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Episode 157: Entrepreneurs and Tech Addiction with Amy Morin

In episode 157, we talk with Amy Morin, psychotherapist, about the effects of tech addiction and advice to combat it.

We cover how to gauge where you stand with it, how to use technology to your advantage with useful apps and what small habits you can begin to build to increase your mental strength.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Amy Morin, LCSW
Website | Instagram | Facebook

Bio
Amy Morin is the editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, international bestselling author of books on mental strength, and the host of the Mentally Strong People podcast. Her TEDx talk, The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong, is one of the most viewed talks of all time with over 15 million views.

Takeaways

  • Being on our phones can interfere with our real life relationships.
  • Technology becomes a problem when you aren’t enjoying what’s in front of you.
  • We have become so ingrained to check our phones and apps repetitively without even realizing we’re doing it. There are apps that will tell you how much time you’ve been on an app and we often don’t believe it.
  • Make your phone a little inaccessible. Leave it in the kitchen or in your purse.
  • When you become more aware of your habits and other people’s habits, you can then make a more conscious choice.
  • Don’t try to make big changes all at once. Find small baby steps you can implement in your life and affect change. Then you’ll be encouraged by that and want to continue that habit you developed and increase to another one.
  • Turn off alerts on your phone. Remove apps if that’s helpful. Schedule time you will check something vs just allowing it to be any moment of the day.
  • There’s research behind the fact that sleeping with your phone in a different room can make you a lot happier. People said they felt less anxious just by keeping the phone in the kitchen rather than next to their bed.
  • Keep looking for things, notice how it affects your mood, whether it enhances your life. Try more experiments to figure out how we can develop a healthy relationship with technology. What works for you might not work with somebody else, but you can figure out what works well for your life.
  • There’s a lot of options that you can use technology for to actually build mental strength. Set limits, to make sure that you have a healthy relationship with technology.
  • Use your phone to make you stronger. Find apps that support this training like Calm and Headspace and something for physical movement. Follow people that inspire you. Also develop real life connections.
  • Online therapy is a positive way to work on mental strength.

Resources Mentioned

The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong

On A Roll With Improving Your Mindset?

In episode 080, Natasha Bull talks to us about the power of good habits to create to become a stronger and more successful blogger.

Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. Hey, I’m looking for new ways to make money as a blogger. If so, we have got your back. We have launched an ebook called Conversations On Monetization. Inside this resource, we take your favorite podcast episodes about monetization, and we put them all in one easy accessible package. We threw a few exclusive interviews in as well. Friends, there are so many ways to monetize your food blog. Inside this ebook, we have interviews with success stories like Todd Bullock, Alyssa Brantley Kelly McNellis, Jena Carlin, and more. All of these examples have become successful through completely different monetization strategies. Whether you are a brand new blogger looking for your very first revenue stream, or you are a seasoned pro wanting to diversify, this ebook is for you. Go to eatblogtalk.com to grab your copy. And we can’t wait to hear your success story with monetization.

What’s up food bloggers? Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. This podcast is for you food bloggers, wanting value, information and clarity that will help you find greater success in your business. Today I will be having a chat with Amy Morin from amymorinlcsw.com. And we will talk about technology addiction. Amy is the editor-in-chief of Very Well Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, international best-selling author of books on mental strength and the host of the Mentally Strong People podcast. Her TEDx talk, The Secret Of Becoming Mentally Strong is one of the few talks of all time with over 15 million views. Amy, I am ridiculously excited to talk to you today about tech addiction, but first we want to hear your fun fact.

Amy Morin:

I guess my fun fact would be I live on a sailboat in the Florida keys.

Megan:

What, are you kidding?

