intended as time savers, our handheld devices have become time gobblers, and the easiest way to fritter away time is with social media. Katy and Dani discuss many ways—both macro and micro—to help you assess your relationship with your device and then shape that relationship to one that works better for the sort of life you want to live.
KATY: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat –
DANI: That’s me!
KATY: Joins biomechanist, Katy Bowman, which is me, author of Move Your DNA for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience.
DANI: It’s a good thing we clarify who is talking, because we sound exactly alike.
KATY: Well, we sound different but we both have a little gravel – there’s a little gravelly thing, but I also – if any pun should be attributed to you, correct usage of terms should be attributed to you.
DANI: Making up words attributed to you.
KATY: Exactly. We all have our tells. So how’s it going?
DANI: It’s going good, how’s your summer starting out? Because right now, it’s summer.
KATY: Is it really? Almost?
DANI: I think so, yeah, almost – not like, officially solstice-y, but it’s pretty hot. It’s like 80 here. It’s crazy.
KATY: I mean, yeah, it’s definitely warm weather, and our spring started here on the peninsula about 6 weeks early as far as growth, and so I would say that here where we live, we use the lavender as a barometer for the season, and it’s starting to bloom, so we are in summer season, lavender season ahead of schedule, much to peoples’ disappointment when they planned their trip out to where I live to tour the fields of just budding – they’re expecting it to be full bloom, but it’s been good. It’s been very good. I, as many of you may or may not know, I took a social media break, which is kind of what we’re going to be talking about for this podcast. I went off –
DANI: And you’re still in the middle of that, right?
KATY: Yeah, I’m trying to think exactly where I am, though I went off it towards the end of May, kind of the last week of May, and I figured I would actually do it by the calendar to use up the rest of – what is by the calendar spring – so all the way until June 20th. So it was a little over 3 weeks. And gosh – I’m halfway into it, but it feels like I’ve been off of social media for months.
DANI: Does it?
KATY: Yeah. It’s pretty cool.
DANI: Well, tell me what it’s like.
KATY: It’s like – it’s like this: have you ever gone to a zoo and went to look at maybe a predator – maybe like a wild cat. Something – something like a cheetah. I’m just – a cheetah is the thing I’ve seen the most that’s kind of local to us, we’ve been there a couple times. When you watch animals – especially animals that are like roaming animals, they’re walking – like this cheetah – in the zoo was walking, but it walks on the path that it has etched in the grass.
KATY: Have you ever noticed that phenomenon?
KATY: So this is at the Seattle zoo, one of the Seattle zoos, and I’ve seen this numerous times at other zoos. So it’s – numberous. I almost said numberous, just to prove your earlier point.
DANI: Oh, yay, ding!
KATY: This is Katy, this is Katy. I’ve seen it numerous times where as this cheetah or cat – it’s usually something – panther, like a cat is where I’ve seen it the most often. They’re pacing. They’re pacing is what it looks like, and they pace along this groove that they’ve made by pacing. Meaning that they don’t bound over – they have a habitat, but they don’t walk off of the path.
DANI: Yeah, they wear a path.
KATY: They wear a path, and they go in the same direction. It’s just – this cheetah is counter-clockwise always, and it makes 3 laps and it sits down, and then you’ll come back a few hours later and it’s walking on the same path again, which freaks me out. At first I was like, oh my gosh – it just feels captive to me, even more so than just seeing a cheetah behind a glass panel, which is clearly captive. Watching it pace along an etched line is really an indication of the narrowness of its capability to move. It’s full – it has all the parts to move, but in this environment, in this habitat, it’s just etching. So anyway, maybe the first few days of my social media break, you know, I have a routine. I get up really early in the morning and my phone is what I use for an alarm. I turn it all off into airplane mode, but I’ll use it on low light setting and chime to wake me up if I’m not already awake. And then I grab it, and I’ll kind of wake up to checking my work for the morning before I walk in the morning. So around 5:00 in the morning, I can really a lot of times get a few emails off. But anyway, after I am done with my necessity work I will do what I call the equivalent of this cheetah. I go to one app, I check it.
DANI: Oh, my gosh!
KATY: I go to the next app, and I even do it in a particular order.
DANI: That’s exactly what it’s like!
KATY: It’s exactly like that.
DANI: Oh, what a great analogy. Oh my gosh, thank you.
KATY: And then I’ll go to the third app, and it’s like this weird pacing. I’m pacing in a loop on my phone.
DANI: You are blowing my mind.
KATY: Well, it was just like really clear, and only when I wasn’t engaging with it – like when I stopped myself, I was like, my thumb, without even thinking of it was going for the first part of my lap. And then I was like, oh, I’m not doing that today. And when I had my phone for other reasons – you’re checking the clock, you’re taking a phone call, you’re typing a text, you’ve picked it up – and then as soon as I was done with the necessity, communication or work or taking a picture – whatever – using it for not this portion that I had decided to give up for these three weeks – I started my laps again. Do- do do – do do. All the way around, pacing the cage that is my phone. So I became really tuned into – it was less a choice in my mind, like, “oh, I’m going to go check Instagram right now” and more a habit of – it was a reflex of as soon as I was done, I just headed right there without thinking. My thumb, my thumb led me. My motor programming led me, and so that was hugely profound, and I think I’m going to write a blog post about it, because I think that a lot of people can identify with this mindless lapping around their phone.
