Why I made it and How I use it
So, I bought the super popular Light Phone 2 and paid $10 per month for an extra line and then made a solid leather case for it just like our Leather iPhone Case. Before I leave work, I turn on Call Forwarding to my Light Phone number to use in the evenings and weekends and I leave my iPhone at work. Sometimes I cheat.
Leather Light Phone 2 Case Size
The Light Phone 2 is the size of a ¼” thick stack of business cards, but a smidge longer and is purposefully basic. It just has calling, full keyboard texting without auto correct, an alarm, calculator, MP3 and directions. No internet, no camera.
The Leather Light Phone 2 Case makes it slightly bigger, but barely. It’s very protective to preserve the battery from extreme temperatures and shock damage. And it looks cool.
After laying in bed for an hour and a half looking at our phones without talking, I turned to my wife and said something like this, “Honey, we have to do something about how much time we’re on our iPhones. We’ve tried everything and nothing works. It’s so unhealthy and it’s slowly boiling to death our marriage, game life, parenting, our kids’ self esteem, spiritual life, fun, memory, concentration, friendships, intellectual growth, health and hobbies... one tap at a time”. She nodded to me and said, “You’re right. Lead us.” So here’s what I did. And I’m hoping by telling you this that my story will help someone else who has tried everything too.
My brother had heard about how popular the Light Phone 2 was and realized how much his phone was damaging his family too, so he bought one. He said it changed his life. A few days later, two customers came into our leather showroom and showed me their Light Phone 2’s and said it changed their lives too. They said they keep their iPhones at work because they’re indispensable for what they do, and use their Light Phones at night and on the weekends. Then, as I was re-reading one of the best books I’ve read in years, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, I somehow had missed the part where he mentioned the Light Phone to help take busy-ness out of our lives. Cool.
I had planned to sell my iPhone and get a dumbphone, but realized it’s WAY too necessary of a tool for the work and travel we do. Here’s our plan so far. But it may change. But trying something is better than doing nothing and complaining about it. We’re sharing our experience to try to help others figure out the best way to fix their problem too. Not everyone has a problem with their smartphones, but if you’re like us, then hopefully this will help.
Our Rules For Home
We didn’t go to live in a cave and we like being connected. So here are some things we do to make it possible.
- We use our MacBooks or iPads at home, but we have a place where we can uncomfortably STAND with a timer to check weather, sports scores or read the news after a certain time. And we pay the kids $20 each if I spend more than 5 minutes at a time on it or if I remove it from the countertop without their permission.
- I bought a dimmable red alarm clock so it doesn’t light the room at night - The RISE alarm clocks wake you peacefully and slowly with light, bird sounds or nice smells.
- I designed my own leather Ringed Daily Planner like I used to have and joined the ranks of the millions of other professionals who primarily use a Daily Planner to stay organized.
- I bought a small retro looking cult following Fujifilm camera with a couple of lenses that takes WAY WAY WAY better photos and videos than my iPhone and I designed a cool leather camera case and strap for it. I bluetooth the photos and videos to my iPhone to upload and send out if I take some at night or on the weekends. I have my hobby back!!
Why Run When You Can Walk?
I am purposefully removing things from my life and forcing myself to slow down. A very wise man said, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die”. In Bora Bora they told me, “Why run when you can walk?”. Why go so fast? For what? The wisest man in history said in The Book of Ecclesiastes that it’s a shame when he sees someone work all of his days and not take a break and enjoy the fruits of his labor, because he’s just going to die and then people, who didn’t earn or deserve all that he worked for, are going to give away or squander it all. The Light Phone and leather case for it will help.
We’re Racking Up A Bill For Our Children
We are racking up a bill our children will have to pay dearly for later. This is very serious. The results of dozens of psychological, medical and scientific studies are consolidated below. We’re on track to be the dumbest and most miserable people ever because of the distractive nature of smartphones. The studies show the following effects on kids and people with a lot of screentime:
Intellectually - They are the least imaginative or creative. Least able to think deeply, critically, analyze, focus or concentrate. We have the lowest IQ, worst academic performance and are the least productive at work - MIT and others proved multi-tasking puts out less and worse work.
Socially - They are the least social and socially adjusted, least confident, able to read other’s emotions and most isolated.
Emotionally - They have the lowest self esteem, feel loneliest, unhappiest, most unattractive, unsatisfied, depressed and most anxious. They are the least fulfilled and most likely to commit suicide.
Physically - They are the most physically unhealthy, addicted to porn, narcissistic (think about ourselves), out of shape, overweight, least playful, have the most eye problems and sleep the least in all of recorded history. Read Why We Sleep. It’s shocking.
Statistics on Smartphone Use. You’re Not Alone.
- 62% of adults hate how much time they spend on their smartphones.
- 54% of teens say they spend too much time on them.
- 60% of family members wish others would unplug more.
Discipline does not need to sit on the edge of temptation. If you are an alcoholic, quit your job at the bar. Remove your smartphone far from you in time off. Get a Light Phone or some dumbphone and slow down.
13 Signs You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone
If these describe you, then you and I have the same addiction
- You check your smartphone secretly.
- You can’t remember the last time you were bored.
- You read work emails at home.
- You watch movies while doing other things on your smartphone.
- The first thing you do when you wake up is look at your smartphone.
- You don’t engage or talk with your spouse or kids as much.
- You lay the smartphone on the dinner table at meals.
- It bothers you not to have your smartphone with you at all times.
- You don’t usually get more than 6 to 7 hours of sleep.