Amy:

Yeah, I was living in Maine and it was kind of dark and cold. And at the time I was a therapist and I had a day job. And then, once I became an author, I thought I don’t have to live here. I can live wherever I want. My husband’s dream was to always live on a sailboat since he was a little kid. And so I said, let’s give it a shot. So we moved to the Florida Keys, sort of on a whim, and bought a boat. I hadn’t even seen the boat before we moved on it, but he thought, let’s see if we can last six months. But I think this is our fifth year now. I love it.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. That’s a dream for me. I just love the idea of not living the traditional conventional life in a house. So I think you’re tapping into a lot of people’s dreams with that. I think that is so cool.

Amy:

Thank you. If I’ve learned anything it’s that I really don’t need much to be happy. I moved with a laptop and some clothes and I don’t really need much in life and I’m happier than ever.

Megan:

Is there anything you miss about living on land?

Amy:

You know, there’s moments like having a bigger kitchen, obviously on a sailboat. My kitchen is not very big. So I still have a house in Maine that I am able to visit. So when I go there, I’m like this is amazing to have more space. Sometimes, it would be nice. But for the most part there’s not much that I miss about it.

Megan:

Oh, that is cool. We have an RV and we travel a lot in the summer in our RV and the same. I love being in a small space and I realize all the time that I really don’t need much to be happy. I love having my family nearby, but same as you, when I get back to our house, I feel like this kitchen is amazing. Even the bathroom, I’ll be in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, looking around and thinking, this is so big and so glorious, so I hear you on all of that.

Amy:

Yes. I used to think my kitchen in Maine was small. Now when I go, I think, wow, this is huge.

Megan:

Yes, exactly perspective. Right? Well, let’s talk about tech addiction, Amy. This topic is very near and dear to my heart. We are talking to food bloggers right now, which is a very hardworking tribe of people. We depend a lot on technology to get our work done. So outside of say cooking and baking and photographing our food, most of the tasks that we do, do require technology. Food bloggers are known to work a lot. We have a lot on our plates and we get a lot of stuff done. So this can be a really scary equation if we’re not careful. I recently came to terms with my own tech addiction this summer, this past summer. So it’s a really fresh topic for me. I feel really passionately about just enlightening other people, other entrepreneurs, about the damage it can do, because I’ve seen it myself in my own life and how it can just really easily and sneakily come into our lives. So I want to hear your thoughts because you are a way more of an expert on this topic than I am. So give us your thoughts, Amy, on tech addiction.

Amy:

It’s something that, especially for those of us who are self-employed, becomes really difficult to manage because we convince ourselves well, I’m working, this is good for me. This is good for my business. Or I have to check my email because you never know when a business opportunity might come your way. But then it’s never ending. It’s the thought of, oh, I didn’t post on Instagram today or I didn’t, I didn’t respond to those emails. Of course, during the pandemic, especially our work lives and our home lives, everything just all blends together. There’s really no separation. You can quickly discover that you don’t get a break from it. You’ll be grocery shopping and you get a ding on your phone and you find yourself checking your email or responding to something. Or you are trying to be at one of your kids’ events.

You’re more concerned with what’s going on with your phone, or instead of having a conversation with your partner, you end up taking your phone out and it starts to interfere with life. That’s when you know, it’s not necessarily how often you check your email or how many hours you spend on the phone, but maybe it’s more about how many problems it causes in your life. For a lot of people that just kind of creeps in there when suddenly checking your phone all the time or sitting behind your laptop all the time, makes it difficult to have a life outside of what you’re doing. It starts to interfere with your relationships. It starts to become a problem because you can’t enjoy anything in life because you’re always checking your phone.

Megan:

For me, it started as just a really small habit. Like you mentioned, it’s almost like it’s boredom. It starts from boredom. I am sitting, waiting for my boys to get out of school, for example. So why not pull my phone out? Everybody else is on their phone. Before I know it, that’s what I’m doing every time I’m waiting for something to happen. Then it’s just this ingrained habit. I’m waiting equals I have to pull my phone out. Then it sneaks in as this little habit, which I know you talk a lot about little habits too, and how they can sink you or help you. How do you recommend that if you are standing in line waiting for something and you have that urge to pull out your phone and you see everybody else doing it, what are your recommendations for that?

