Accidentally Intentional

Our Relationship With Our Phones (Screen Time, Social Media, Isolation & More) with Gen-Z Flip Phone User & Reconnect Movement Founder, Sean Killingsworth

September 28, 2023 Zoe Asher Season 2 Episode 20
Accidentally Intentional
Our Relationship With Our Phones (Screen Time, Social Media, Isolation & More) with Gen-Z Flip Phone User & Reconnect Movement Founder, Sean Killingsworth
Show Notes Transcript

Imagine heading into college anxious to have some awesome conversations to make new friends, only to realize...nobody is talking. At all. At least not to your face. It's a digital wasteland. All other eyes glued to a screen. Scrolling endlessly hoping to find a replacement for the human connection you're trying to offer. Conversation and communication as you know it screeches to a halt, and is replaced with social connection on Snapchat. This is the reality for Gen Z today.

In this engaging episode, Sean Killingsworth (founder of the Reconnect Movement) and Zoe dive into the challenges and solutions of our digitally saturated age, how Sean counters today's screen-time epidemic, even discussing his personal switch to a flip phone. Together, they explore the power and nuances of real-world conversations, the frustrations, and the hope for a better future. Join us to learn more about fostering genuine connections in today's digital era.

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Remember, you're worth having and building relational wealth! The connection you’ve been looking for is on the way, and it all starts by being Accidentally Intentional.

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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. What's up guys, welcome back to another accidentally intentional podcast episode. Guys, I am thrilled for this conversation today because we have an enigma, a gem a diamond in the rough. We have Shawn Killingsworth on the show today and wait till you hear his story. I'm obsessed with what he's doing his heartbeat, his passion and how he wants to quite honestly, change the world. So, Sean, welcome to the show. Thank you. So good to see you. Good to meet you. Yes, I'm gonna be here. I know what now we're friends just like that. We were chatting it up a little bit before we started recording. I was like, let's just, let's just let everyone else hear our banter a lot. So, Shawn, I heard about you because you were on 1000 hours outside podcast, and you have a fascinating story. And so I want you to kind of give people a quick little summary of who you are, what you do and what brought you to this moment right now. Great question. So I'm like I said, I'm Sean. Hi everyone. And I am 20 years old. I went to I graduated high school 2021. And I when I went to high school, I was all excited for friends and dates and flyers in the hallway for parties and like Halloween parties, all kickstands, stuff like that, like, you know, late night adventure stuff like these. And when I got to high school, I experienced a lot of Snapchat, a lot of group chats, a lot of Instagram, a lot of texting, and a lot less of in person going on adventures meeting people talking people were more reserved, and more attached to their phones than I ever thought was going to happen. And I felt robbed after watching all these 80s movies going into, like going into high school excited for 16 candles, and pretty pink and all this stuff. And it didn't feel right. And I personally was like, alright, well, I'll solve this problem. And I'll just get rid of my phone and I'll get a flip phone. So when I was 15, I got rid of my phone entirely and got a flip phone. Wow, it was mixed reviews from the people in my high school class. But when I took that final step, that most extreme step because I tried to knock on my phone whenever I was still addicted redownload the apps, everything like that. But when I got a flip phone, I noticed. And it was shocking. But I noticed how everyone else was on their phone, when I didn't have a phone to turn to and I had no social media presence. And I wasn't participating at all. It really showed how constantly people were on their phones at my school like I would I would walk in in the morning, everyone be walking on their phone, everybody's sitting down on their phone, I'd be waiting for class to start, everybody would be on their phone, and I will be looking at the whole day. So that's when I realized that it couldn't just be me get put down my phone, it would have to be a group of people because if just I put down my phone, I just look up to a sea of people not participating in the present moment with me. So that's why I started the reconnect movement because I realized it has to be a movement of parents of high schoolers of college kids all putting down their phones together to enjoy socializing in the moment without the distraction of our phones. It's beautiful. And this entire conversation we're gonna have today Sean is about our relationship with our phones and screen time, and social media and isolation. And I kind of want to dig into and let people feel what you're feeling. When you enter high school. You get your flip phone because you're you're trying to be proactive, right? You're like I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to help myself first. And I'm going to have the discipline and know that I don't need it. And then you walk in and you're in a wasteland as you call it. What are you feeling in that moment? Are you scared? Like, is this becoming a really frightening thing that you're seeing? And you're like, I actually have never felt more alone. Like take us to that moment. man Yeah, no, it was it was dark for a while and it was definitely worse before it got better. I, I went to school because I was like, I solve this, I figured it out, I got a flip phone, you know, like, I took all the steps that I could for my own personal control over myself. So I just was like, can't wait to live my 80s dream at school now. And then it was it was mainly depression, because I realized that it was out of my hands. And I saw because the way that I looked at it in that moment, when I got my flip phone thinking I fixed the problem. And then I went and saw the real problem. I was just sad. And it wasn't because I didn't think I could fix it, which is I'm crazy. So I saw that. And I was like, I can fix this, I will fix this. I'm going to start a movement, it's all going to be different. You'll see Yeah, that was that was my first thought. But still past that because I, I knew that was going to be five, eight years away in my gut. And so really, I just was mourning the fact that my high school was going to be like this, because it was I was my freshman years going into high school. And that