Smartphones are, for many, like a drug. Eliciting compulsive, addictive behavior, smartphones are rewiring our brains, studies show—decreasing our memory and attention spans as well increasing our anxiety. A staggering 81 percent of us have our smartphones within arm's reach nearly all the time. In fact, one in five young people admit to checking their screens every five minutes! In a very short period of time, we have found ourselves all plugged into the same drug.
A couple on a romantic date but both looking at their phones. Parents enthralled in their screens as their little ones are calling for their attention. Everywhere you look you will find someone lost in online distraction. Just because something is common doesn't make it "normal."
I'd been burning the candle at both ends with a blowtorch. I left before the sun rose, working over 60 hours a week managing my functional medicine health center. I arrived home at dark just in time to read my kids a book, pray with them, and cuddle before bed. Downtime wasn't in my schedule. I, too, lived my life attached to my smartphone, compulsively checking emails and my Instagram likes with bated breath.
Maybe my breath needed to be less bated. Maybe I needed to just breathe and take a break from my smartphone, the portal to endless distraction. I knew I had to create space in my life, so I put myself on an eight-week smartphone detox. Here is the breakdown of how I got through two months without a smartphone—and how you can follow suit.