Amy:

I think one is just becoming more mindful of how much we use our phones. Because as you say, it becomes such an automatic habit that we just do it without even noticing. I mean, how many times have you ever been on social media and you X out of the app, Facebook or Instagram and then a second later, Oh, I’ve got to check Instagram because you almost don’t even know that you were just on Instagram. It becomes such an ingrained habit and we’re doing it so mindlessly, we’re just scrolling, looking at something and not even thinking about what we’re doing. There are ways, most of our smartphones these days can track how much time we spend on certain apps. For a lot of people, that’s eye opening. At the end of the day, when you think, I wasn’t really on social media that much.

Then you discover you were on there for three hours and you think, no way was I doing that. To just become more aware of it. Even making your phone a little less accessible, put it in the other room, bury it in your purse, put it in a zipped part of your purse or in a pocket that isn’t particularly easily accessible, just so that you then become aware when you’re reaching for it. Just pay more attention when you are in line at the grocery store, when you’re sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, just look around and it’s true, everybody’s staring at their phones or as soon as the plane lands, everybody automatically takes out all their digital devices. When you become more aware of your habits and other people’s habits, you can then make a more conscious choice. Do I really need to look at that right now? Or can I just be more mindful and enjoy the moment.

Megan:

It’s hard though. That is not always easy, especially when it is a habit to actually look around and do things that don’t require technology. But I can say when you do start doing that, that it feels so good. You start noticing people or you start noticing maybe something in the outdoors and it’s just more inspiring. Looking at your phone is such a detriment when it’s ingrained in you. It just makes you feel gross. I put Instagram down and then two seconds later, you have this weird urge to pull it back up. Why do we need to do that? So, another thing I do is taking alerts off my phone. I’ve taken almost every app off my phone that is social media. So I have Instagram on there for work, but I don’t allow myself to go on unless it’s a designated time during the day. I removed email from my phone. I’ve told our community about this before. In May of this year, at the end of quarantine, I was so burned out and there was no reason for it. And I looked around my life and I realized that there was a problem. There’s no reason why I should be burned out because I haven’t been going anywhere. I don’t have any new projects on my plate. So something needed to change. So I took email off my phone and I have not looked at email on my phone since then. That alone, that one act was life-changing for me. I know that’s like super dramatic, but it was that changed my life. I started sleeping better. I would go out and I would actually talk to people in public. I realized that when I was waiting in line at the grocery store, that’s all I was doing was pulling out my email and I had no reason to do that. I like that. Just being more mindful and maybe taking little baby steps too. You talk about this a little bit in your Ted talk. It was a patient of yours that totally transformed his life by starting with one little change. Would you mind talking about that? Because I think that would be really inspiring.

Amy:

Yeah. So one of my patients had diabetes and didn’t manage his blood sugar at all, to the point that he was starting to lose his eyesight. Things were blurry, he was struggling to see. I knew if I told him we’re going to start monitoring your blood sugar and you have to cut all this stuff out of your life, it was going to be too overwhelming and there was no way he was going to do it. So we started by just changing his soda habit. This was a guy that drank liter upon liter of Pepsi every day. So we switched it to diet Pepsi, which I know isn’t the healthiest thing, but for him, this was a start. Just in doing that, once he started to see a little bit of progress, his blood sugar got a little bit better.

He then thought, I could make more change. He cut back on some of the ice cream he used to eat and he at least started reading food labels. That’s how we started, until he eventually was able to get a lot healthier and his vision was able to get restored. But I think in our own lives, sometimes we wake up and we say, I’m going to change everything. Starting tomorrow, I’m not gonna use my phone or I’m gonna make all these strict limits on ourselves. Then it doesn’t last because it’s just too big of a leap. But sometimes we just need to start with a really small step. So I like what you said about just cutting out email on your phone. You didn’t say I’m not gonna use email ever again, because obviously that wouldn’t work if you’re trying to run a business, but I found in my own life, I just don’t get alerts for social media.

