#574 Love Kryptonite

Strikes 8 Billion Times Per Day (in the US Alone)

In our last +1, we talked about Love. Specifically, we talked about Love 0.0. Love 1.0. Love 2.0. And, Love 3.0.

Today, we’re going to talk about what I think is the #1 thing that gets in the way of ALL of those forms of Love.

Can you guess what it is? … What’s Love’s ultimate kryptonite?

Answer in a moment. First, quick context.

In his newest book, Yuval Noah Harari gives us a quick look at 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. One of the important things he says we need to address is “Community.”

In the chapter he dedicates to “Community,” Yuval makes some very powerful points. One of the most simple yet powerful distinctions he makes is the fact that “Humans have bodies.”

Of course, that’s not a newsflash but it’s remarkable how easily we can forget that.

He continues by saying, “During the last century technology has been distancing us from our bodies. We have been losing our ability to pay attention to what we smell and taste. Instead we are absorbed in our smartphones and computers. We are more interested in what is happening in cyberspace than in what is happening down the street. It is easier than ever to talk to my cousin in Switzerland, but it is harder to talk to my husband over breakfast, because he constantly looks at his smartphone instead of me.”

At the end of that last line, Harari has the 7th reference to that chapter’s notes. He has so many great chapter notes that are worth reading that I have a little index card serving as a bookmark for me to easily find this reference.

So… I flip to page 342.

Which leads us to Today’s +1 and the #1 Kryptonite for all our forms of love. Here it is:

7. Lisa Eadicicco, “Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day,” Time, December 15, 2015; Julie Beck, “Ignoring People for Phones Is the New Normal,” Atlantic, June 14, 2016.

Did you catch that?

American’s check their phones EIGHT BILLION (!!!) times PER DAY.

That’s astonishing. 😲

And… That’s Love’s ultimate kryptonite. I’d say that at least five of those eight billion (!!!) smartphone checks per day decimate all our loves.

Let’s do the quick inventory.

If the cornerstone of Love 0.0 is self-love then how does checking our phone 8 billion times a day diminish that kind of love? Well, let us count the ways. Hmmmm… Where to begin?! Hah.

How about this: If science says we need a good night of sleep to be at our optimus best and you’re blowing yourself up late at night on nonsense, you’ve lost your next day before it’s even started. That’s not a loving thing to do to yourself.

And this: If science says checking your phone all day every day erodes your ability to focus and go deep, how will you ever do your best work? Are you a cognitive athlete who smokes? That’s not helping the loving-ourselves cause.

I could go on but moving on…

We know that phones erode connections via the iPhone Effect research. YET… Do you still keep your phone out and buzzing and dinging all day every day—while you’re with your family and friends and colleagues? KNOW (!!!) that you’re destroying your ability to go deep. That’s not a loving Love 1.0 thing to do.

(btw: In addition to diminishing the quality of your connections, smartphones ALSO destroy your productivity and presence—even more kryptonite assaults on Love 0.0…)

Then we have Love 2.0 and all those potential micro-moments of positivity resonance that Barbara Fredrickson tells us are so important to our health and humanity.

She says we need to exit our “cocoons of self-absorption” and open ourselves up to the world and those in it if we’re going to create more of those Love 2.0 moments that nourish our souls (and our vagal nerves!). Of course, our smartphones are the ultimate suction cup for our self-absorption. Love 2.0 kryptonited.

Then we have Love 3.0. Our heroic love of life and all of its challenges. The Lead Yourself First guys tell us that solitude is required to optimize our Clarity + Creativity + Emotional Balance + Moral Commitment. If they’re right (and I think they are), then those billions of checks are like throwing a grenade into your soul’s heroic fortress. Not a good (or loving) idea.

All of which leads us to Today’s +1.

If you’re feeling so inspired, how about doing an inventory of how many smartphone checks YOU are contributing to those mind-boggling stats. (Bonus credit for the ambitious: allocate your inventory of checks across the different Love categories.)

Here’s to tapping into your Love potential by swiping your phones off, my fellow Hērō!

P.S. You know how many times Harari checked his phone yesterday? ZERO. As discussed in an earlier +1, he gave up his smartphone years ago.

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