What is tech addiction really costing you and your family? Today, 75 percent of us feel addicted to our phones and we spend over 3 hours per day on these devices, on average. American kids are spending a staggering 6-9 hours per day on the Internet. The conveniences of technology are taking a toll on adults and children, from decreased productivity and increased stress to anxiety and poor sleep quality.
Our guest, Taíno Bendz, the founder of Phone Free Day (October 6th) is here to shed light on coexisting with your digital devices. Taíno reveals what digital wellness and tech-life balance looks like and how we can achieve them.
- The impact of technology on our daily lives
- How just turning off email notifications can lower your heart rate and stress
- Why you need a structure to stay accountable
- The biggest problem with social media
- How a healthy home looks in terms of how we use digital technology
- How social media has changed the way we connect with each other
You can take the Smartphone addiction test to discover how attached you are to your phone. The link is in the show notes at RonandLisa.com/Podcast.
This episode of Healthy Home Hacks is brought to you by Boiron, world leader in homeopathic medicines. Is stress overload causing you some sleepless nights? Do you want to rest easier by supporting your body with a better way to feel better? For 90 years, Boiron has been dedicated to providing your family with the purest medicines made from the earth’s best resources. Boiron’s SleepCalm for adults and kids are melatonin-free sleep aids with no next-day grogginess. The meltaway tablets for adults and individual liquid doses for kids are non-habit forming and have no known drug interactions. From stress to sleep, pain relief, allergies, and more, Boiron has got you and your family covered with affordable homeopathic remedies that are easy to find online and in natural product stores nationwide. Help your body the natural way with gentle, worry-free formulas for even the littlest ones in your family! Visit BoironUSA.com to find the nearest retailer or buy direct using code RL20OFF to save 20% off your entire purchase.
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- Taino Bendz
- Phone Free Day
- Take the Smartphone Addiction Test
- Tech-Life Balance: 101 Ways to Take Control of Your Digital Life and Save Your Sanity (book)
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How would you like to improve your health and keep your family safe? You're listening to the Healthy Home Hacks podcast where we firmly believe in joining optimal health shouldn't be a luxury. Healthy Home authorities and husband and wife team Ron and Lisa will help you create a home environment that will level up your health. It's time to hear from the experts. listen in on honest conversations and gain the best tips and advice. If you're ready to dive in and improve your well-being and increase your energy, you're in the right place. All right, here are your hosts, building biologists, authors, media darlings, vicarious vegans and avocado aficionados, Ron and Lisa Beres.
This episode of healthy home Hacks is brought to you by Boiron - world leader in homeopathic medicines is stress overload causing you some sleepless nights do you want to rest easier by supporting your body with a better way to feel better? For 90 years Boiron has been dedicated to providing your family with the purest medicines made from the Earth's best resources. Born sleep calm for adults and kids are melatonin free sleep aids with no next day grogginess. The meltaway. tablets for adults and individual liquid doses for kids are non-habit forming and have no drug interactions, from stress to sleep, pain relief, allergies and more. Boiron get you and your family covered with affordable homeopathic remedies that are easy to find online and unnatural product stores nationwide. Help your body the natural way with gentle worry-free formulas for even the littlest ones in your family. Visit www.BoironUSA.com to find the nearest retailer or by direct using code RL20OFF that's RL20Off to save 20% off your entire purchase.
Ron Beres 02:02
Question: Have you taken a digital detox? No, no, I mean, really taken one that's not a couple of minutes or an hour or two, but for an entire day or longer without your phone. I know that talking since chills down everyone's spine. It's no surprise since 75% of us feel addicted to our phones. And we are spending over three hours per day on average.
Lisa Beres 02:32
But how why has this tech taken such a hold on our lives? When you think about it. Most of us listening didn't grow up with cell phones and we managed just fine. Maybe even more than fine because we were present when we were working on tasks or enjoying the company of others.
Ron Beres 02:49
American kids spend six to nine hours per day on the internet from decreased productivity and increased stress to anxiety and poor sleep quality. The conveniences of technology are taking a toll on adults and children with the increase of screen time astronomically rising to unhealthy levels. Our world is filled with digital overstimulation at every turn.
Lisa Beres 03:14
So, what is this tech addiction or nomophobia costing you or your family? It's been found that just turning off email notifications can lower your heart rate and stress. But what about the other prices we're paying on our health and well-being? Our guest today is going to shed light on this.
Ron Beres 03:30
Ta�no Bendz is the founder of phone free day, October 6. So, today's interview is not just important, it's timely Ta�no's message on mindful and intentional technology usage has reached and inspired hundreds of 1000s of people around the world. He is a public speaker and a digital technology researcher Ta�no holds a master's degree industrial engineering and management and spent 10 years working in technology sectors such as renewable energy, healthcare IT and software automation Ta�no currently lives in Sweden with his family. Without further ado, welcome to the show Ta�no.