was I just, there was nothing I could do about it then and you only get high school once you know, years of high school, it's just gonna be the same. Yeah, so it was definitely worse before it got better. But not to discourage people from doing that or make it seem like it was all bad because eventually, through that I found a friend group. And that friend group was essential for that time in my life because it was so hard to meet new friends. Without Snapchat, it was so hard to meet and make new friends that Snapchat and Instagram that I found this friend group we just hung out all the time. And they totally adopted my flip one thing they didn't care. And one of the cool things that I saw from being a leader and getting a flip phone was in this friend group they all used to text each other and it was all you know a pain. And it's it takes time and no response. I just call everybody I never texted I couldn't text them phones, I just call everybody. And slowly the culture the friend group moved to everyone was constantly calling each other and it was always calling change the culture of our friend group. And it was it was nice. And then eventually senior year, I met a whole group that were all about the reconnect ideology that were barely took videos on their phone, we're always off their phone, we hung out, we got to have parties together and play board games together. And I ended up getting that experience I wanted in the end. But it was that first moment was very sad. Wow. Okay, there's so much to dig into in what you just said. And one thing, I just want to call out that I love that you say on your Instagram page. And we could talk about your use of social media later. But you call yourself the reverse Mark Zuckerberg. And I think that's brilliant. Can you explain why you say that? And how going through this dark time in high school, you actually in that moment, had the awareness and the hope inside of you to say, I want to be part of the solution? Because I think that's rare. Yeah. Well, I think that my grand vision for the future is one reason I like to say the To be honest, it was just a random joke. I thought of one day Oh, that's kind of funny. I'll put that way it makes sense. Yeah, yeah. And I think one of the two things that mainly lined it up are my grand vision for the future, which I believe I believe that reconnect, and social media will be hand in hand one day because a lot of people think my message is put down your phones, get rid of your phone, get a flip phone, delete social media, social media is bad social media says that. But that's not my message. My message is actually that we just need balance with social media. Social media is the way of the future we can, we can spread all these widespread ideas to audiences like that we don't need managers, we don't need big corporations, we ourselves that people can spread our message and our meaning to the world. That's a beautiful, amazing thing. And among many other amazing things, social media, we just aren't bouncing it the same way. That would mean that would help us have healthy human connection in our lives, specifically in our generation. So that's one of the things I think that I will be up with Mark Zuckerberg in a way, you know, hand in hand with the balance of in person, real life connection and online digital connection. So that's one reason. And then another thing is I started the movement, and I called it the reconnect movement. And then eventually, I realized I was like, I need to get rid of the and I need to just make it reconnect movement. And Facebook, started out on Facebook and started Facebook. And and then also my friends just when he was coming up, he was super young. And he was in this tech space, wearing like, you know, pajama pants and sandals and T shirts to these giant billion dollar Silicon Valley meetings and everyone's like, Who is it? But this whole trend, and my friends just like make fun of my style sometimes for being lackadaisical or look like a homeless person or like when I dress so it was kind of like a combination of that it just clicked in my head. I thought it's fun. Yeah, I love that. So, um, let's, let's unpack what reconnect movement does in colleges right now. So people have a framework for that. Sure, yeah, of course. So what we are currently doing is starting clubs on college campuses, through an inspired student that wants to have a phone free community on their campus. And what that looks like is we have one club at Rollins right now we have one club at UCF University of Central Florida. And we are opening up to more clubs this spring at UF and FSU. So Florida State and University of Florida. And those are groups that get together every other week. We have events that are they're not super grandiose, like we're gonna go to Disney, or we're gonna do this, it is all centered around essentially hanging out together doing a fun activity, like painting, or, you know, we have one event that's literally called just talking. And everybody puts their phones away, and we just hang out. And we experience life together without the distraction of our phones. And that, to be honest, is enough with with with inactivity. So the goal is to would basically give students an opportunity to build friendships, spend time off their phones in person together, because right now social media has a bit of a monopoly on social connection in our generation. Because if, if, like I said, if I delete Snapchat, I have a really hard time making friends. Yeah, and a lot of people that have joined the specifically the reconnect Rollins group, and ECF, actually both have said fresh as their freshman year coming into college, their senior year, they were deleting their Instagram, their Snapchat, whatever. And then they came into college, and they're trying to make friends and they had to redownload it. And even though they don't like it, they had to redownload it to make friends. So we want to be that opportunity for students if they don't want to have to make friends through social media, because social media can have negative effect on your mental health, on your overall feeling about yourself, you know, to have that in person option. Man, you're speaking my language. So I want to tell you about my college experience, because this was 10 years ago. So I basically had a best friend breakup, which for girls, it's like very bad, like people choose sides. It's like a whole thing. And so I had one best friend lost that best friend and was like, I have no friends. So mind you, this was 10 years ago, social media is on the come up. We're making Facebook friends we're making, you know, Instagram is becoming a thing at this point. And I'm looking at this scrolling through and being like, I don't