What Do you Mean by Smartphone as a Supplement?
These days there are supplements for virtually everything. Health supplements come in the form of pills, powders, tinctures, and drinks. Some supplements are for beauty, some are for health, and some are for virility. My cabinets used to be ‘Supplement City’, filled with all sorts of proteins, BCAAs, vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc, but now I am virtually supplement-free. I don’t even have pain-killers, like ibuprofen or aspirin in my house anymore, as I don’t need them. I have learned to eat in a way that optimally supports my body and mind, so I don’t rely on supplements anymore.
The way I look at supplements is the way I endeavor to look at my smartphone. It is something I didn’t own or even need when I was a kid or even when I was in my 20s. iPhone rolled around when I was 37 in 2007 and I have been using one ever since. After using my iPhone for many years, I realized it became an addiction of sorts, as I was constantly connected to the world and when I got “likes” or messages on social media, I would feel a dopamine surge. I realize now that I don’t need these dopamine rushes as I did before. My iPhone is there to supplement my life intelligently and as minimally as possible. I like to keep things simple.
Can You Remember Life Without a SmartPhone?
I’m sure some of you can remember the days when smartphones weren’t a part of daily life. I admit that I love the convenience and the variety of features on my iPhone. I also love that I am able to put it away or shut it down when I want to.
Younger generations may not understand why anyone would want to completely turn off their connection with everything good in the world like Instagram, YouTube and the like. However, most Gen X and some Millennials may be able to relate to what I am sharing here.
I know that some very creative and prolific people thrive in an environment where there are movement and an exchange of energy between people around them. An example of this is JK Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter series. She is known to have written most of her work in a café in Edinburg, Scotland. For me, I don’t have any issues with people being around me, but I do my best work in utter silence. So when I am traveling or working outside of my cave, I would probably need the assistance of some top-notch noise-canceling headphones to get my deep work done properly.
I am 100% open to people who love their pinging notifications. That’s just not my jam. I find it very distracting, so my notifications are always off. I let people around me know that if they need me quickly, they’ll need to use “the phone part of their smartphone” and call me. I’ve noticed that these days people hesitate to call, which makes me smile because it’s cute and considerate. It’s like they don’t want to bother you. However, it’s not effective if you want someone’s attention right away, especially someone that doesn’t check their messages for hours at a time like me:-)
My Early Morning Smartphone Approach
My iPhone kindly wakes me up every morning. I put at the other end of my apartment so I have to really get up to turn it off. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t check my iPhone for emails or social media. That is not what I want to look at first thing in the morning. I find that I am most productive in the early hours, so I get to work on fun projects first thing. After I finish a project or two, I look at my emails and messenger to see if there are any messages that need my attention and attend to them.
My Evening Smartphone Approach
There is so much cutting edge research these days on how vital good sleep is to balancing all other aspects of life, such as cortisol levels, stress, cravings, mood, productivity, etc.. Matthew Walker, Max Lugavere and Dr. Rangan Chatterjee are guys I respect and trust to be sharing well-researched, honest and helpful information. They all share that in order to get the deepest sleep, it is best not look at our cell phones or computer screens before bed. I do my best to turn off all screens (pc and cell phone) about an hour before I go to bed. I even like to turn off all the lights in my home about thirty minutes before sleep and light up a few candles. When I do this and bedtime rolls around, I generally fall asleep within seconds.
Currently, I take off one full day per week on Tuesdays. And the last few days of each month, my wife and I take a 2-3-day Holiday. During those days, I would like to turn off my smartphone completely and sometimes I can garner the courage to do so. There are other times I can’t. It can feel like I am cutting out the rest of the world with such an audacious action. It’s almost like I have a heroic responsibility to be available through my cell phone. Do any of you have that same strange feeling of duty? Perhaps it’s just a fear of missing out on a call or opportunity. I’m not sure.
There are times that I do shut it down and I feel better for doing so. It’s a form of completely relinquishing ‘that’ out there.
Do you feel that you are too attached to your smartphone and social media? If so, do your best to give it a rest sometime. Give it a Smartphone Siesta and see how liberating that can be. See if you are addicted to it or not.
Smartphones are wonderful, no doubt. There are also many great things you can do in the world that are outside the realm of the Stupendous Smartphone.