Taino Bendz 04:12
Thank you so much, guys. What an intro I think I need to take you guys with me to every presentation.
Lisa Beres 04:23
We're available to go to Sweden, right. We are so excited to have you with us today. And I know our listeners want to just dive right into this topic. It's so important. So, let's get started. So, you know, can you let our listeners know what is digital wellness and a tech life balance?
Taino Bendz 04:42
Yeah, definitely. So, I mean, you guys counted off really well in the intro talking about some of these effects that people are seeing. And the way I look at the wellness is about all these different ways that digital technology is affecting our wellness. And by that, I mean in terms of have mental health, physical health relationships focus on productivity at work, emotional well-being there are so many different angles, even financial well-being is affected by the digital technology. So digital wellness is really about understanding all these different ways that digital tech can affect us in a negative way. And I have to stress in a positive way, because right now we're using it. Typically, if we generalize in a way that isn't supporting all these different aspects of our well-being, we can also use it in a positive way. I mean, this interview right now is enabled by digital tech, right. And when we talked about tech life balance, as the term suggests, like work life, balance, tech life balance, it's about finding that balance of using tech in a way that that supports you. We live in a world filled with technology, we want to use it, I'm pro tech, but we need to change how we're using it. So, it's finding a way to use tech while maintaining health and general well-being. I think that's really important because I sometimes get mad at tech.
Lisa Beres 06:01
I think of it as the enemy because of the radiation and all of that. But we interviewed a founder of a company that has blocking really amazing type of blocking technology, EMF modulation technology, and for cell phones. And he was the same way. I mean, he runs this very large company, but said, yeah, it's not bad. It's just how we're using it. And so, as listeners know, on the show, we've talked so much about the protection aspect of the wireless radiation. But today is really cool. And I love how you mentioned your four pillars when it comes to digital technology. And those were just to recap, those are mental health, physical health relationship. What was the fourth? Focus on productivity? Yeah, exactly. We're not really thinking about how it's affecting us on that level. It's happening. It's seeping in. And we're not really realizing it
Taino Bendz 06:50
It is. And I think that's when people ask me about the book that I'm writing, for example, or my presentations, who's your target audience. And I'm like, Well, I don't really have a target audience because it is so wide. And I've worked with parents. So, from parents, young children, I work with high school students, university students, young professionals, midlife professionals, my mom is retired, and she has her challenges with device usage. So, I think it really affects us all in different ways. No matter where we are, no matter what work we do, and so on, there are different ways. So that affecting us. And I really invite everyone. I'm not saying I have all the answers, and so on, I'm inviting everyone to take a step back, which I think we rarely do in our high paced world, which is quite fueled by technology, just looking at the last kind of 10-50 years, the pace in which we live, stress, all these different things, technology is enabling quite a lot of it. So just taking a step back and looking at your particular your individual situation.
Lisa Beres 07:55
It's like, especially when I was researching and preparing for the show, and looking at a lot of your information on your site. It's like we're headed for an iceberg, if we don't actually start to prioritize this. And it has to happen. It's just we are we've already got so many toxins, as we talked about and chemicals and radiant, we have so much already like at us. And now we don't have coping mechanisms because we weren't taught that technology sort of came and swept us all off our feet and is moving at such an accelerated pace. No one really taught anyone how to manage it, how to turn your phone off, how to take breaks, how to limit your kids, screen time, and all of that. So, if anyone gets anything out of today's show, I really hope that that really hits home and that you really start implementing some of the tips that we're going to talk about. So, moving on,
Ron Beres 08:39
For sure. You had me you gave a very general overview as to why we should care about this. Right. But one of the things you'd mentioned, I've not heard this before you said even financial impacts, you'll hear a lot about health and stress. Can you elaborate on that? Because I was curious. I think my listeners probably wouldn't be too. How can we be financially impacted by having too much technology in our life?
Taino Bendz 08:58
Yeah, definitely. I think it's so... technology now has made a lot of things frictionless. And I've worked in technology. And usually we try to remove friction. And some of the tips and hacks we'll get into later are actually about introducing friction, which sounds counterintuitive, but you know, shopping just like you said, Lisa, it's so frictionless. I mean, it's not only right there all the time, but now you also have all these after pay solutions. So, you can literally go in and make a purchase for 1000s of dollars without having the money without really considering it. Maybe you're doing it when you're feeling low or whatever. And if we look at 5, 10 years ago, that's purchase would have meant going to taking a decision, okay, I'm going to the store, looking at the item and talking to someone perhaps having it in your hand and then purchasing it, but now it's so frictionless. So, you know, there's a show here in Sweden, on TV about people in in financial trouble and so on. And then they get in a coach to help them. A lot of those people it is because of shopping and all these different apps. It's just a really pleasant dopamine releasing experience to do shopping online. Does that answer make it a bit clearer?