KATY: And then, I’m so busy – I mean, Dani, I really am a busy person. However.
KATY: It’s true.
DANI: Go ahead.
KATY: I’m also the whiny, complainy one.
DANI: No, you’re good. You shoulder it well.
KATY: But a lot of my busy-ness – and so that was the same thing, my phone – now let’s go to – I won’t even tell you the number of deadlines I seem to blow past in the last week and a half, and I’m usually really good on deadlines. I’ve really blown past a ton of them. I would go to sit down, and I’m usually writing. So you don’t need the internet for writing. I kind of do sometimes because I’m working in between research that’s all stored online. I don’t have a ton of printed stuff all the time when I’m looking at multiple sources. So I’ll click, and I’ll go like I’m typing, and I’ll go what was this? And I’ll do a search to find this piece that I’m looking for. So I’m not off the internet, but when I am overwhelmed with needing to think hard at this next piece that I’m writing for my work, what I would put under “necessity,” I will, boom! Hop over to my lap that I do on my computer, and it’s like I work, and when I don’t want to work anymore – and I’m not talking like after 37 minutes to take a social media break.
KATY: I’m talking about like, every 6 minutes. Really, really high frequency. Really high frequency, an embarrassing amount of high frequency to me, and –
DANI: It’s kind of a smack between the eyes when you realize that.
KATY: Well, it’s just quantification – it’s like, wow!
DANI: Oh my gosh.
KATY: So when I clearly – I do all my emails and I have nothing in my inbox and I have assignments but I’m sitting there, what I would then go do was my lap. Just waiting for the next email to come in. I set a period of time for working, there’s no emails coming in this second, by the time I lapped through social media 2 or 3 times, another email comes in, because it’s coming kind of constantly. But I was like this is crazy! It’s almost like I’m sitting here wasting time waiting for my next thing to come. Like, there’s nothing – I’m not even doing anything on social media. I’m just checking. I’m checking up. Is there something I have to respond to? I’m not going to other peoples’ pages – like, that’s not an issue for me, going down a rabbit hole of information. Sometimes it is, if it’s like, oh, hey, that looks like a good book. That’s a good quote – who’s that person? Wikipedia hole. Down.
KATY: But the motor programming of it all was overwhelming to see that my body would like, lurch to send me through. So that’s what it’s been like. It’s been identification and quantification, I would say, and then my instinct to do it. But not engaging on that circle – I’ve never engaged back in the loop. I’m off and I have no problem being off. It took a while for that reflex, though, and I’m still at the point where I’m like, no emails, oh, click! There’ve been a couple times where I’ve just loaded something up with my thumb accidentally and it hasn’t finished loading and I’m like, oh, wait, I’m not doing that, and then I just go to something else or I put the phone down or whatever. But yeah, trippy, right?
DANI: It is trippy. It is trippy. I think I had started to kind of quantify – like, I started to realize, hey, I think I’m doing this too much when I was thinking of something I needed to do for work, like I wanted to look something up or send off an email, and I picked up my phone and immediately opened Facebook. And I was like,
KATY: Maybe Facebook will do my work for me.
DANI: No, I was on Facebook for like a minute and a half and it was kind of like when you open the fridge and you’re like, what was I going to do in here? I was on Facebook and I was like, what – why did I come here? And then I realized I wanted to send that email, and it freaked me out. It was like, woah, I didn’t even – I walked into that room and that was not the room I wanted to go into, and that was when I really started to think, okay, I need to look at this for myself. I wore a groove – that’s a very great analogy. I love that. It’s exactly what it’s like.
KATY: It’s pacing. It’s like an anxiety pacing, you know? I don’t know if anxiety is the right word, but it’s a way of coping with something and it’s just – there must be this natural component to it where we’re going through it. So anyway, that was great – so what it’s been like to be off is, it’s been really for the first time I would say that my outdoor time is exceeding my online time, because the social media time – and this was not a screen free week for me.
DANI: No, there’s a difference, yeah.
KATY: So it was a social media time. And without even giving up screens per se, it was easier for me to engage with what I was doing, and I didn’t feel the pressure. Part of it was a little different for my work. I’m constantly documenting different things. I just was relieved of the pressure to work in that way for a period of time, and not thinking of my life as a series of potential bits to share or write about. I’m not sure if anyone has that, if it’s coming from a work mindset, or maybe it’s just this idea of sharing and bonding with other people and wanting to see what their lives are like, but I was like, there’s a bunch of people here and I can see what their lives are like just by looking. I don’t have to go on social media.
DANI: Those were the days. Did you notice an increase in focus?