So I don’t need to know every time somebody mentions me on Twitter or anytime somebody tags me on Instagram. I just don’t get any kind of alerts. That makes it way better because if I’m sitting at the, at the table across from somebody and my phone is constantly dinging, it’s just too tempting to pick it up and check to see what people are saying about me. But if I don’t get those alerts, I’m not tempted to check. I have email on my phone, but I don’t get an alert when I get an email, because again, I’d be too tempted to check it. Because I don’t get alerts, I can then just check whenever I want to. A lot of it’s email that doesn’t need to be read at the moment anyway.

I check it whenever I want, but I’m not as tempted to just keep looking. So I think anything we can do to separate ourselves a little bit, figure out what’s one small step I could take. There’s tons of research behind the fact that just sleeping with your phone in a different room can make you a lot happier. When they’ve done studies on this, people said they felt a lot less anxious just by keeping the phone in the kitchen rather than next to their bed. When they find different habits before they fall asleep, instead of scrolling through social media in the last few minutes, they actually talk to their spouse or they read a book and that makes them feel a lot better. So I think any little changes we can make like that, any that we want to experiment with, you might find one and you think, it didn’t really work. Try something else. Just keep looking for things, notice how it affects your mood, how it affects your life, whether it enhances your life. If we just did more experiments like that, I think we would come to figure out how we develop a healthy relationship with technology. What works for you might not work with somebody else, but you can figure out what works well for your life.

Megan:

If you find something that works, something small that works, you can build on it, right? Let’s say putting the phone in a different room when you’re sleeping really works for you and you find that you’re sleeping better, then maybe, like your patient, find something else to build on top of that. Maybe now you could try removing alerts. Then if that works, you could go from there. It really is like the more things you can find that help with that, the more your life is going to change. I did that exact same thing. My step two, after removing email, was putting my phone in the kitchen before bed. It was amazing. I sleep so well now. Stacking those habits on top of each other can be a real game changer.

Amy:

Too often we minimize. We think that’s not a big enough change, so it won’t do any good, but that’s all it takes sometimes. It’s just a little change or two to really motivate us and to get the ball rolling so that we then feel more motivated to creative and bigger things.

Megan:

Agree. Mental strength is something you talk about in your Ted talk, which by the way, you guys listening need to go watch that Ted talk. It’s amazing. We will link to it on your show notes, Amy. So I was wondering if you could talk us through how to use mental strength to stay on top of tech addiction. We’ve talked about that a little bit. Then on the flip side of that, how can we use devices to stay mentally strong?

Amy:

I’m glad you asked that because so often we tend to think that we talk so much about how technology is bad for our mental health, but there’s a lot of options that you can use technology for to actually build mental strength. One thing is to set limits, to make sure that you have a healthy relationship with technology and all of your digital devices and to experiment. Also then to figure out when you are using your devices, how can you use it to make you stronger? One really easy way is to get apps that help you build mental strength. There’s apps like Headspace or Calm that can teach you meditation strategies, that can help you develop healthier thinking habits. It’s not just necessarily about the way you think, it might also be one that helps you track certain other habits in your life.

How often are you moving? How often are you going to the gym? Make sure that any apps on your phone are ones that are enhancing your life, not just wasting time or causing you to feel guilty about playing on your phone, rather than watching your kid’s soccer game. I’m not against social media, but when it comes to social media, make sure that you’re following people who inspire you. We have the option these days to learn from pretty much anybody in the world, whether it’s an athlete, an author, another person that you find to be inspirational for whatever reason, but follow people that help you feel good, that motivate you rather than people that put you down or people that cause you to feel worse about your life. People who seem to be real and authentic. Use social media also to develop real life connections.