Ron Beres 10:25
It does. You're probably also alluding to the fact to you because you're in technology, and you said friction. Are you referring to like, frictionless, but also, I think you said also creating friction? Is that with advertising a subliminal message are those sorts of things are we being influenced in a way that we don't know it to increase more chance of us making a purchase?
Taino Bendz 10:44
So, when I.
Lisa Beres 10:44
They are listening to our conversations and sending us advertisements, right, two minutes later, when you gotta hop on Facebook, you're like, Hey, I just mentioned that random vacuum cleaner company in there.
Taino Bendz 10:55
I'm not an expert in how Siri and Alexa and all those things work. But if I talk about my personal experience, I've had just those types of conversations that you mentioned, Lisa. And I mean, if we have voice recognition on our phone, that will turn on if I say Hey, Siri, to me, it's quite what else again, being an expert in that technology, it's quite obvious that it is picking up things. And I'm not saying it's been recorded or whatever, but you get cookies, you and I send an email about something and the Google algorithm yada yada, so definitely, we are getting those messages. And I'm buying my four-year-old needs new shoes. So, I've Googled a bit on new sneakers for him. And I'm just getting bombarded with all these different offers and things and everything. So, there is a bit of that when I just to clarify, also, when I talked about introducing friction, it's more around our own, which we'll get into what we can do. So basically, technology now is so frictionless that I'm saying, also, we need to introduce some friction, for example, with a shopping, maybe delete that shopping app. So, it's one more step or not have your credit card prefilled. So, every time you're going to make a purchase, and you need to go and get your wallet and enter the 12 digits. And so that's that side of it.
Lisa Beres 12:12
I saw a really funny reel from a store that I do shop at and love. And it was the girls sitting on the couch, and it has one of those funny voiceovers and she's like, ah, today's so hard, I have to get up and get my credit card to finish this purchase. You know, she's on her phone, and like, Oh, it's just a chore, you know, I gotta get off the couch. And it's true. I mean, we are kind of in that mode, where everything's there. Everything's on our phone. And we're getting very used to that. And we're on you mentioned actually, today, the average, I don't know if it's just American is spending this year, what was that set more than $12,000 more a year than they were last year?
Ron Beres 12:51
Oh, I see. You're going to think about the actual hours. Well, that's true, but I think it has to do with inflation. So, the average household family is spending $12,000 or more because gas prices and a combination of reasons. But I'm sure it's not helping us from a technology, more
Lisa Beres 13:05
That's what I mean. Regardless of why we're spending more because of inflation. We need to be tightening our belts with that kind of stuff, like you said, because everything's just right there at your fingertips. And it's just so mindless.
Taino Bendz 13:16
That's actually really interesting. Now that we did talk a bit about the financial side, which normally isn't a big part of the discussion. Now, with inflation being a huge topic and the sort of private economy crisis that we seem to be getting into. This is really, I mean, one thing is price increase, which we can't really do much about, but then you can look at your expenses, of course. And I'm convinced that technology is playing a huge part in driving consumption and all of these purchases. So that's actually a really good thing that we sort of follow that a bit. And as you say, I mean, we're so used to like the commercial. Lisa, you mentioned, ah, I need to go and get my credit card. We're so used to having everything so easy and accessible. Maybe it's perfect timing to make things less easy, making consumption more difficult making you think twice about that.
Lisa Beres 14:07
Yeah. Yeah. And so Ta�no why are you so passionate about this topic? Was there something that happened in your life personally, what got you into this?
Taino Bendz 14:16
It's been around for a while for me. So, there are a few events, which I will mention, but also, it's been around in my mind for a while. So, when Facebook came along in 2006-2007, I was doing an exchange here in New Zealand. So, I left Sweden, no one had Facebook, I had a great group of friends playing basketball time of my life, went to New Zealand had a great year there. And then when I came back to Sweden, everyone was on this new thing called Facebook and I could just not understand what it was about, or what value added. So, it became so clear. Lisa, you talked a bit about no one taught us how to use take and it just came and swept us. So funny timing for me meant that I didn't get swept because I was on the other side of the world, I love you guys. But yeah, we're behind.
Lisa Beres 15:04
They are a little behind, but in a good way.
Taino Bendz 15:06
In a good way. And coming back to Sweden, I just got a snapshot of coming into this and like, well, I don't really need it before. And so, I've okay. And I remember really asking friends like, okay, so what do we use it for art. So cool. You can invite people to parties. But you can also use, I was on the outside. And also, it meant I never actually got Facebook. So, I've been on the outside of social media kind of looking in. And as I said, I'm an engineer, I'm in technology. So, I got a smartphone during one period, I was quite tethered to it and checking it during nights, and so on. But then I just been observing, I'm an observer, and I'm just observing all these ways that it was affecting me and my life, and my friends, and so on. So, we actually had a phone free wedding in 2014.