KATY: Well, my work gets done faster because on those times as I’m working through a particular project of necessity, where I would normally stop and then take a couple laps through social media, I stop, go wow, my tendency is to go hit this, and then I go right back to working. Meaning that it’s not even like – it’s not even like I’m creatively tapped or fatigued. It’s just – it’s just this strange twitch, you know, of just – a lull in thought. I fill lulls in thought with a lap through social media. And I’ve just been okay with a pause in thought for a second. I don’t have to do anything. And then I go back to thinking. So just by not filling that lull – letting it be a lull –
DANI: Right. Have a little head space.
KATY: Just enjoying like, oh, I’m not – I haven’t formulated my next thought yet, why don’t I just be okay with that? And then go on to my next thought in a couple of minutes. And I haven’t filled that lull with things that don’t even really need to be there. So. Yeah.
DANI: Are your breaks always three weeks? You’ve done this before.
KATY: I’ve done screen-free weeks.
D; That’s right. That’s right, okay.
KATY: I’ve gone, the three things I’ve done are a tech free week, which is – usually for me, it has to coordinate with going on vacation, and usually it’s someplace remote where we’ll purposely be camping or you know, have no internet or whatever. We put – my whole family puts all the technology away, which is my cell phone, my laptop, my husband’s cell phone and laptop. We don’t have any gaming or pads – gaming devices or pads, so it’s a little easier for us because the number of devices and the people who use devices in our family is smaller. So there’s tech free, and I’ve done that a couple times. Both times it’s been a week. There is screen free week, which I make – I do it as non-essential screen free – essential meaning that I still have to check my email. But I wouldn’t do anything else, no Netflix, no movies, no TV, and then none of the other obvious things like social media or whatever. It’s simply so I can check in with emails, deal with emails and then get back off again. No phones besides using them for actual phones, like, calling people and texting. But not to just use it for necessary communication. I’ve never done – it’s either all tech free or a modified version of screen free, only a week. And then I’ve gone off things like Facebook for a month, I did do that when I was working on Move Your DNA, but I was only on Facebook at that point. That was a few years ago. Now I’ve got – I only have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And Instagram is kind of filled my life more than anything else, but I’ve given up just Facebook before for a month, a couple times.
KATY: But that wasn’t on my phone. I think the biggest deal for me was when all my social media was available in my hand. It’s so much easier if I’m out and about. It was getting to the point where I’m driving in a car, as a passenger – well, I might as well fill this lull with 42 loops through my social media in the period of an hour, you know, if I’m driving somewhere. So it wasn’t as big of a problem as it’s been because I didn’t have it – I mean, how long have you had apps on your phone? It’s only been a couple years for me, maybe even 18 months.
DANI: Same here. Same here. I was very resistant to smart phones. I was like one of those Blackberry people that just liked to take care of my work emails and call it good, and then when I got a smart phone I just kind of got sucked in. I think I played Plants vs. Zombies for 3 days straight once. It was like, kids! Feed yourself! And then I immediately realized.
KATY: You were like, kiiiids, feed yourseeeellllffff.
DANI: Eat some plannnnts! And then I was just like, holy cow! I just got sucked in, and so I have really had an interesting relationship and have been very, very, very aware of it. Because you’re not – I found this picture the other day and I think it was right before you came to visit, and it was a Happy Mother’s Day picture that my kids had done when they were like, with their dad when they were like 3 or something. 3 and 4. And it was “why we love mama” and one of the things was, “she’s not always on her phone a lot.”
DANI: I pulled this out of the box – I hadn’t seen it in years, and I looked at it and was like, wow, if these little guys are noticing that I wasn’t doing that, then they were noticing that other people were.
KATY: And also, basically, that you’re unlovable now is the takeaway. They must not love you anymore.
DANI: Well, the thing is – because of that, I looked at that, and I’ve always been very conscious of that, because I didn’t really play Plants vs. Zombies for 3 days, but it’s – I’ve always been aware of them watching that. If we’re waiting at a doctor’s office or whatever, I just play with them and talk with them, and I’ve never sucked in and just seeing that reiterated, it’s like, they really do get influenced by how much we’re doing it. You kind of have to set that standard, I guess.
KATY: Well, you don’t even really realize it. It’s a strange – we had a date – we each split up our kids, we each do a single parent on kid date night, which I’m sure a lot of people do, but I had my daughter out and we were out to dinner and there was a couple across the way – and they were probably in their 60s or 70s, and they were both engaged with their phone, but it wasn’t like they were just sitting mindlessly scrolling. They were smiling at their phones, and chuckling at what their phones were revealing to them, and it was so strange. It was like the phone was a stand-in, it looked like they were on a first date, each separately with whoever they were communicating with on their phone. And I wanted to take a picture of it, but then I was like, oh, look at this! Even my desire to document this – and I hadn’t brought my phone in. I leave my phone – I know that I have, it’s a passive lap that I’m doing with it, so I just leave it. I purposely – everyone’s like, I tried to text you and call you and I do not carry my phone on my body. I am – I just, I mean – I just don’t have a relationship, to me the phone is just another laptop but smaller, so I try not to bring it in going out, you know, I’ll use it if I’m going to work remotely, which is the way I justify it. If I’m going to take 2 days off or 1 day off, I’ll have it with me to work on like a laptop, but it’s not something that is on me all the time.
