‘For all her hydration, dietary restrictions, leafy greens, crystals, yoga, blood tests and sweat of modern disciplined wellness, Diana now sensed an intriguing parallel gluttony in her cell phone overuse.
‘You would never indulge so much if it came with calories.’ Arabella had said, to which Diana had agreed, before being reluctantly placed on Arabella’s stringent antidote to Modern Gluttony – The Digital Detox.’ – Sam Smith, Suss the Symmetry
Studies indicate that many of us want to reduce the amount of time we spend on our cell-phones. Studies also suggest we underestimate the time we actually spend on those phones, and that phone overuse, particularly in relation to social media, is connected to anxiety, low self-esteem, and problems sleeping. None of this is news, so why, when so many of us are so aware of the issues, and so self-disciplined in our wellness pursuits when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness, do we continue to indulge in our cellphone habits so freely? To the point of knowing it’s too much, and wanting to reduce the use, but still sneaking back for more?
I was stopped on the street recently by someone who had read my book and loved my cake analogy. It is so simple, but has been deliciously effective with my wellness-aware and phone-frazzled clients and readers in New York and the UK. The key is in the cake…
Putting cell phone usage into the context of eating cake can raise a playful sense of perspective with the wellness aware. It poses the question of replacing one with the other; ‘Would you ‘bite’ so freely if that smart phone was a cake? Would you eat every time you were waiting in line? Or waiting for a friend? Or from under the table in a meeting? Would you divert your attention from a conversation to sneak it? Or eat for the duration of a commute? Would you get up in the night for a bite? What would you expect if you did? Do you think you’d see any negative effects? Would you feel better? Healthier? Or might it possibly contradict all of the hard work you put into meditating, or at the gym, or in the kitchen…?
I believe that that change should be enchanting, and that often means finding an angle that brings an entirely new perspective and approach to a situation. In the case of superfluous cell phone usage, I believe that when we become aware of the potential contradiction that exists between working hard to create healthy lifestyles while greedily indulging in less than fulfilling phone habits, we might just be inspired to log in a little less.
Excerpt & adapted from Suss the Symmetry | Modern Life Coaching by Sam Smith – out now on Amazon.