Lisa Beres 15:55
Nice I love that
Taino Bendz 15:57
I've asked my wife. And we can't really remember why we made that decision. But we've been to a number of weddings. And we'd felt like, oh, everyone was on their phones.
Lisa Beres 16:09
Come on people! It's a wedding.
Taino Bendz 16:11
Ron Beres 16:12
So, you have no pictures of your wedding.
Taino Bendz 16:17
We had two photographers, and someone taking the video and we told the guests, you will get the photos on these things. And the funny thing with that which I'll carry on in our conversation, is that the guests loved it. So, a lot of these things that I talked about, people are kind of craving it. So, the guests were like, Oh, it was so liberating not to sit there and trying to get the best photo and so on. And because we'd said it, it was so obvious that no one did it. And they could focus on us. It was like beautiful. And also, that feedback.
Lisa Beres 16:47
Like an old-fashioned wedding. Our wedding was that way. I mean, I don't remember. Ron and I are together 20 years. I know I'm aging us here. I don't remember our cell phones. If there were it was 20 years ago. I mean, it wasn't like today.
Taino Bendz 17:03
Yeah. And then you could say, Well, if your wedding people had cameras, and I'm sure they did, but they weren't sitting with them for 45 minutes, I'm taking a photo and then looking at it, and then choosing the right filter, maybe sharing it.
Lisa Beres 17:16
When I go out with my girlfriends, and I love them. And some of them are like so good at taking pictures. They're really good. And they're active on social media. But it will take away the moments and it does bother me. I have social media and I'm on there too. But I really don't like that, Oh, you got to take 20 pictures of this or at least 30. Because I need at least one good one. And it becomes so much about that. And it's kind of an icky feeling. I sometimes feel like I'm the only one who feels that way.
Taino Bendz 17:42
Yeah, and you're right. And it can be quite awkward to be that person to say, Hey, guys, we take one photo and then put the phone away. And what I also find so interesting is that there's even though this technology is quite new, so we don't have any long-term studies, there is a lot of research. So, the example you mentioned, Lisa, there's research suggesting that you have better relationships, if you don't use your phone excessively, you enjoy the moment better. And also, if you don't take a photo with the intent to share, because then your mind is already thinking about, Okay, how many likes will I get? The focus becomes more on that future social feedback, then enjoying the moment, which I find, to be honest, quite logical. It's like, okay, that makes sense. It's not super controversial. But yeah, so the finish off answering on my passion kind of comes from an interest concern. And then also, as we get kids, that's probably the one if I have to say one event, it was an event in New Zealand where I was out with the kids on a playground, down on all fours, and for the first time really saw our adult behavior from their eyes. So, I look up now playing with the kids looked up and just saw 10 or so other parents all sitting scrolling on their phones. And then I was like, wow, now I probably never do it. But that's not how I want my kids to grow up. So, I started phone free days as a nonprofit initiative to kind of see, hey, here's a fun challenge. Let's have a day when we don't use our phones as much. You don't need to go fully phone for you. Let's think about how we use our phones. And again, just like with my wedding, the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that I was kind of surprised and like felt that I hit the nerve and that there's no need to talk more about this job. People globally talking about it doing great, great work, but I don't think I would have kept on and I don't think we would have had this conversation if it wasn't for all the positive feedback that I do receive.
Lisa Beres 19:36
People, yeah, they need a structure. I mean, sometimes people need like a holiday or something to sort of push them because otherwise you're not going to do it. Right. It's like why people do Jenny Craig, because they need the structure of a diet rather than trying to keep that discipline on your own can be tougher, but if you have something to make you accountable. I think it's really good. Congratulations on doing that. I think it's fantastic. Maybe it will eventually get to phone free week and then month. We'll start with the day, though,
Ron Beres 20:05
You know, so funny, it's eye opening. It's counterintuitive, but you're actually less productive with this additional technology. Right? I think you talked about a study on your website, it was 26%, you're less productive. That's so funny because we think that instant messenger, all these different applications for social media, email, and all these interactions, they're going to make us more knowledgeable and more up to date. And plus, people are going to text us and call us. But at the end of the day, what happens to us tiny now, we're less productive, right?