know, any of these people. Like I just know their names, I can say hide them if I'm past them. But what I ended up doing was I made a New Year's resolution for myself to eat a meal with someone different every single day on the college campus, and get to know their name and their story. And it ended up being such a profound experience that I continued it my final two and a half years of college and got over 250 different meal dates on the college campus. And it was a brutal experience at first, because I was like, I'm so awkward. It was it was to the point that I actually wrote out no cards and put them in my pocket for potential questions, if there was awkward silence. And I remember that, that experience changed me changed everything about how I interact with people, because I learned so many things. And then it's one we are all craving for human connection, even even to the point that we will take fake versions of it on social media. Now, to the point of AI, people are literally taking fake connection with a robot over the potential of talking to another human being. And it's just fascinating because you talked about how there was a lot of depression that like even you went through experiencing and going to a flip phone and being like, I'm alone on an island. But yet at the same time, everyone is feeling alone on an island, putting their head in phone trying to find the connection while isolating themselves from the connection that's literally right in front of them. So let's talk about that. Tell me how you How this interaction happens when you go on college campuses. And you're like, hey, we're the phone free club. Welcome. People are probably like, Oh, why would I want to do that? I have all my friends right here. Like, what are the reactions from people? Yeah, so definitely mixed reviews. Some people are like, what's your crazy, I would never do that. You're weird. That's that that was. And that was when I got in high school. I got a ton of hate when I first started in high school. Like, to be fair, college students are a little better about like judging stuff. But yeah, some people though, are like, Finally, like, Finally, someone's doing this. Like they feel it because they see what you are talking about, which is, everyone's alone on an island denying us this connection. This could be all around us. So some people see it. So when they hear phone free club, they're like, count me in there in immediately, you know. So we've had, and we've had a lot more of that the second semester at Rollins. So the first semester is more, everybody's like, is that real? Like, it's so crazy that they are not sure that it's actually legit. And they have no idea what to because it's so abnormal, especially in this generation. And so it's a radical idea. But the second semester, we've had a lot more freshmen show up where they're like, oh, my gosh, yes, finally, this is happening. So it's total opposite ends of the spectrum. And there's a lot of people who also who join, want to be a part of the club, but their social anxiety or their fear of being around people, and knowing they'll be forced to interact without any escape of their phone, they're too afraid to really come to an event. And that's something that we tried to address this semester, like, Hey, guys, we're meant to be a, you know, of soft pillow for your social anxiety. We're meant to just be here, no judgement. Yeah, you know, we need to be yourself. And really, you're under way more constant scrutiny when you're online than you are in person. So mixed reviews. But definitely, everyone talks about it like that by now everyone at Rollins has heard about the phone free club, you know, and it's a small school is like 3000. But so yeah, I think that's incredible. Because one of my questions was going to be how the heck do you promote this in a culture where everything needs to be recorded, or it didn't happen? And we need to post reels as a recap for the event. So people can like it, share it, and then it goes into the abyss. You have obviously done no social media marketing, because that would be antithetical. So how has that worked for you? Well, I actually, well, I haven't done intense social media marketing, but I do have grams for all my clubs. Got it. Let me go into that, because, well, that's a row. Yeah, no social media. It goes back to what I was saying earlier, earlier, social media is the way of the future, it's going nowhere, it is a technological advancement. That is a is ultimately even though it's hurting us right now, it will be a net positive. And so I believe that using social media in a balanced way, especially for something like this. So for example, here's how I use social media to market and then I'll go into other ways that I market as well. But the way I market the social media is just I never like post anything, except a picture, a group picture of the group that went to the event. And then I put the date, what we did, and then the link to the like, Whatsapp group chat for the group. And then if we if we get our hands on a digital camera, then we can take pictures throughout the event, but we only take a few you know, and then we posted some some pictures. But I play off of the fact that we can't, we don't post anything. We don't take videos, we don't do anything like that. Because it I think it adds to a positive FOMO effect, where people are like, oh, man, like, I wonder what happens at these events. It's a mystery, like, there's no way to know unless I go in person. So then it is using social media as a way to drive people to in person connection. So I kind of see it, as you've ever seen The Matrix. Yes. So you know how you have to go into the matrix to pull people out? Wow. That's what I'm doing, essentially, because that's where everybody is. Everybody's on social media. So yeah, Shawn, I think you're a master marketer already. You definitely you definitely are tapping into something with that. Um, I want to, I want to get real raw here for a second. depression rates, anxiety rates, and suicide rates for teenagers, and young 20s are through the roof. Everyone's pointing to and pointing the finger at social media is doing that. But, you know, you talk often when you're in these conversations about how it's not one or the other. But there's actually a third way. Can you talk about steps that someone can take to have have a more balanced relationship with screen time and all of that? Yes, so the key thing that I believe that the thing that I focus on, I think it's a mixture of all things that you just said of social media, you know, screentime, all these things, content, addiction, social media, addiction, all this stuff that are contributing to those mental health effects. And the thing that I