New Year’s Resolution 2019: Take Back Control with a Good Phone
I used to tease my dad for not wanting an EZ Pass, the express toll card for your car. He said he didn’t want the government to know where he was driving. It was none of their business. I told him they’d figure it out if they really wanted to, and he would always reply, “I don’t need to make it any easier for them.” Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m starting to see his point since we’ve been exploring tech addiction.
One of the most frustrating things we’ve seen from people responding to our work on tech addiction is a general feeling of helplessness. People feel trapped by Google and Facebook. They can’t help but use big tech, even though they’re upset by the abuses of our data and the constant tracking. Some have even expressed an inkling that they’ve lost control of their attention, if they ever had it in the first place.
All of this helplessness discounts our power in the relationship. No one can force us to use Google or Facebook just like no one can force my dad to get an EZ Pass. Big tech is going to track us and try to influence us whether we use their services or not, but we don’t need to make it any easier for them. It’s simple: the less these services know about you, the less data they have to exploit and the less influence they have on your attention.
At its core, that’s what the Good Phone movement is about—taking back control in your relationship with big tech, and it starts with your phone.
It’s ok to delete social media from your phone. You’re not going to lose your real friends. If anything, you might build deeper relationships with the most important people in your life with whom you have direct lines of communication.
It’s ok to delete YouTube and Netflix. You can read a book instead. If you really need to watch something on either, you can do it on your laptop or TV.
It’s ok to delete email. Your email is full of urgent, unimportant things that control your time and attention. Most of it can wait, and the things that can’t wait will find their way to you.
The beginning of a new year marks a time of inspiration and change for many. We hope the most popular resolution for 2019 is to spend less time with technology, whether that means using a Good Phone or something else. Giving up your attachment to tech won’t be easy—it’s challenging to break any addiction—but power is magnified when you take it back and it filters down into everything else you do. If you take back the power in your relationship with technology, your other resolutions might just fall into place, too.
Here’s to a powerful, and healthy, 2019.
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