Taino Bendz 20:31
You're right. And I think when you start scratching the surface, and at first glance, I think people are like, no, of course, I'm more productive. I got the phone an email about the calendar, like you say, instant messaging, all these things. And then you're like, Okay, if we look at if we look at how you spend your time, how much focus time do you get? How much actual value creating work do you get done in a day, then, you know, it's just like you say it is robbing our attention. And for example, email, which is a great example was meant to revolutionize the way we work we communicate make us more efficient. And, of course, it is faster than sending a letter or fax or so on, no doubt. But the problem now is that people think you have to stat not exactly right. But I think around 30% of their day on emails, and a lot of the time nor urgent nor important. So, it's become this huge administrative task. And I think most people working in office type jobs, or you know, that would a laptop, an email, as the main tool can testify to email taking up a lot of time. Am I saying we should stop using emails? Probably not. There's a book by Cal Newport "A world without emails." I think the key there is realizing that okay, yes, it was meant to improve our productivity and so on the way we're using it right now it isn't. And Lisa, you mentioned this thing about affecting our heart rate. So, it's also affecting stress levels and health. Of course, use email that have notifications turned off. I normally time slot my email use. So instead of checking in all day long, I check it in the morning, midday and afternoon, kind of. How long for each session? Are you like one hour in the morning? What's the duration? It depends a bit on how many minutes I have to be honest. But typically, one hour in the morning and one-hour last noon. Ideally, I'd like it to be shorter. And also, I really try to see, okay, what is urgent and what is important. And also, I think we need to talk about how we communicate. So, I've had friends send me a text message saying, Hey, do you want to come out for a cup of coffee and 15 minutes, that means that I am expected to have constant connectivity to my phone and see it straight away? Right? So, I've said, you know, you need to call me if you want something right now, like, you know, talking about, okay, what's the response expectation on the call, obviously, straightaway, if you're there you pick it up. Was it on a text message? What's it on a comment on social media? Was it on an email? But right now, like you were talking about, Lisa, no one told us how to use it. So, like, okay, everything right now?
Lisa Beres 23:03
Yeah, I think that's the biggest problem. And even for me, because I'll use some of these social media sites for my business, right? So okay, let's say I go on Instagram, and I'm going to post a reel or something for my business. Next thing, you know, I'm stuck in the feed, and I'm scrolling down and all of a sudden, there's a cute shirt. Oh, gotta come back to that, oh, that house is really pretty, I need to do some updating on my decor, oh, boom, there. Oh, that's a great vegan product. And I'm saving everything thinking that I'm going to come back and fixing you know; an hour goes by for my task that should have taken 10 minutes. And I think that's the see that you get sucked in. And I think that's one of the biggest problems, right? Because your intention isn't that you're going to go in and spend all day on your phone. But you just get sucked in. And let's be honest, people are putting out really good content, there's so much creativity, there's so much great stuff out there. Like you said, the good side of tech, there is a lot of WoW, an explosion of creativity. I'm so blown away with how good some of these things are people's graphics and visuals and all of this, but who said that, oh, you're allowed now to take off three quarters of your day, just like browse around on that. And a lot of people are doing that. Right. And like you had mentioned that you know, how people get insulted if you don't get back to them right away? That's happening, right? They're like, I messaged you it took you four hours. What's going on? Are you okay? What's going on? We're Ron and I will use airplane mode all the time. Like I can't work if I don't have my phone on airplane mode. So, I'll put it on airplane mode while I'm doing a project. And of course, when you turn it on, it's like all these like messages and stuff come in. And I do really recommend that in the interim for people because that has saved me a lot. I still want to check how much I'm using my phone. I'm still kind of shocked. But it's an airplane mode, like a big chunk of the day and we have relatives they get mad at us. They're like your phone isn't ever on. Well, we're working.
Taino Bendz 24:50
Such a good advice and I use it a lot too. I'm really happy to hear that you're doing it but it's funny with your relatives, mine friends, colleagues and so on. Like without really agreeing on it, we've put these availability expectations on each other. And when I grew up, we didn't have that either. My mom used to tell me the story of Rishi when she's born in the 40s is when she went away on a long trip to Latin America. She promised her mom to send a letter a postcard every week, I think. And you know, sometimes it arrived a month later, sometimes the five of them, like at the same time, and my grandma was like, okay, and now it's like, my wife's in Poland at the moment. Other people have asked me, how is Astra doing? I'm like, I don't know. I assume she's there.
Lisa Beres 25:36
Because Wow. Yeah, that's really good.
Taino Bendz 25:39
Yeah, and but it's funny, because we didn't really plan. We didn't say, Let's not keep in touch. It's like, no news is good news. And I'm not sending her pictures of the kids 24/7. Because I think it's healthy to also to message each other to be away from them. There are so many different interesting angles of it. But I think coming back to people listening to this, wherever you are, or whatever you think about the different things we're talking about, I think, look at your own situation. Are you happy with where you are using technology, if you are good for you, if you are having some issues, sleeping at night, because you pick up the phone to do something and find yourself scrolling away a couple of hours or if you're stressed, or if you're having conflicts around screen time with your kids actually talking to an eye specialist on Friday, and he's seeing a huge you talked about an iceberg coming at us, Lisa, he's from eyesight perspective, they're seeing a huge issue with digital eyestrain.
Lisa Beres 26:38
We've got the blue, you mentioned.