mainly focus on is the environment, that we live in the social environment that is now normal, yeah, have more online interaction than in person interaction. And humans, like the bio biology of humans are not designed for that in the slightest. And social media as so for example, social connection, and human connection is a human need, like eating, you know, like, we need to drink water, we need to eat food, and we need to have social connection. We all learned that during COVID. And we really felt that pressure during COVID, not only being able to go on zoom with our loved ones, you know, that's insane. So, that being said, it is crucial for our mental health to get that human connection. And right now, we as an entire society, especially as an entire generation, like you're saying, this age group is suffering so deeply with our mental health, is we as an entire generation, have been tricked into thinking that, you know, the interaction we get on this black box in our room alone, is equivalent to the same thing as if we went and got a dinner date with one of our good friends. Yeah, we think that that's the same or that, that, that itches that need that human deep seated human need evolutionary desire. And so that that being normal, it's basically like we're getting a constant drip of junk food, instead of eating three nice meals a day. So, for example, like, if someone eats McDonald's five times a day, for three or four years, let's say in their developmental years, even it's even worse for your health and your developmental years. Let's say you eat McDonald's straight for four years, you know, or, or half your meals or McDonald's, your health is going to suffer. And the thing is, like we people, there's people out there who think McDonald's is food. It's not but certain people know certain people don't but with this social media is it's it's basically you're putting food in your mouth. Yeah. In the form of social or whatever. Yeah, but it's completely void of all nutrients cheap. Yeah, no, you're not satiating that real human need for hunger or like nutrients, you know, because the reason you're hungry, is to put nutrients in your body and your muscles and your organs to live. And the you know, so but when you use this weird, capitalistic version of food, or this weird, capitalistic version of socializing, that's really just there to addict. You keep your presence on there to make money off of your eyes. Yeah, like, when you are constantly consumed, that it's not good for your health and your, your state, you're, like, distracting yourself from the real need, but not truly getting the nutrients you need. So I think that that is a real big part of why our social or mental health is suffering so much. Because we think that we're so connected, and we look on paper, and we're like, we're supposed to be connected. But I feel so lonely. It's not even funny. Yeah, I feel like I know, no one, no one knows me. I never, you know, really with anybody. And so that I think is what is torturing our mental our isolation and our connectedness and our depression. And then the constant comparison. You know, it's all kind of in this soup. But I think that's a big thing is we don't know that it's happening to us, or why it's happening to us, because we think we're eating but we're not getting fall, you know, so I think that's one of the main reasons but sorry, to your question was about fixing that. So how can you regulate this thing that we've been addicted to by all these corporations, right? Like, we didn't ask for this content, social media addiction just given to us, right? So one of the things that, first of all, not saying everybody has to do this, but getting a flip phone completely changed my perspective on a smartphone. So not saying that you have to get a flip phone. Well, if there's any period in your day that you can try to not bring your phone to say the gym or not bring your phone to the you know, going to walk in the morning with your phone, something like that. That helps just get your body your nervous system, your brain that uses dopamine drip, like that can help a lot for the first hour of your day. Don't go on your phone while you're doing your morning routine. That's a huge thing. You know, don't don't wake up and grab your phone immediately. That's like it immediately setting your entire day up for needing that dopamine. Yes. And then I would say, as you're weaning yourself off of it, because you have to wean yourself, you can't go cold turkey, if you can, but it's, it doesn't work as well. Yeah, I would say first step, turn off notifications. So that shifts from a buzz in your pocket, putting you on your phone, because you can't help but you know, pick it up, after you get the buzz to then you choose when you want to engage in social media, at least, you know, you never get notified about it, you go on it when you want to go on it. So that's a big thing that you can do as a as a first step. And then another thing after that is delete scrolling apps. So unless x is your career, something like that, like Twitter, tick tock, like, those are things you open up YouTube, you know, you open up and you, you scroll on it, just to get that entertainment, try deleting it for a little while, see how that goes for you. Because that's just mindless time you're wasting, you know, yeah. And then after that, you can move into things like trying to knock on your phone for a whole day, you run into a lot of problems with that, because you need your phone for a venue or you need your phone for two factor authentication or you need it. But just experiment for yourself in that way. But those, those easy steps are good way to start. Wow, you brought up things that I didn't even think of the two factor authentication. And you know, we've become so accustomed to being able to be available to anyone at a moment's notice that I even for, for instance, I knew you were coming on. And so this week, I've been practicing pulling myself further away from my phone, I put my phone and my charger in a separate room now and went to bed. And I literally went to bed. And I was like But what if someone calls in there's an emergency in the middle of night. That was my thought. No one's ever called for an emergency in the middle of the night before. But I'm like now that it's removed. I'm creating all these like anxious spin up scenarios of like, what can happen? I'm like, Dang, this thing has control over me, not the opposite. And so it was really convicting. And definitely something I need to continue working on. Do you still have a flip phone? So I do I don't I have a, I have an iPhone that I use on a day to day basis, okay, for a few reasons. Because it's not super now that I'm moving into adulthood, it's