KATY: It’s weird.
DANI: Well, let’s go into that. I’m going to give some statistics, and so let’s talk about – we’re not really going to talk about screen-free so much as social media. We’ll talk a little bit about screen-free.
DANI: Just kind of interesting, and I’m sure that everybody’s read this a million times, but worldwide, people spend anywhere from 1-3 hours daily just checking social media. So that’s like no other computer task, just social media. 75% of all Internet users use it – that seems about right. People in the US check social media a minimum of 17 times per day. So that’s once per waking hour. I know –
KATY: Oh my gosh.
DANI: And before you’re like, kids today! Actually, the highest users of social media are between 25-54 years old.
KATY: Yeah, totally.
DANI: And those are good things always to just be aware of. And just every once in a while check how those statistics are growing, because they’re really increasing quickly with social media. Just a snapshot.
KATY: There’s an app that you can put on your phone – ironically – on your smart phone, ironically – that will track how much time you spend on each individual social media platform, and give you a report, yes?
KATY: Do you know what it’s called?
DANI: I know of Moment, and Moment is one that it tracks everything you do on your phone, so whether you’re checking or writing emails – it does every task and breaks it down for you. Social media., surfing, stuff like that. Let’s talk about that – so there’s some big ways to talk about having these tech breaks, and then there’s littler ways. And I think that mix & match is a good way to do them. Shall we go for it?
KATY: Yeah, do it.
DANI: All right. I have a good story. You can just ditch your smart phone altogether, and I know, how many of us have not fantasized about this, going back to the flip phone days when we just had a flip phone to communicate? Kathy, our transcriptionist, she is a total – she’s hilarious. She’s a Luddite, you know what a Luddite is?
KATY: I do, I really don’t love the term, but I know what it is.
DANI: It’s been adopted now, but yes, someone who kind of eschews technology kind of thing is what it’s become.
KATY: That’s what it’s become.
DANI: Yeah. So she dropped her smart phone in the toilet, and she’d kind of been thinking that maybe, yeah, I’ll get rid of my smart phone and then the universe took care of it for her and it fell into the toilet. And she just got a basic phone. And I talked with her about it and it’s really interesting – she said, at first I admired her, I was like, “wow, that is so cool that you were so brave to do that!” And then I found out that it fell in the toilet, and I was like, ok, well, at least she didn’t just run out and get a new smart phone. But I asked her how have things changed for you – what are the benefits, what are the frustrations? And she said that frustrations are like, maps, she’s been lost a few times. Banking – she said she didn’t realize how much she had relied on the phone for transferring money or paying stuff like that. She said that’s been an interesting thing to be schlepping to the bank to withdraw money or do that or transfer things. Texting – this was kind of sad, because she said it made her sad. She noticed that she was kind of out of some loops with friends. She had less communication because everybody was kind of group texting.
KATY: She can’t text on her flip?
DANI: She can’t group text. She can only text-text. And she said it takes forever because she has to go, like A-B-C.
KATY: I know, like all that thumb movement. I forgot about that!
DANI: It’s like tapping out a telegram or something.
KATY: Like early 2000 Morse code.
DANI: So that was interesting.
KATY: I guess the more your life is conveniently located on your phone.
DANI: And those are the things that when I think about ditching it I think, gosh, you know, it was designed to be a smart phone. It was designed to save time for us, and it’s just these other things that have gotten in the way. So if you could just whittle it down to those things that give you more time, then that would be awesome.
KATY: Mm-hmm. So like you could ditch your smart phone altogether and you’re saying replace it with a flip phone, or you could also just ditch it while you’re going certain places. That would be a smaller version of the ditching.
DANI: And leaving it at home like you said – I did that accidentally this weekend and it was the best day.
DANI: I loved it. I panicked for about 20 seconds when I was like, I don’t have my phone! And then I had the best – I felt like I was 8 again. It was awesome. So that’s one way is just to ditch it or ditch it for chunks at a time.
DANI: Leave it at home.
KATY: Or even just when you go into the restaurant or store. I guess there’s no way to do this wrong, right? Like, I’m just going to go out to dinner and leave it in my car.
DANI: But we’re talking big.
KATY: Oh, that’s right.
DANI: We’re in the macro phase of this, so you can ditch your smart phone altogether, or decide that you’re going to do – every weekend, some people just, they don’t have their phone on during Saturday/Sunday. Period.
KATY: You could even set up some sort of auto text.
KATY: That says, I’m away from my phone. If anyone texts you or your message, and you could just say, I’m off my phone on the weekend, if you want to reach me here’s my home number.
DANI: Like an auto-reply?