Often we replace our conversations or our face-to-face communication with social media, and that can be tempting to do, but we know that to be the strongest version of ourselves, we need real human connections. I know that that’s more difficult during the pandemic because maybe you can’t see as many friends and family members, but to just make sure that your social media connections are just a tool that help you to make more face-to-face connections and that they don’t replace those. Use technology to get help, to enhance the skills that we already have to learn more. There’s so many opportunities, whether you want to take an online course or you want to join an online support group, there’s tons of ways to use technology to learn. I’m a big proponent of online therapy.

So I’m a therapist and I usually see people face-to-face. I had heard about online therapy, but kind of thought it probably doesn’t work nearly as well because you have to see people’s body language and you have to be in the same room. But for one of my projects with Very Well Mind, it was to test all sorts of different online therapy websites. So I got to be a mystery shopper.

I signed up for Talkspace. I signed up for Better Help and I quickly learned how awesome it could be to attend online therapy. There’s some pretty good advantages of it, where you can talk to your therapist every day versus waiting a whole week for your next appointment. It’s way more affordable. A monthly subscription is the cost of one face-to-face therapy appointment. You don’t need to get childcare.

You don’t have to worry about the commute. It’s way more convenient. The list could go on and on. But Very Well Mind also just did this study where they asked people, what do you think about attending online therapy? 90% of people said, it’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. So I feel like the stigma is changing and people are much more willing to talk about having an online therapist. If we just looked at our digital devices in that way, I can listen to audio books, I can use it as a way to take online courses. I can talk to a therapist and we thought of it more like a tool to help us build on ourselves to grow stronger, to become better, then we become more in control of our devices rather than feeling like our devices are controlling us. Where every time we get a quick notification, we pick it up and mindlessly scroll through email, or we start looking at our apps without really paying attention to what are we consuming.

Megan:

It’s as simple as that really. Feeling like you are in control, as opposed to the other way around. We don’t want a phone to be controlling us. We’d like to be in control of it. I love all the things that you mentioned, Amy, that are so good, that we can actually change our perspective a little bit on our phones and see them as tools for learning and growing and calming down. I love the Calm app. I’ve tried that. I tried it last summer a little bit, and I thought it was great, but there are so many things that you mentioned, audio books too. I listen to audiobooks all the time on my phone, but I wouldn’t have thought to add that. Just seeing our phones as helpful devices instead of something that is controlling us.

Amy:

That shift in attitude about how I use my digital devices to enhance my life versus feeling like they’re taking something away from us. I think so many people get resentful. They think social media is bad for my mental health and I can’t stop using it, but just be more proactive about how you choose to use your digital devices. You can definitely turn it into a tool that’s good for you.

Megan:

I think if you’re on your phone and you’re feeling awful about something, whether you’re comparing yourself to somebody on social media or whatever it might be, that’s probably a sign that whatever you’re doing is not productive or good for you. So maybe counter that with an app that makes you feel calm or an audio book that inspires you or something, but what are some other ways to counter that. We’ve talked a little bit about that, like just starting small and being mindful. Do you have anything else?

Amy:

The biggest thing is, when you are using your phone, is this helping me get toward my goal or not? To know how it is affecting your relationships? I hear from so many people who are saying, I want to talk to my partner, but my partner always has their phone in front of their face. Just be more aware of the attention that we’re giving other people. When you hear a notification go off and your phone’s in your purse or it’s in your pocket, or it’s sitting next to you, it’s so tempting to pick it up, but yet what are we doing to our relationships when we do that? Nine times out of 10, it’s a tweet or an email or something that can wait until much later.

It’s not that important anyway. It’s just something that’s going to distract us, but to figure out how I really give the people around me the attention that they deserve. If we just made that one shift. There’s studies that say just having your phone on the table when you’re talking to somebody else, interferes with your communication, it affects your relationship. So just put it away. For most of us, we get incredible anxiety at the thought of turning our phones off. What if the terrible emergency happens during that 30 minutes that you’re talking to somebody, but what, if we just silenced our phones? What if we just were willing to do that for a while or if we just made it so that our favorite five people could call us that way, if your kids have an emergency they can get through, but then you know, you don’t need to accept the other phone calls.