not super sustainable to have a flip phone, especially where I'm at, and just operating society. So I because everybody has a phone, and very few people are going to get a flip phone. And my message is not to eliminate them. But to learn how to live in, you know, in congruence with our phones with me, yes, yes. So because that's my message, I choose to practice having a smartphone, and how to navigate it. So for example, I am super addicted to YouTube. And I am a little addicted Instagram, but mostly YouTube is my main tech addiction. And so I use that as an experiment tool to not completely remove myself from everything society is experiencing. And also, I've grown up with it. YouTube is my talent. YouTube is my TV. YouTube is my movies, YouTube is my you know, that's all growing up. That's my pop culture, basically. So. So I want to learn and I've been working on this for a long time, just kind of like, I did the whole flip phone thing. For me, that's the easy way out, I want to learn how to work out my muscles of being in control of my phone. Wow. And that's what I'm trying to do, and then eventually teach that to other people. However, I do have a flip phone here that I got last week to practice different kinds of detoxes. So I'm going to eventually once I get my curriculum together my plan my guide together, I'm going to figure out a plan for going on a 24 hour detox from my phone entirely and see what problems and to see what happens. And I'm going to go on a three day detox and a seven day detox. Just see what happens. So that's my plan for that. So I tend to have a flip phone, but I don't use it every day. Okay. No, I love that. But clearly, you're trying to establish that it's not one crutch versus the other crutch. It's being able to walk into vt use example, with both. So yeah, I think I think that's brilliant. I want to go to this phenomenon that has happened, especially for your generation, and I definitely have fallen prey to it as well. Everything needs to be recorded. Everything needs to be pictures taken. You if there's no picture, there's no proof that it happened. Why do we have this desire to prove anything? What is this obsession with pushing content of ourselves out into the ether? So it's I think it's a conceptual battle. So For example, you get in your head, that you get this idea that oh, this would be so this ice cream would be so good. Like, it would be so delicious. Like, you know, if I, if I got this cookies and cream, it would be so pictured in your head, you picture yourself eating it, then you eat it. And it's like, it's good. But then your stomach hurts afterwards. Yeah, that like, we love that idea of eating, it's like, almost like that's where all the dopamine comes from, it doesn't even come from eating it. That's actually scientific fact, you get more dopamine from thinking about eating the sugar before you actually eat it than you do when you're actually eating it. So crazy. I think there's a little bit of that where we get in our heads, oh, this awesome thing is happening right in front of me. Like, how awesome would it be if I filmed it, and then posted it, and everybody else could see it. And we just think like, and then I'll remember it forever. And if I ever want to go back to it, I'll remember it. And it'll be. And I'll have this video forever. And it's like this idea that like, I'll have it forever, everyone else will get to see it. And they'll experience how awesome this is. But really what happens is you end up taking yourself out of the moment, so you don't enjoy it because you're filming it. And then when you actually film it, it doesn't look nearly as fun as it actually is to you. And also like you just kind of you never go back and really look at the video, like sometimes like once in a blue moon, you really actually go back through your camera roll. And look at his random video, you took this one night on the beach, you know, like maybe once a year, I'll go through a crazy stroll on my camera and like look at my whole life. But like, most time, we don't do any of those things. And then we just end up taking ourselves out of the moment. And then it's also an addiction to having people approve of our lives. So that's a thing that we've gotten used to is, oh, look at how much fun I'm having everybody on my social media, look how cool my life is. Then that person that watches that then finds themselves in another moment. They're like, well, they were having such a fun time. Let me show them how much fun I'm having. And so it's this chain reaction waterfall effect that we've had in our generation where now it's just totally normal that everyone has to put their lives on social media, or they're not participating in life. Because every the way everybody's participating in life, is by showing everybody else through social media. So if you're not, what are you doing? What, but I've met a lot of people recently, especially because all the people I surround myself with are the people in my clubs and people interested in my clubs and all that. So I have a lot of these conversations. But I met this guy who was like, you know, honestly, I just I used to do the whole take pictures because I want to remember things. But recently, I've just not taken pictures enjoyed it in the moment. And it's way better. Because certain things like Okay, you go to Disney take some pictures, all right, take some pics with them that you know, do that. But if you if you're taking it for social media, and you're not taking it for yourself for the memory, for example, I went to Europe this past summer. I took a ton of pictures the whole time. But I still haven't posted any of those social media, when normally like everybody that goes to Europe and like I can't wait to post this on Instagram, look how cool I look, I'm I'm in Italy or whatever. But I'm just like, I'm taking these for myself. And that was the intention. It wasn't to take the media. So there, there is a shift in just living your life versus playing into the whole social media addiction because you find yourself scrolling through everybody's Snapchat story. And they're all having fun doing these cool things. You're like, what am I doing? You know, and then ask people to post on their stories. But yeah, I mean, everything that you're saying is so profound. And you know, so I was just in Disney World last week, and the Happily Ever After Show, which is an iconic firework show in Magic Kingdom. This struck a chord with me, and maybe it's because I was further back from the castle for the time this show. Whenever the show started, the amount of grown adults I'm talking 40s 50s blocking my view recording the 18 Minute firework show in video. Oh, I mean, there were way less people without