KATY: Yeah, because I think a lot of people are worried, how will I know where my kids are or whatever? It’s like, just set it up. Just, use the technology to your advantage and set it up that way.
DANI: Yeah. And that leads me to – setting different expectations with your friends and family. We’ve gotten so used to responding right away to a text or an email, and that’s kind of become the standard, right?
DANI: If you don’t – if you don’t respond, they think something’s wrong with you. Just kind of set that standard that hey, every weekend just don’t expect to hear from me. I’m okay. And leave it at that, and then there won’t be that fear of missing out of whatever.
KATY: Or you could just send out a text at the beginning of the week, like, hey guys, I’m all good but I’m going tech free, you know, stop by! Let’s do a barbecue.
DANI: Let’s go for a walk.
KATY: More social, less media.
DANI: Yep. Or make more time on a regular basis to be with your friends and family that doesn’t involve devices. Have your weekly potluck or whatever and everyone just leaves it at home. Period. And have that as a commitment – a scheduled commitment is pretty good.
KATY: And I guess you could probably – I think a lot of times, too, that macro – the whole family has to do it together. That came up when I was one it, are you doing it? Is your husband doing it, too? Because there’s no way my partner wants to do it, or I can’t imagine getting my kids off – I feel like, that’s – if you’re trying to get everyone in your house to change the behavior that’s limiting, you can just do it yourself. And then people might follow suit, you know. I wonder how many times someone picks up their device simply because the other person’s on it and there’s no one left to engage with, you know what I mean?
DANI: I would venture a guess that about 100% of the time, probably.
KATY: You’re like, no, if you’re going to talk – sometimes I text my husband from another part of the room. We have this big group of friends that is always trying to outwit each other all the time, and sometimes they’re like, you guys are texting back and forth like you’re in different places. And we’re like, no, we’re both in the same room, I can see him right now. And it’s a strange time – I enjoy that interaction that I get with my friends that I wouldn’t get elsewhere, but I think that sometimes if someone’s going to whip out a phone while you’re at dinner, it’s like, what are you going to do?
DANI: The last suggestion for when you’re going to go big is – you know what?
DANI: A lot of us can’t do this because of work or whatever, but some of us just leave it altogether.
KATY: You mean indefinitely? You are not talking about –
DANI: Indefinitely. Right.
KATY: You are not talking about weeks or breaks. You are talking about, like, I don’t do social media anymore.
DANI: They are just gone. They’re gone and they are living like, life from 1980 or whatever it is.
KATY: Those are the macros.
DANI: Those are the macros. There’s just ways to do it – like Katy said, you can just mix and match, and you can’t do this wrong. You just can’t.
KATY: So to recap: going big, I’m just going to do a list, because sometimes people are like, wow, that was spread out. So here’s the list of going big: you could say, I’m no longer going to have a smart phone. I’m going to switch to a flip phone, thus removing the stimulus. I’m going to take long breaks away from my phone, whatever long means to you. For weekends, for week periods. Like, week-long periods, or you could change the priorities with your friends. So I would say that as going big meaning you’re actually changing – you’re informing your community about how you want to be. That’s pretty big.
DANI: That’s pretty big.
KATY: That’s pretty big.
DANI: But it’s also pretty effective if you want to accomplish something.
KATY: Totally. And then also you’re going to just get off of social media, or certain platforms or whatever.
DANI: Sure. Nice recap.
KATY: Thank you. So what are the micros?
DANI: Okay. All right. The micro ways to help you curb this: you can install apps to help track your time, and we’ll go over those in a minute. There’s so many, and I’ll try to list them all in the notes. You can set aside small times every day for your social media or phone lap. You’re wearing a groove time. Just set a time limit – like, I’m going to have my coffee, I’m going to do my calf stretch, while I’m doing that, I’ve got 20 minutes to go through Facebook and check the news, and then boom, that’s done. That’s very helpful and easy to accomplish. You need to stick to those limits; that’s part two.
KATY: That’s easy. I think the intention is easy, but sticking to it is more challenging sometimes.
DANI: Okay. Here are some things that you can put on your phone to help with that. There’s one called Checky, and that’s just when you pick up your phone and check it, it makes note of that. And at the end of the day it’s like, you’ve checked your phone 8,431 times.
KATY: My gosh.
DANI: You may only need that one day, and you’re like, oh my god!
KATY: I think that would be almost kind of cool, though, because we use it for things like steps – like, if you’re going to maximize movement and decrease Checky. I’m going to track my month Checky, and write it on your calendar, and then just see what the trends are. I like numbers and data.
DANI: I’ve played with almost all of these by the way, if anyone wants to – yeah. Then there’s No Phone. I love No Phone. No Phone – and I think these are all like free of 99 cents. No Phone is you pick up your phone, push a button, and it beeps and counts you down. You put the phone face down, and for whatever time you’ve decided, if you pick it up from its face down position before the time is up, a loud alarm –
KATY: It shocks you!
DANI: Yeah, like a loud, horrible tsunami warning goes off and scares the heck out of everybody in the house. And then it goes – womp womp womp (sad trombone.)
