Our overuse of these necessary evils led many of those in the know like Bill Gates & Steve Jobs to virtually raise their kids tech free, while others such as Google and snapchat's CEOs to strictly limit their usage. Those of us who are parents are role models, so binge watching Netflix and Prime set bad examples for our children. And trying to take away the tech from them is often harder than taking a bone from a rottweiler! Like me, most parents are simply too weary to go into battle, partly because we're drained from too much tech ourselves! Many single adults live a large proportion of their lives on social media, podcasts, blogs, etc, etc. So what to do? Keep electronic devices outside the bedroom, set alarms for usage periods, make conscious choices for off-screen activities for example reading a book (Kindles seem to be ok). Be creative. You can achieve this if you're not addicted. If you are, seek professional help, because like all addictions the longer you leave them the worse they get.
Recently I was testing new incognito insect repellent products in the jungle and wi-fi was problematic, along with heavy monsoons - which meant the mosquitoes generally stayed incognito; mosquitoes avoid flying in the rain. So, I decided to do a much-needed 7.5 day no food detox for my worn-out body & reduce screen-time. Around Day 3 of the cleanse, I realised working & playing on my laptop and phones was causing me loss of sleep and cognitive function, yet I couldn't stop, I was addicted - just like my children! Somehow, I managed to put all my devices in the reception safe: I didn't possess a key. Scary, but once I'd got through the withdrawals, also liberating & it truly relaxed my scrambled brain for the remainder of my fast. My digital detox worked wonders, my brain was in tune with my body, and both became attuned with the nature all around me. It is easier in the jungle to formulate a screen-free plan, but since then I've tried to do a day a week screen-free, usually over the weekend or holidays, except for the odd necessity which has been a boon to my overall health.
There are places, mostly remote, which cost an arm and a leg to travel to, and this is their main USP. Also, quite a few people are now living off the grid and do not even possess a smart phone! Some of these people are professionals and simply find life easier without one.
More teens than ever are ending up in treatment centres to deal with their tech-addiction and even adults are increasingly searching for help. Lessening screen time is more important than ever in our evermore complex lives. I suggest you start with a tech-reduction strategy and keep to it… not giving yourself a hard time if you fail early on... your mind, body & soul will thank you for it in the end.
Once I finish writing this I'm switching off!
Howard Carter is an incognito® co-founder and CEO
PS: a word of warning about Deet-based insect repellent sprays: they can melt hard plastics, which includes phones and computers, as well as pollute the environment & kill aquatic wildlife. So ditch the Deet as well as digital screens!