a phone up. Then there were otherwise. And I remember I actually was like, I had so many motions. I was angry. I was also so grieved because I was like you you're missing it. And I knew from personal experience because when I went to a Justin Bieber concert like in 2015 I took pictures the whole time. I don't remember a dang thing from my concert and I was like let that be my lesson never doing that again. But it's just this crazy concept of really are missing the moment and I have to give a shout out to my husband who when he he listens to everything you just said he will be shouting your praises Shawn because he creates did a family roll for us, which is really such a good idea of anytime we go on a trip, let's not post about it until we return. Because if we're posting about it, while it's happening, we're literally pulling ourselves out of the moment for somebody else to see, to give us what a dopamine hit when the dopamine is all around us already. Like, it's so crazy. And it's I just want better for all of us. I think that's, that's we both just want everything to be better for all of us. 100%. And there was this interesting phenomenon that I witnessed the other day. And I want to get your thoughts on this because I have my own approach. But I lead the host team at my church. And essentially what that means is we try and find who we believe our new guests that enter the church and try and have a conversation, the same way that someone who walks into your home, you want to know, they're walking in your home so that they don't feel alone, and they feel welcome, you know. So I saw someone leaning against a wall, texting, like this, and just like had their head down. You could tell super nervous, they don't really want to talk to anyone. So what did I do? I went up and talk to them. And my goal is pull them away from their phone, not not deliberately saying like, Get off your phone, you know. But I went up and I said, Hey, I like your sweater, boom. Right, right. And she was like, Oh, thank you. I was like, my name is Oh, what's your name? And then we started having a conversation from there. I know that everybody actually believes that they're awkward. When it comes to interacting with strangers for the first time. What would your advice or your approach B, if you're trying to have a conversation with someone new, you're not with your phone, therefore, you're trying to experience the world, and someone is currently on their phone, but you want to try to have a conversation with them? What would you do? So there's a few things, there's a few things you can do. And I like that approach for sure is just ignoring the fact that they're on their phone at all, and then just go in and be like, Hi, like, what's it like, I love your compliment is a great strategy. I would say another thing, because I think I run into a lot is like, what? After you do that? And maybe it's different for that interaction with you. But sometimes I'll try to do that. And then someone be like, oh, yeah, they'll answer they'll say thanks. And then we'll just go directly back to them. Like, it's really tough to the handshake is a great strategy, because it forces them to take their hands off. But I would say I like inviting people into something fun. So whether it's a fun discussion about something stupid, so if you're like, you know, I've been thinking recently, like, I think that, you know, I think that pepperoni pizza is like, way better than hamburgers or something stupid like that. That's kind of a bad example. But like, you know, like, invite them into a dumb debate. Yeah, or something like that. Like, if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Like? Ask them a stupid question, you know, and then they can eat either they have to answer you know, it's not like they, so then they have to kind of like set their phone out of the thing. They're like, Hmm, what phone? What? What, uh, you know, what food would I eat for the rest of my life? And then from there, you can kind of like, latch on and like, joke with them. And then eventually, hopefully, they'll they'll choose you over their phone, but sometimes they still go back. But you so something like, like, if you could have one superpower, what would it be? You know, or something like that? Or what's your favorite? What's your favorite? Blank? You know, what's fair? That's a more flimsy one been asking like a stupid question that has a lot of fun answers, you know, to it that you guys could then talk about I feel like it's good cuz then you have a topic rather than just like, hey, let's have a conversation. About what? Hi, you know, but ya know. You have that topic right away. Yeah, absolutely. And one thing that Shawn saying here and making clear is that you should not ask a yes or no question because obviously that's gonna fall flat. And finding ways to get people to have creative answers about something is absolutely key and so brilliant and beautifully said, my favorite question to actually ask people is what's your biggest passion? Shawn? What is your biggest passion? My biggest passion is creating a world where we it is normal for people to be aware, when they're out of the moment. And be aware when they're in the moment and go between both in a balanced fashion. For example, like if you were in if you're a Disney, and everyone's watching the firework show, and there is one firework show or one period of the firework show where you take a video and then the rest of the firework show, Disney announces it. Now we're all going to be present, or something like yes or no, the awareness of being present and not being present is normal. And that it is a commonplace thing that we all understand because we have this new things called phones that have this effect on us where it takes us out of the moment. And that we're aware that it is important to be in the moment. And it's important to use these devices for the utility and the tool that it is, while balancing being in real life and in the digital world. Yeah, absolutely. You have said on other podcasts, you've talked about how little you are on social media day. And I say this because I just read, there's a study that the average teenage girl they were specifically doing spends seven hours a day on social media. To contrast that, how much time do you spend on social media a day or a week, Shawn? Let me expose myself. I'm gonna pull out my entire look at this honestly, here. I'll tell you what, I am not a saint about this really, like there was a week where I fell down hard. And I was just scrolling so much like YouTube, like I said, is my thing. I think I spent, like 10 hours in one day, like on my phone. And I'm being honest about that, because that's how it is. Thank you. I don't want