- You can’t concentrate, meditate or pray alone for longer than 9 seconds.
- You aren’t active in a hobby.
- You can’t remember the last time you read a real book.
- People close to you say you’re addicted to your smartphone.
Be An Influencer
With Your Kids
Kids watch our videos more than they listen to our audio to learn how to take control of life, deal with problems and prioritize what’s important. They’re watching us to learn how to be parents, spouses, and what to value in life. If we SHOW them we value quality family time, engagement, slowing down, unplugging, reading, learning, conversation, etc., they will too.
With Your Friends
And you may just be that positive peer pressure nudge that helps a few others around you do the same and impact the lives of their families too. The lifelong impact of you getting rid of your smartphone may multiply and positively affect more people than you could ever imagine. Get a Light Phone 2 and a cool leather case and SHOW them what you’re doing, don’t just tell them.
Parenting With Smartphones
A lot of parents allow their kids a lot of screen time so they themselves can have more screen time. If we fix the parents on screen time problem then we fix the kids on screen time problem. Start with you first.
Russian Roulette With Kids
What if there were a 1 in a 100 chance that your kid subconsciously felt that what was on your phone was more important than they were because your phone gets more time than they do? And that low self-esteem caused them a hard life? Would you still stay on your phone so much? Honestly, I did. Better to be in a coma for 2 years and give them no attention than to be there and not give them your attention.
Your Kid’s Advantage
Studies show kids, regularly on smartphones, whose minds are still forming, may be permanently damaged, and those kids who aren’t, have higher IQ’s and will be their superiors for life. Give the gift of a smartphone free life to your kids by giving them a dumbphone or a Light Phone. It’s as much child abuse as not letting them just eat candy cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And maybe it will help other parents to do the same.
Don’t Feel Bad About It
Feeling bad about not letting kids have smartphones is like feeling bad about not letting them drink Coke and eat candy for every meal and then nibble on little bits of arsenic in the evenings. And if you get rid of yours, they can’t complain and call you a hypocrite. By the way, Parenting with Love and Logic is a GREAT GREAT book.
Watch The Social Dilemma together on Netflix. Oh my gosh, it’s shocking what the smartphone and social media designers say. 38 Million people watched it the first month it came out.
Shame On You Olive Garden
Olive Garden, you should be ashamed of yourself for offering screens at every table for kids to play games and watch shows on. Whatever it takes to make more money, right? Boo on you!!!
Problems and Dangers of Smartphones for Everybody
- Can foster inappropriate relationships
- Interrupts face to face conversations with friends and family
- Communication with friends and family tanks.
- Lowers our mood
- Not engaging with the family - Instead of interacting or reading marriage or parenting or imagination stimulating books together.
- When we read, it forces us to imagine the story in our heads. That creates important pathways in the brain that help with math, science, creativity and all kinds of other things we don’t know about. We tell our kids they have to be in bed by 9 but they can read for an extra 30 minutes or just go to bed.
- Anxiety - Reading all of the negative news - My nephew just follows uplifting people and deleted all others.
- Stress - Reading all the news, work emails.
- Poor sleep. Not sleeping 8 hours a night because your sleep hormone didn’t release as much to build up to sleep soundly. All because of that smartphone light.
- People who read on a screen don’t catch abstract concepts as well as on paper books
- Hurts family life - The toddler playing in the bathtub while parent is on the phone
- Hurts spiritual life - Less Bible reading and prayer. Phone is too distracting
- Hurts social skills - Don’t get much practice one on one in deep conversations and conflict resolution. It’s easier to get on the phone.
- No conversations while waiting at the barber, dental clinic, etc.
- Vacations don’t relieve stress because of checking in.
- Not listening to people as well
- Dissatisfaction with our boring life when we see the best of other peoples’
- Distracted when talking to people. Makes people feel not as important.
- Less hobby time which your mind needs to get off of a subject to solve it.
- No reading books - stops personal growth
- No more writing letters - too busy
- Shallow relationships - best friend and I haven’t talked about how his mom is or how our marriages are in over a year.
- Not playing games with kids or reading to younger kids.
- Can’t remember directions anymore - Navigating with maps. Looking at an atlas you can see cool things along the way you would have missed with your GPS. Memory so weak you have to rely on a smartphone?
- Numbing out and not working on our relationships
- Fewer chores done around the house
- People don’t know how to entertain themselves
- News is always negative and that’s all we feed our lives with
- Less family time
- Possible long term health effects up to head and in pocket near your private parts. We’re doing things today that we’ll have to pay the bill for later.
- Privacy - I don’t have anything to hide, but do you like being tracked and monitored by big tech and the government and them listening to every word you say?
Obscene Wealth From Our Lives
Does it bother you that just a few people are getting obscenely rich on our destruction and privacy and they now control so much of our lives? They didn’t intend for smartphones to be so damaging, but it seems they’re okay with it.
I will never look down my nose at anyone who reads this and keeps their smartphone, as if I am superior to them because of this. And you shouldn’t either. More than anything, I wrote this to me to convince myself that I needed to lead my family in a way that is right for us. I am not you and we don’t have the same self control, the same relationships, nor do we have the same mind. I hope it helps you somehow though.
Smartphones are so convenient, help a lot of people and keep me from being bored, but the damage, neglect and dulling of my life that happens because of carrying a distracting little computer in my pocket is far outweighed by the benefits of joy, growth and freedom I get by leaving it at work. And on Monday morning, the world will still be turning. Weird. And, studies show that boredom has incredible benefits.