Top 20 Takeaways From Our Look Up Event

Yesterday, we teamed up with Blloc phone to put together a special one-day only event to talk to people about the effects that our digital technologies are having on our behavior, psychology and overall well being. Featuring acclaimed speakers such as Dr. Nicholas Karadas and Tiffany Shlain, the day was filled with enlightening, and at times, frightening insights on the reality of spending too much time on our digital devices. 


Each of the three panels had their own unique approach to the discussion of screen time and the ubiquity of mobile devices. Here are the top takeaways and quotes from the day:

  1. Checking your phone is like yawning - if you do it, all the sudden everyone around you will do it, too. - Tiffany Shlain
  2. All the research being done about changing habits makes it clear that you have to replace a bad habit with one that brings you joy. What do you wish you had more time to do? Take away phone time and replace it with your answer. - Tiffany Shlain
  3. It’s about being mindful and aware of your usage. Ask yourself questions like why am I using this and what value is it adding to my life right now? We can better catch ourselves when we actually start paying attention to our use of these screens. We need to first look at the sheer number of apps we have on our phones. Go through them and try to delete all the ones you haven’t used in the last 6+ months. You can also try hiding specific icons or moving a lot of apps beyond the home screen. - Carl Barenbrug
  4. It’s pretty unhealthy for us to be this available and ‘on’ 24/7. We are more stressed out than ever. The bigger question is how are we going to value being present and intentional moving forward? - Tiffany Shlain
  5. Tech companies need to have common values and if they want to improve or change behavior of users. Companies need to come together over common values to lead the consumer in the right direction. - Carl Barenbrug
  6. Companies respond to markets; when the market starts to want these kinds of limits, companies will start to respond to that, and I think we have only started scratching the surface on consumer awareness of this issue. - Laura Sydell
  7. We’re in the middle of realizing that we have a problem with our tech. Companies haven’t wanted to address it before because they are making money based on how long consumers are on their platform. For example, if you use Facebook less then that means you are exposed to less advertising and therefore less advertisers are likely to spend their money on Facebook. So Facebook is then incentivized to keep you on their platform for as long as possible. - Dennis Miloseski
  8. We need to help each other as a community to be more mindful and intentional with our devices. We need to all lean on each other to help us curb these addictions. - Howard Nuk
  9. I want to challenge the idea that it’s all up to the consumer to change their behavior. Two out of three people who set a goal to reduce their screen time have failed at that goal because our devices today are designed to keep you on them. There are companies like ours (Blloc and Palm) and others that provide you with other options. It’s not just about buying more, it’s about being healthier with your decisions. - Adham Badr
  10. About 10% of the population is predisposed to addictive behavior, so about one in ten people have an addiction. We have found that digital addiction is the same as any other substance addiction - it’s all about the dopamine. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  11. Some of the top tech people have come out saying that they are actively trying to make their apps and products more addictive. They knew and designed it purposefully to keep people glued to their screens. The problem is with most addicts, the more addicted you are, the less capable you are of controlling the impulses behind said addiction. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  12. The most plugged in generation is also the most lonely. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  13. Six and seven-year-olds who don’t yet have any impulse control are being overly impacted by the affect of too much screen time and as a result we’ve seen skyrocketing depression and suicide rates. They become stimulation dependent - hypnotizes them to only be primed for constant stimulation. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  14. When we put screens constantly in front of kid’s faces we are robbing them of their own creative process. It’s good for kids to be bored - they are forced to use their brain to be creative to find something new to do. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  15. Pediatric suicide (kids ages 5-10) used to be more of a concept, but today it’s become an actual clinical issue as we are seeing more of these suicides happen. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  16. The role of parents its twofold: they are not only modeling the same problematic behavior by being on their devices, but there’s also something called distracted parent syndrome. If you’re with your child and you’re ignoring them because your are on your screen it’s actually more damaging to your child, because they see it as a projection that they aren’t worth your time and they internalize this as rejection. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  17. There isn’t one study that shows that introducing tablets in elementary school leads to better education by the time they hit high school. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  18. If we are all seduced and sedated by our devices, then we aren’t aware of what’s going on in the world around us. We are all swimming in a big microwave and 5G is only going to make it even worse with the radiation it will expel. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  19. The current suicide and overdose epidemics are not unrelated events. It’s not an accident that young people are dying in record numbers in the digital age. We need to be more aware of what we are doing with our tech devices and what we are using them for. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras
  20. Our current quality of life is no longer the same as it used to be because of technology. We are more irritable, anxious and stressed because we are always having to be ‘on’. Being connected 24/7 connected doesn’t allow us to unplug or unwind. We can’t ever truly detach and therefore we can’t get the true rest our bodies and minds require. - Dr. Nicholas Kardaras


You can learn more about the screen time problem and how to combat it in our Digital Detox blog series. Tell us - how are you being mindful of your tech use and screen time?


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