Taino Bendz 26:41
And yeah, Exactly. So, there's all these different things. And I think everyone can find some part of their tech use that could be improved. If we say like that,
Lisa Beres 26:52
If they say they're not, they're probably in a little denial, because I don't really meet too many people who are either not stressed or don't have sleep issues. We just did a big giveaway on sleep and natural homeopathic sleep remedy. And I was shocked reading the readers comment. It's like everybody's like, love this product. I struggle with sleep. I struggle with insomnia. I struggle with all of this. And so, it was really eye opening to read that to realize how many people. You hear the statistic. It's different when you're actually hearing people's personal struggles and all of that, and it's true. And now we're working from home, you can just do whatever you want to do, you can just answer my call and like going back to that, like go meet you can meet me for coffee and 15 minutes. Whereas when you were in an office, no one would expect that they wouldn't expect you to do that. It's no different your environments just different. But the way we're treating it is very different. Right? Not like not that respect. Um, granted, we might be in our pajamas sometimes. But we're still working.
Ron Beres 27:47
We actually took your quiz. I love how you have a quiz there. That was, I don't want to reveal my score. But, Lisa, she got an 80%.
Lisa Beres 27:53
Yeah. I knew it was going to be bad because I manage all of our creatives and social media. And so, I knew it was going to be high. I was like, yikes that we're going to get to the quiz in a minute. But the last thing I wanted to ask you is, what results do people get from your presentations of phone free day? And if you could share with our listeners, some of your best advice or hacks for digital wellness at home that people listening can implement today? Give us a few.
Taino Bendz 28:19
Yeah, definitely. And as I said, this is really what kind of keeps me going gives me motivation, but also make believe in the importance of this. And just like you said, Lisa, with a sleep giveaway that you did, and seeing a stat is one thing, but hearing people's stories is another one. It's exactly the same here, like you see, so and so many people are addicted to our phones or our mental FOMO or depressed due to social media and so on. Okay, but then we get these personal messages. It's like, whoa, so I actually pulled out a few quotes that I've received. So, I wanted to share those. And then also can talk a bit about like, the results that people do get. So, one of the favorite ones that I have is a quote from a person which goes, initially, I felt like my arm had been cut off. It made me realize how often I look at my phone for no reason. After that we're off. It was really freeing.
Lisa Beres 29:11
Yeah, that's powerful.
Taino Bendz 29:13
So that talks a bit to this addiction withdrawal syndrome. Right.
Lisa Beres 29:18
And when you said that, yeah,
Taino Bendz 29:19
And it is a barrier for people and colleague of mine as a researcher in New Zealand did a study on traveling, unplugged. And for a lot of people initially that was really tough, and then the world opens up to them literally. So, another one, quote, your workshop made me realize that the world isn't going to fall apart if I'm not on Facebook or Instagram, very liberating feeling. So again, we were so used to responding to being on these different platforms all the time. We did another quiz or survey of how many people that have actually taken conscious time away from social media and pretty much no one had this was a few years ago. Yeah, so the results people get, I think a lot of people get an eye opener, you get time back, you get control of your time, a lot of people talk about improvement of relationships, one person who went as far as saying that I saved their marriage, which I can't take full credit for.
Lisa Beres 30:16
You're a marriage counselor.
Taino Bendz 30:17
Just think about that comment, you can kind of see okay. And then she told me so both of them used to come home from work, both of them would be on their phones, they would keep checking the emails throughout the evening, they would watch a couple of Netflix episodes of something, but would they be watching it together? No, it wouldn't be watching it and scrolling on your phone. So dual screening, which is also research on so I think that's it's really underestimating. And again, just coming back to using tech, I feel like we're developing a relationship here in this conversation with tech. But if three of us would have gone to a dinner, and we would have this conversation, but all of us would be on our phones at the same time, then what is? So, it's like, it's all around how you use it. So, for the book, I interviewed a brain expert on this topic actually. But we might think that we're modern and advanced and everything we're not, we have 40,000-year-old brains, they have pretty much haven't changed a lot. Which are built to react to sound to colorful things to unexpected things, and release dopamine, which was vital for our survival back then. And we have the same brains now. But I think thanks for admitting that feeling, Lisa and I think you know everyone recognizing it, try once not to follow the feeling to see what it feels like. It might be hard, but see what happens. See how you feel. It's also an achievement and accomplishment, which also...
Lisa Beres 31:02
How you use it. Yeah, that's really true. I have to admit, and I'm sure everybody listening has felt this, you'll get like an anxiety feeling that you have to check your phone if you haven't checked it in a while. And it's kind of gross. And I've noticed it and like it's just a weird thing where you're like you have to It's not like, oh, I want to It's like no, I have to check it. I haven't checked it. And then you'll realize why do I feel that? We've talked about the addictive, you know, the phones were built to be addictive. They were this serotonin rush or whatever it is dopamine rush that you get when you get a push notification, or you get a text or you get a light or whatever.