to myself as some like I'm never on my phone. So let me go to my let me go to my screen time. Bear with me. Actually, don't. I just started checking. Okay, here we go. My daily average is four and a half hours. Okay. And I Hi, this week was let's see where? Oh, yeah, my daily average is four and a half hours. So there you go, guys, I'm exposed. But there's a distinction here. Because if you're having YouTube on, you can listen to YouTube the same way you listen to a podcast. So are you spending four and a half hours scrolling? Like, what what's happening here? How have you learned to have strike a healthy dichotomy with it? Well, I think that one of the things that I've noticed, I do listen to like podcasts on YouTube, while I'm driving, or sometimes I'm at the gym sounds like that's, that could be part of it. But I, the thing that I've discovered for myself is the level of dopamine releasing activity that I go that I that I do on my phone. So for example, if we have the lowest level of dopamine releasing activity, being listening to low five music, whilst or something like that, like that's pretty low level dopamine releasing, still stimulating your brain in a certain way. And then if we look at the highest being scrolling on reels, scrolling on reels is like, so much dopamine to the face. It's like, so addicting and like, you know, pleasure centers, all that. So if I wake up in the morning, and I start scrolling on reels, likely for the rest of that day, I will scroll through reels in my downtime, and then that'll weigh at my time eat away at my day. And so if I slowly kind of like, if I, if I hold off on that status type of activity, for the beginning of the day, normally throughout the rest of the day, it'll be much easier for me to stay away from my phone. So that's another thing that I have learned actually, yet, yesterday and the day before. I because I'm in this fight, too, you know, yeah. Was it when I start off my day? I'm like, oh, you know what, I'll just watch some videos while I'm eating breakfast, you know, that sets me off for the whole day. So if you if you do a really document releasing thing, the first thing you in your day, it'll it'll be harder to pull yourself away. Because yeah, I mean, it's like, if you eat a five star, five course meal for breakfast, and then you have McDonald's for lunch, it's like your, your poultry centers just can't like they don't respond the same way. Yeah. And, and they probably they probably could stop. But by that point, you don't believe you can stop and, and everything that Shawn's saying is actually rooted in science, like Dr. Andrew Huberman talks about this and how it impacts your sleep. The blue light that comes off your eyes in the morning, literally ruins your circadian rhythm for the following night. And he actually recommend don't touch your phone for the first 90 minutes after you wake up. And at that 90 minute mark, that's when you can start drinking coffee if you're a coffee drinker, because that's when the caffeine actually works best is once you've been up after getting direct sunlight in your eyes first thing in the morning. So yeah, I think that's extremely valuable insight there, Shawn. And I want to make a distinction. Shawn did not say he spends four and a half hours on social media a day. He said four and a half hours screen time. So I think that's an important distinction so that people aren't like, oh, so he's on for five hours a day? No, he's calling people that impacts screen time which I actually want to talk about. Next. You started this thing where your entire friend group only calls now. When people Call me. I think it's an emergency. I think something's wrong. I don't know how I got this way, because I also being a millennial, I've experienced half of my life where phone calls were normal. So how have you made this a thing in your friend group? And offset that fear for people that is this? Is something wrong visit an emergency. Yeah, she had to do it. You have to do it. And you can speak to it for sure. If you if you tell someone like, but sometimes, like, if you just do it, and then people see that it's normal. A lot of times, especially with cool friends, they'll just be like, oh, cool, nice. When Sean calls me, I know that he's just calling me because that's what he does, you know, talk and then feel inspired to call someone else and call their friend like, Oh, this is normal. So one of the things I used to do when I'm in this huge group chat with all my friends, so when we would be trying to play ultimate frisbee together or something like that, I would go through every single person in the group chat, and I would just call everyone one or two times, like a common Ultimate Frisbee. Hey, coming on to frisbee like everyone, I just give everyone a call. And so once once I started doing that people, like first time, fewer people answered. Second time, more people answered, and it just kind of people just get it. And then so another thing that I do, and all my club meetings is, at the end of each meeting, especially the first meeting, it's important thing to do. I encourage people so hand everybody their phones back and give them the bag, like grab their phones. And I say all right, guys, last step of the meeting, anyone that you met today that you really connected with, that you enjoyed, this is how we're gonna stay connected. Because remember, this duration are only experience of staying connected to Snapchat, social media, all this stuff. So to combat that, the challenge that I say, Alright guys, anyone you connected with you want to stay connected with get their phone number, now's your chance. And you're only allowed to call them out of the blue, no texting notes that that nothing, you're only allowed to give them a call out of the blue. And they'll know that it's from you trying to connect because you met them or reconnect. And this is why you're doing it. So it's not like it's an emergency, because this person calling you you know, they're just calling to talk to you. And it's it's really important to normalize that because texting is not a good form of communication for connection. It's a great form of communication for yes, no, I'm on my way. 30 minutes. Yeah, cool. But as far as like having a depth conversation, phone call is all the way. And personally, I like to phone call for everything just because it's easier. Within voice inflection and tone of voice and conversation, you get more connection across through the phone than you do through texting. So there's less room for like assumptions and stuff like that. But those are some ways that I combat it, just call your friends call them. And they did a breakdown on this. And when it comes to communication 7% Is the words that you