KATY: I feel like you have to be a particular type of dramatic to enjoy that. Like, I really do well with things that freak me out – yeah.
DANI: Yes, mild shame from my phone.
DANI: If you want to be shamed, go get No Phone.
KATY: I want to be punished. All right.
DANI: But then, also it has a positive aspect where every – it shows you how your track record, so it’s like, look at you! Good for you!
KATY: So are you saying that it patronizes you as well?
DANI: Womp womp womp (sad trombone.)
KATY: I’m going to take No Phone off my list.
DANI: Okay, there’s Anti-social, which just plain old blocks social media apps for as long as you wish. You’re kind of in charge of that. That’s a nice one. There is Moment, which we just discussed earlier, and Moment tracks every little bit of traffic you use your phone for. You can say, well, I only use my phone for work, but then Moment might tell a different story. Okay, you had one from Debbie that was good.
KATY: Debbie Beane from Positively Aligned. She said that her friend uninstalls all the social media apps going into the weekend, just to remove it. She doesn’t even have to say, hey, I’m not checking them. They’re just not there. So your thumb’s going to go to the spot where there’s nothing.
DANI: That’s great. And it doesn’t cost a thing, you know?
KATY: A second, it takes a second. You could even involve your family, saying like, could you go delete my social media apps for me? To really involve them in the process and have a discussion about why you’re doing it – helpful for older kids, maybe.
DANI: And I think we need to touch on the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) that’s becoming a common phenomenon with social media. When you’ve taken a break for – the longest is a week that you’ve done, right? Oh, no, you did a month on Facebook. Did you have – when you came back to it, it was just normal, right? You just go back into the swing of things – did you ever feel, like, oh man!
KATY: So – here’s what I – I don’t engage in forums. So I think that probably forums are where you feel like you are getting behind, because you’re in a forum which is maybe a community working on a particular thought, and you don’t want to be the one person who missed the lesson, or then has to go back and catch up on reading. So I don’t do any of that because I realized a long time ago that it was way better for my health and I have been encouraging people to have a personal mission statement about your role in your own life, and relative to what that is for you: your family, your job, the planet, whatever. And I could not reconcile that time with my personal mission statement. It was offering me none of the things that I had said on paper that I wanted – or supported an authentic version of myself. So I just stopped doing them, and I found other ways – alternate ways to meet those needs that was currently being filled by the forum. Well, I won’t have it for education or for community or whatever – I just built those outside of a forum. I took the time and did the work to do that. As far as being out of – I mean, I have had numerous conversations in the last week and a half, like, did you see that link that this person posted? And I was like, no. My answer is usually no anyway because I really only use Facebook for work. So it’s not a way that I engage with friends and family, so they probably know that already, but even my husband who is on social media now, he’s not a big – he only has Facebook, and it’s kind of like an evening thing for him. It’s not a during the day thing for him. You know, he was like, oh, I just saw this one thing – right? That seems to be this – I wish there was an app that you could have on your body that would track the number of conversations that begin with, “I saw this thing on Facebook. I saw this thing on X and Y” and I get that, too – more from reading. Like, I was just reading this book and I – I think because we’re engaging in it so much, it becomes the sole source of insights and thoughts and learning.
DANI: Well, sure – instead of a book or the newspaper or the barbershop, it’s become the smart phone.
KATY: It’s a link or –
DANI: That’s interesting.
KATY: Yeah, so that’s my – I’m not sure how we started talking about that.
DANI: Well, we were talking about fear of missing out.
DANI: That’s something that you just kind of – if you need to address it, I think that you will find that it’s not – there’s nothing to fear. I think that’s something to really consider.
KATY: Yeah. There’s never anything to fear. But I think more that missing out on what’s going on online vs. missing out on fresh air and missing out on looking at people and taking their picture –
DANI: Or face to face interaction.
KATY: Exactly! So there’s all kinds of missing out – and yes, something you’re going to be missing out depending on your definition on something if you’re on social media or you’re not on social media. You’re missing out on what’s on your screen or you’re missing out on your life.
DANI: Right. So let’s go forward. You can get rid of notifications.
KATY: Yeah, I don’t have those.
DANI: Things that pop up on your phone and say, oh, yeah, I got an email. It just takes a second to get rid of that if it helps. You can play the dinner game – have you ever heard of this?
DANI: You go out to dinner with them –
KATY: Is that something on Facebook?
DANI: No. It’s when you go out to dinner and you put your phones face down in the middle of the table, and the first person to pick up their phone to check it during idle time or whatever pays for dinner for the whole table.
DANI: So that’s a good one.
KATY: Oh, that is so good – or buys a round of appetizers or leaves the tip. You could start small, like the first person to pick it up gets the tip. The next person – I think that’s a great idea. I’m totally coming to your house and playing that.