Taino Bendz 31:42
A happy dance. I'm going to do a little happy dance. You know, but really, another way to release dopamine is to celebrate wins and achievements. So, like, we need to find ways for healthier dopamine release, reading a book exercising
Ron Beres 32:42
a basketball game, right? The ballgame,
Lisa Beres 32:45
right? You're right. When you mentioned the couples, they're together, but they're not really together. I mean, I remember when I felt like cell phones are really getting out of control, Ron, we would go out to dinner. And I'm like, look at that family. There's like five of them. And none of them are looking at each other. And that happens all the time. Now we're so used to seeing that they're going out to have an experience together, and no one's really together. And then if they take pictures, I think it's like a weird anomaly. Like, especially when people are on vacation, they'll take pictures of their vacation to show other people who aren't there, what they're doing. And so, they're really not even in the moment of where they are, right? Well, obviously my external validation that everyone's seeking, but also like not even realizing that they're not even in the moment. And it's all about the moment and showcasing the moment, but not really in the moment.
Taino Bendz 33:27
Exactly. And for me with kind of approaching the philosophical happiness, meaning of life thing a bit. Because for me, it's really a bit about that, like we're missing out on life. It's as simple as that in a way. And then we can make all these research things and hacks and everything. But it's like we're spending so much focus and time on this that we're missing out on life. So, you asked about some hacks, and you're all about healthy home. And I think that digital wellbeing is an important part of pretty much everyone's healthy home nowadays. There's the EMF discussion that you've covered. So, I'm happy that I don't have to go into that.
Lisa Beres 34:07
We've covered this extensively on this podcast. We did an episode just on that.
Taino Bendz 34:13
All right, thinking about how does the healthy home look in terms of how we use digital technology? Are we okay? So, I'm home alone with my kids all week. So, we watched two episodes of those little blue...
Lisa Beres 34:28
Ron Beres 34:29
The Smurfs? Wow, yeah.
Taino Bendz 34:38
For us, I sat down with the kids. I was like, Oh, I've got some emails that I want to answer. I couldn't do that when they're watching it. But no, I sat down with the kids watch two episodes of The Smurfs. We talked about what happened and so like I'm super deliberate. I encourage everyone to think about what does healthy digital tech usage look in your home and if I have to say the book has 101 hacks, which we won't cover today? Exactly. If I choose three, you talked about sleep, and how many people struggle with sleep issues. So, one around sleep phone free bedroom. And there's research again, after a few weeks, I think one study that I refer to after two weeks of phone free bedroom, people had improved their sleep drastically, but also their wellbeing drastically. And also, which I love, which they didn't get into that improve their relationships.
Lisa Beres 35:32
Sure. Yeah, we're big believers in a, we have a completely wireless house. And we have a completely tech free bedroom. And we run and I sleep like babies. And I used to not I actually used to not, but now we both hit the pillow and we're out. And it's really good. We always have a really great sleep. We don't take any medication or anything. And I do believe that is one of the main reasons Yeah,
Taino Bendz 35:56
yeah. And then the first objection to that would be but the alarm clock, and then it's like, okay, either get a $10 alarm clock next to the bedroom, or have the phone right, right outside, which I actually do I have it outside the bedroom. So, foam free bedroom, device free meals for the whole family. So, it's easy as a parent to kind of try to set rules and boundaries for the kids. But you really have to be a role model. Device free meals, I think is super important.
Lisa Beres 36:24
Like harmless food with no technology in it. Spaghetti hold that cell phone. No. And do you find your kids? I don't know how old they are. But is this becoming an issue with little kids gets to have her phone on? Like, is that happening? Are they getting pressure from their friends?
Taino Bendz 36:42
I don't want to give it to them too early. They are, they're four and six. And they're already the six-year-old actually asked if he could get a phone because he wants Pok�mon them on it. Because his six-year-old friends have iPhones. That's a completely different topic of like racing it with the schools with a parenting group. Because most parents feel kind of the same way about it. In my experience. They don't want to but then it's peer pressure. It's I don't know, some sort of security, I need to be able to get a hold of them. And then it's like, do you really know? So, but yeah, free bedroom device free meals? The third one I would say is have a discussion about technology. It's kind of the elephant in the room? Yeah, yeah. Many people are challenged by it. But we don't talk about it, maybe because we don't know about it, or not aware of it, or feel stupid or awkward talking about it or don't understand the actual, oh, what's the harm in lending to kids watch a couple of hours YouTube or that I'm doing emails, or when they need to cook they can even if you don't have kids, if you're living on your own, if you spend a lot of time on tech, or if you're living with a partner, have the conversation with people, if you're living with people, if you're living on your own, take a moment to consider do you actually want to spend this time on tech? Because a whole another world can get hours back a day?
Ron Beres 38:10
Yeah, that's true. Great point.
