#1379 2,617 Times

Average American Phone Touches

In our last couple +1s, we spent some time with Michael Easter and wisdom from his book, The Comfort Crisis.

We talked about the odds of you being alive (🤯!) and the importance of creating a fasting window of 12-16 hours.

Today I want to chat about another crisis we face.

It’s related to our technology.

Get this: “For 2.5 million years, or about 100,000 generations, we had nothing digital in our lives. Now the average person spends 11 hours and 6 minutes a day using digital media. That’s from cellphones, TV, audio, and computers. Smartphones only stand out because they’re newer, actively steal our attention with notifications, and are accessible at anytime. But the average person still spends double the time watching TV than they do on their smartphone.

So all these measures that help us ‘break up with our phone’ are great. Unless we swap our phone time to binge-watch some Netflix series or surf the Internet on our laptop. That’s like quitting smoking Marlboro Reds to pick up chewing Red Man.”

That’s from a chapter about the importance of boredom and how we’re destroying our ability to be with ourselves doing nothing and the catastrophic consequences of our inability to do so.

The chapter is called 11 hours, 6 minutes.

2.5 MILLION years of evolution.

100,000 generations.

ZERO digital inputs.

(Let that sink in for a moment.)


Now, we spend nearly every moment of our waking lives using digital media.

Michael also tells us that “The average American touches his phone 2,617 times.”

(Pause and reflect on THAT insane stat for a moment.)

When I think of all these digital inputs, I think of Alberto Villoldo’s wisdom from One Spirit Medicine where he tells us: “From television and Internet alone, we’re exposed to more stimuli in a week than our Paleolithic ancestors were exposed to in a lifetime.”

(Pause and reflect on THAT insane stat for a moment as well if you feel so inspired.)

All of which would be fine if it didn’t lead to catastrophic consequences.


It does.

Which calls for a philosophy for our digital technology usage.

Check out my class called Conquering Digital Addiction 101 AND a class my friend Cal Newport did for us called Digital Minimalism 101 (and my Notes on his book Digital Minimalism) for some wisdom on the subject.

You might also enjoy our Notes on Irresistible by Adam Alter, The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, and Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi.


Today’s +1 is simple.

How’s YOUR tech usage?

What’s ONE thing you can do to optimize?

Here’s to conquering our digital addictions and using technology Heroically!


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