DANI: Well, we don’t have phones at the dinner table, so that’s okay. I win! Take a periodical sabbatical, like you’re doing. Or even make it weekly, like 1 day a week or the weekend. Keep it out of the bedroom, the bathroom. You know, like you, when you take it in the bathroom it’s because you’re doing work; you’re not just pooping and Facebooking.
KATY: I get all my best work done in the bathroom.
KATY: And I put that in Move Your DNA, You know, like you can break up – if going to the bathroom and going on social media is where you’re getting work done because already it’s a private time, away from say you have kids or you’re homeschooling or you’re at work and you want to go do other work or whatever during that time – if it’s replacing the more traditional work that you have to do, I would say go for it. But if you’re filling in your work breaks with more screens, that could be tedious for your physiology.
DANI: Exactly. Turn it off during dinner. Just that simple step, just turn it off so no one gets interrupted during your family dinners. Or if you’re dining alone, even. Put it in Do Not Disturb mode – always helpful, just takes a second.
KATY: What does that mean?
DANI: Well, so you can go into your settings on a phone and put it on Do Not Disturb for maybe 5PM at night until 8 the next morning, and that means nothing’s going to – nobody can call, nobody can text. Everything is going to go into voicemail or whatever.
KATY: Is that different than airplane mode? Because you can set the time so it’s coming in and out on its own?
DANI: You can put in numbers so if it’s your dad and it’s an emergency and you want to hear from him, you can have those numbers put in there so that they go through so nobody’s ever in danger. This was a good one: keep it in a desk drawer instead of on your desk. When you get to work or whatever, just slip it into the drawer with the paper clips and the Kleenex or whatever. Just not having it there; it’s kind of like leaving it there, you’re less likely to pick it up. Use social media during established times of day – we already talked about that. And just, you know, be mindful. How often are you using it when you’re around your spouse or your kids? And that’s – it’s helpful, I think.
KATY: Well, and I think a lot of things – the first step is maybe just to – hopefully this show brings awareness. Before you even go, quick, I’m going to go sell my phone, or turn it off – just start paying attention. See if you do the lap. Tweet us if you do the lap, and we won’t get it because we’re on a social media break. What about you? You’re doing a social media break?
DANI: I am. And mine is actually - I’m doing it and I’m inviting people to do it with me. So if they go between now and when this podcast is out July 1st, it’s going to be the whole month of July that I’m going on social media break. I’d like to include other people in it – there’s going to be prizes. The grand prize being that everyone gets a break. There will be actual prizes, and I think I just want to hear everyone reflect, and hear what they find from taking these breaks. I’m going to start with assessments and give people tips, so they can look at how/where/when – just that awareness.
KATY: How do we do that, or how do people who follow you do that?
DANI: They go to the Facebook – oh, the irony of it all – before July 1st, if you go to the Move Your Body Better everything will be there. Probably on my website, too, and that will be fun because I feel like it’ll be a group. We’re all linking arms and going down the yellow brick road together, and there won’t be penalization for falling off the wagon because there’s just no wrong way to do this like we said.
KATY: Also, for inspiration, if I can throw a shout out to – do you know Dallas Hartwig?
DANI: Oh, you mentioned him. He’s the Whole 30 guy, right?
KATY: He’s one of the creators of the Whole 30, but he started – he started really – I follow him, ironically, on social media. Not ironically – I follow him on social media, but ironically one of his largest campaigns and the content that he’s putting out there is really just how social media is disrupting actual live, social connections. Which isn’t to say that media isn’t – I do think that one of the cool things is that media is helping people who feel maybe isolated in their beliefs and their culture or the way that they want to move forward. They’re kind of isolated in their current communities, so when you’re doing something that’s slightly counter-cultural like trying to improve the way you move through your life, or that you move more through your life, probably, connecting with people online is very supportive. But it maybe also may be affecting how you’re connecting with people in your real, live person-to-person life. So he created this campaign called More social, Less media. So if you search the #moresociallessmedia or go to his website, you can just read – he’s, I mean, he’s been in it for a long time, so I find him particularly inspiring. So if you want to follow him and consider how social media and technology specifically like communication devices are affecting your life or find ways of quantifying that, I recommend checking him out.
DANI: Yeah, whatever information helps, you know, move you towards those decisions. I think it’s good.
KATY: And inspiration. Inspiration, I think, is key.
DANI: Well, I think you inspire a lot of people just by, you know.
KATY: By getting up in the morning!
DANI: Just by being you! And just a quick thing – if you don’t use your phone a lot, but you’re still sitting at your computer surfing, because some people don’t use smart phones but they’re still spending time in front of the big screen, there’s things we talked about before like Time Out – that’s free, right? It just makes you take breaks from your screen. There’s Leech Block, which will totally block whatever you ask for a certain amount of time. If you’re a writer, there’s things like Om Writer, which is just a blank screen without any link to anything else on the Internet – so there’s no buttons, no toolbar. It’s just a blank page.
KATY: It’s you and your prose.