Lisa Beres 38:12
That's so powerful and so true. You know, because you hear people, I don't have time to work out, I don't have time to read a book anymore. I don't have time to do a craft or a hobby. And I always say I have a role where I don't say I don't have time because we all have the same amount of time, right? So, I just say I have time, but I'm not choosing to do that right now with it. Because more empowering versus giving away your power saying I don't have time.
Taino Bendz 38:35
It is but that's such a good expression. Because imagine if you would say I choose to spend two hours on Instagram, it becomes quite apparent.
Ron Beres 38:45
Today I'll do six. Yeah, there you go. Right. That's great.
Lisa Beres 38:48
Yeah, and that bringing it You're right. It's almost like a dirty little secret. We're spending on tech, bringing this to the surface and like just acknowledging it and not being ashamed of it. Because we all kind of swept into this really fast. It all happened really fast. I feel like I feel like when social media really became popular, like we had Myspace, which kind of came and went then once you had Facebook, Twitter, you had YouTube and then Instagram. It was like, boom, it was like this world opened up for people to connect. But are they connecting like you said, I think dating that's a whole other thing. Dating has gotten really weird. I have a lot of single friends and they really complain about you're like a commodity you're like treated like yeah, now swipe, swipe, swipe not leaving like human connection is gone. A lot of people are getting lazy and they don't even really want to go to coffee because that's too much work at the beginning I mean before they really start dating somebody but yeah, so this is such an important conversation. I love that that we connected with you and that we're bringing this I feel like this could go on for like 10 more hours because just so much to it. And like you did such a good job with your children. And I hope people listening that have kids understand that. I don't even think We have a generation that has kind of grown up with that that's now like, however old, you know, old enough to understand, like, what were the effects of the creativity. I've heard it's really affecting children's brain development and creativity. And obviously, we've got the radiation and all of that. So...
Taino Bendz 40:18
I have a friend and colleague again in New Zealand, that talks about that we're a part of this giant experiment. And unfortunately, what we're experimenting with is our well-being and we'll be pretty much like you're saying a generation of young people growing up with this. And now there's, again, studies coming out, and then there's this whole debate, is there a correlation or causation? And I sometimes feel that we have an over reliance on research and that we need to prove social media or making them depressed, we can prove that it is okay. But it's everything points to it. And we have all this anecdotal evidence, I made quotes, air quotes, we have all this anecdotal evidence or everything pointing to this and like youth depression, skyrocketed, just around the same time as social media skyrocketed. Is that a direct link? No, you can't prove that. But like, I think it's really crucial to really, like we've talked about how to have this conversation and do it together as well, because we don't really know what's going on.
Lisa Beres 41:18
Well, that's a good point. And I have read, actually, a lot of studies on teen depression and suicide, sadly, is really, really high right now. I think teens have it very hard in this technology age. Right? I think that group has it the hardest, just because there's so much peer pressure anyway, in life, you already have that. Then you add, like we talked about everybody's highlight reel, because everyone's showing the best of everything, the house perfectly clean, that's the photo, you're going to take not the messy laundry pile, you're going to take your picture and your best outfit, and then the perfect scenery. So, we're all comparing ourselves to these perfect, perfect highlight reels, and that makes you feel bad. And then someone who's already feeling insecure and awkward through their growth stages. It's just intensified. So, I think it's really important that parents have these conversations, like you mentioned, and really take the time and spend time when you had kids because you wanted them and you want to spend time with them. So why are you serving them in front of devices to get away from that? So just kind of coming back to that it's so important. Well guess this was so incredible to you now, thank you for being with us today. Is there anything else you want to leave listeners with? Or did we cover that pretty good?
Taino Bendz 42:24
No, I felt like we've covered it and really, really enjoyed this conversation with the two of you and like turning this topic from different angles and coming at it and so on, really enjoyed it. And yeah, just leaving people on the positive note, I want to leave people on the positive note. And all the work that I do is about empowering support. I think we have enough of doomsday news. And also, on this, the risks and negative effects are saying technology is really cool. It can be used for really good things it can be used to promote your well-being to promote your relationships. But most probably you listening to this, just like the three of us have different parts of it where it is affecting us negatively. So, there are things to do about it. There's great benefit to be had from just small changes.
Lisa Beres 43:11
Yeah, little changes baby steps, right. It's really true. Friends, you can learn more about Ta�no Bendz that's tainobendz.com. Or find his book, "Tech life balance 101 ways to take control of your digital life and save your sanity" on Amazon. We'll put the link to this in the show notes and to learn more about phone free day. Visit phonefreeday.org. They have a ton of resources including, get ready for this: smartphone addiction test. I did not do well on the test. Ron did a little better than me. Kind of an eye opener I suggest you take that that if you really want to know how attached you are to your phone.
Ron Beres 43:59
As Lisa said, we have all the links in the show notes at Ronandlisa.com/podcast. Stay tuned next week friends and get ready to up level your health. See you then. Bye.
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