say 30% Is your tone. And the remainder is your body language. So a phone call beats texting beats messaging any Dang day of the week, but you know what makes that even more human connection in person. And so, Shawn, I love what you're doing. Because even that right there, you have such a heart to see people and make them feel seen. And when we're in a society where everyone wants to feel seen, and you're actually doing it, and it breaks kind of that, that rhythm of people are lit in a thinking that feeling seen means likes or feeling seen means being recognized. Know, feeling and being seen is someone wanting to get to know your heart. Everything about you the best parts, the worst parts, the honest parts, you know, like that is true, beautiful human connection. And so I just love that so much. And I hope this has been an eye opening conversation for people to listen to because you want more of you in this world. We all want more shots in this world who are actually bringing us back to the what do you call it? Not the opposite of the Wasteland. What do you call that? forward into balance? And the savanna is what we call a savanna? Yes. And we are in the savanna in a digital wasteland. Yes, that see that's so poetic right there. And so I would love for you to kind of close by giving an encouragement and just so anything that's on your heart to help the rest of us who may not be in your generation, who have been very enlightened by the struggles that you're going through of how we can better see II, all of you. Well, I would say, um, there might be some parents listening. And I would say to parents that the biggest difference, and it's really hard to, to get because a lot of this content of phones, put down your phone, you know, a lot of this content goes into, well just get off your dang phone young and you know you don't have Yeah. I think that the shift that is really important as for understanding is that what you guys grew up in, like when you were going on your dinner, it's 10 years ago, even though even though Facebook was coming into play, it was a different world than it is now. And when you guys grew up, when you guys grew up in you went to high school and you the experience you have that is just in your head, you know, you were you were there you did it. That was what the world was. That is that it's like unrecognizable to what that was now like present day. Let me drop this on y'all. Kids do not go on in person dates. Dates do not are not how you get to know someone. Getting to know a friend is oftentimes through Snapchat, which is an app on your phone, where you text, essentially, with pictures like I am being serious, and it is it's atrocious. It's horrible for connecting, it's not real. And so when you're a kid it let's say you have a kid in high school, your kid is not experiencing. So when you when you're a parent, and I'm just I'm not a parent, but I'm assuming when you're looking at your kid, oh, my kids in high school, you know, I know kind of what they're going through right now. Because you're calling back to when you were in high school, it's really important to make the distinction that when you're calling back to what you were experiencing in high school, that that ecosystem for connection and making friends and that environment that you lived in for everything for hanging out with your friends for connection, that environment no longer exists. That all those memories you have of staying up late with your friends and talking and going on doing crazy stuff around your town, or what your neighborhood or whatever, none of that happens anymore. And I'm seeing serious, nothing like that happens. It is a wasteland of being stuck on your phone. When you go to class. No one's talking, everyone is on their phone waiting for the teacher to start talking. The teacher starts talking, everyone's silent. No one's passing notes, talking, making jokes, everyone's silent, leave the classroom, everyone walks out of the classroom on their phone. So I think for an older generation to understand the true level of systemic isolation that we're experiencing. And it's not that these kids just want these phones so bad, they won't get off them, you know, and they're this and that it's like, no, these massive corporations addicted an entire generation to a drug that is using our, you know, biological brain. And as a result of it, we're all completely isolated. And I have been fighting to get us systemically out of it. And that is what I'm doing. And that the reason I'm here is to to alter that and to replant the savanna. So we are living in a wasteland. You grew up in a savanna Lucky you. But it is completely different. And it I think your kid would really appreciate if you maybe talk ask them questions about it. And just ask for their perspective and what they experience and just know that you don't get it in a way without taking it the wrong way, you know, because you can't Yeah. Well, that actually brought me to tears Shawn and I'm not a parent myself. So I know we're new friends, but I just want to say that I'm really proud of you. Which is because you are making this world a better place and I can't wait to keep cheering you on and I know that there's a lot of us now that can't wait to keep cheering you on. So where can people connect with you and follow along on this reconnect journey? Absolutely amazing. So my main social media presence online presence is the reconnect to movement on Instagram. Some haven't changed the reconnect movie yet not fully Mark Zuckerberg is still in my formative times, but it is V reconnect movement on Instagram and I also have a podcast you can find on Spotify. That one is called reconnect podcast. And yeah, that is those are and also have a website as well where you can find information. Examples like my my pataka shot talks similar to like kind of a TED talk is on there as well. That is the reconnects movement.com So you can go there and as our message and as other information. And as we release merchandise that'll be on there as well. And yeah, those are my three spots. No, I love That and first off, you guys have to listen to his talk. It literally is a TED level talk. And I told him before we started recording I said in the next two years, my friend, this is actually gonna be a TED Talk. It's, it's awesome. We're gonna have all the links below and I'm actually coming on his podcast soon, too. We're flipping it around. He's putting me in the hot seat. So I will Oh, yeah. So but the link to that in there too. Shawn, thank you so much for all that you're doing. The hope that you infuse the world with and how you are actively working to build a community and a world. That is so much better. We're grateful for you my friend. So thanks