DANI: Just you and your screen. So there’s a lot of those different kinds of things. Rescue Time, which is a big one. Some of those cost, and then there’s Cold Turkey, which I’m very interested in, and that’s coming for Mac pretty soon. It already exists for PC. There’s just –
KATY: Endless tools.
DANI: Endless tools.
KATY: Use technology to improve your relationship with technology. It can be done.
DANI: Yep. And speaking of –
KATY: It’s like instructions for Pandora’s box.
DANI: Use it wisely, use it well. Guess what we did?
KATY: What? Nothing! What did we do? I don’t know, I feel like I just got in trouble now.
DANI: Oh, no, it’s we. It’s a big We. We are in trouble. We have hit 1 million downloads for Katy Says.
KATY: Yay! That is blowing my mind, lady. Blowing my mind.
DANI: Pretty cool. Not bad for 2 years in this gig.
KATY: Yes, it’s our anniversary, too! Happy anniversary!
DANI: Happy anniversary! I didn’t get you anything yet.
KATY: What’s two? What’s the modern traditional – I think it’s like cell phones or something? It’s apps. I have to get you an app!
DANI: I would like an app, please. With in-app purchases. I just think we should acknowledge and thank –
KATY: This is like the academy awards. (vocalizes a roar of applause.) I would like to thank Dani Hemmat for agreeing to do this podcast with me, and my parents for downloading 850,000 episodes of Katy Says.
DANI: Thank you, Katy’s parents! Thank you!
KATY: And then really, seriously, Brock Armstrong, the original.
DANI: He was our original engineer.
KATY: Yes. I guess we should – actually, I guess you were the original audio engineer. So we should thank Brock –
DANI: Brock wrote us and went, uhhh. I can make that better. He – very funny, talented human being. Thank you, Brock.
KATY: Yeah, he’s just a wonderful human being.
DANI: And then when Brock had to go to a bigger gig than us and what we could offer, he brought us Carrie Day.
DANI: Who is a wonderful musician, and gifted and hilarious audio engineer. She has never, ever griped at us for giving her a horrible deadline or making her take out all of our grumbles, groans, fart noises, whatever. She – boy. What a trooper.
KATY: Super great. And Kathy – for transcribing.
DANI: Kathy Lopez is the transcriptionist extraordinaire.
KATY: And now that she only has a flip phone, she is available for more work, everybody. Did I tell you that when I was in Iceland, I dropped my phone in a river. A frozen – I mean, we were in the middle of a – we had hiked for hours, and I had my daughter who was tiny and she was sitting on my lap, and I had my phone out, of course, because if you’re in the middle of breathtaking nature you should definitely have your phone out taking pictures. And I set it in my lap, and I was nursing her and then my husband came to take a picture and he was like – so he distracted me – he distracted me! – and I just forgot that I set it in my lap, and I stood up and I just watched it floop! It slid off my lap when I stood up, and I had my daughter in my arms, so I couldn’t even catch it, and it went end over end over end, and I could see the screen on/off/on/off. And it went down to the bottom of a crystal clear –
DANI: How deep was it?
KATY: Um, well, I climbed in to get it out, so to my waist, maybe? So what is that, 8 feet? Just kidding. I have really long legs. So maybe like, 4 feet? But it was so clear and so beautiful and a testament to gorgeous wilderness, is that I could see that the screen was still on. It landed on its back, face up, and it was still on – it never went off.
KATY: I went in, I had to take off all of my clothes. It was Iceland, it was not in the summertime, and I got in the frozen water – it wasn’t frozen, it was cold. And I pulled it out and shook it off, and just set it there, and then got all my clothes back on, and it never, ever went off. So I take it as a sign that I am meant to be on the phone all of the time, because nature has told me so. So yeah.
DANI: And back to thanking people that just listened to that tangent.
KATY: Come on. That story was amazing.
DANI: We gotta thank our listeners, because –
KATY: Well, those are the most important people of all!
DANI: They listen to us go off like this.
KATY: I believe that the statistics mean that we have a million listeners, right? One million listeners?
DANI: They go up to a million six. Yeah, so – thank you.
KATY: Yes, everyone. We adore you.
DANI: For putting up with the made up words, putting up with the terrible puns.
KATY: The offshoots.
DANI: The offshoots. Going off the rails.
KATY: And you. I really can’t say this enough: you do so much work for this show. I show up and just do the little things that I do. But you’re really the main mover of this, so all the accolades to you, my dear.
DANI: Well, thank you. And thanks for asking me to come along and do it. It’s a silly, silly show and I love it to death.
KATY: Well, take us out, sister.
DANI: Well, thank you for listening. For more information, books, online classes, etcetera, you can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com. You can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and wannabe Luddite at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
KATY: Have fun! Bye!
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, movement, and alignment informative and helpful – but it is not intended to replace medical advice, and shouldn’t be used as such.
Article: How Technology Hijacks Peoples’ Minds: https://medium.com/swlh/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-ethicist-56d62ef5edf3#.nsrgqe7ms
Time Out http://www.dejal.com/timeout/
Cold Turkey https://getcoldturkey.com/