You just want to make sure that the people that you’re spending time with know that they’re the most important priority and that you’re willing to listen and you want to talk to them and you want to get to know them on a deeper level without checking your phone. When we’re on the receiving end of that, we know how annoying that is when you’re talking to somebody and they keep pulling out their phone. You’re thinking, am I not important? Why am I sitting here? When somebody’s saying, yup, yup, yup, but they’re scrolling through their phone and you know that they’re not really listening to you. Sometimes we do that to other people and we don’t even think about it. So just becoming more aware of how it’s affecting our relationships, I think is key.

Megan:

I had a friend a few years ago do that to me. Because of it, I think it’s shaped the way I use my phone when I’m around other people for the better. I remember I was sitting and we were having lunch or coffee or something, and that exact same happened. I was so annoyed, but I also felt like it was really unimportant because she literally was looking at her phone the whole time and kind of giving me halfhearted answers. Then I just stopped talking and it made me feel really bad. Really low quality. So ever since then, I have been really cognizant of that. I try not to even have my phone on the table, like you said. It’s really interesting that people even feel anxious with a phone sitting on the table, even if it’s flipped over, if it’s just sitting there, that’s kind of a sign, this is important to me.

So I try to do that. Put it in my purse, not have it out, give people my full attention. If I’m at the dinner table with my family and my phone rings, I ignore it. Because when I was a kid, this was not an issue. Phones were not a distraction and computers are not a distraction. So I always get the full attention of my parents and I want my kids to feel that from me too. The people in my life, my friends, my husband, but it’s so easy to get sucked into it. When you hear the ding, you think, I have to go check that. Who is that?

Amy:

We somehow convince ourselves, it’s going to be like a million dollar opportunity that lands in your inbox, but you only have five minutes to respond. We have this idea that somehow, if you flip your phone over, when you’re talking to somebody that that makes it better, which is obviously a distorted way of thinking too. Bringing up the issue with your kids. I think it’s so important for families to set rules about digital devices, because we’re teaching kids how to have their own relationship with technology. So whether you say, okay, in our family, we shut our phones off when we eat dinner or the phones go in the other room when we’re having a meal, or when we’re watching a family movie, nobody’s allowed to touch their technology or eight o’clock our digital devices get shut off, whatever it is.

Just make sure that you and your family have some rules or one Saturday a month, maybe you go tech free and you decide we’re going to go hiking. We’re going to go outside and do something together as a family. Just make sure that you’re setting some limits and teaching kids that it’s not awful to be away from technology for a while. So often you see families where everybody’s just staring at their own phones and they’re all sitting in the same room, thinking that they’re spending time together yet they’re not interacting or talking or anything. I think that sends such an unhealthy message to kids.

Megan:

Even on holidays, I’ve noticed for the past few years, we’ll get together with my husband’s extended family and even the older adults. So grandma and grandpa are sitting on their phones and I am looking around thinking, are you kidding me? So every time we host, I always have this idea, but we’ve never actually followed through. I want to have everyone just put their cell phones aside. That’s our house rule. If you want to eat here, you have to put your cell phone aside. That way we actually interact. I know, especially the teenagers in the bunch, would not like that at all. So I haven’t followed with it. But I want to, because when you look around at Thanksgiving after dinner time, when people are usually talking and interacting, they’re on their phones 95% of the people are. It’s so sad to me.

Amy:

Right. Instead of enjoying our own family, we’re scrolling through Instagram, looking at what other families are doing.

Megan:

I know exactly.

Amy:

There’s this strange, ironic twist to it. When we can set those rules, say no, we’re actually going to be in the moment and we’re not just going to be posing for a photo to look great on Instagram. We’re actually going to enjoy each other’s company that can just set the tone and change the dynamics.

Megan:

I refuse to get my boys phones. So we have a 10 year old and a 13 year old and they’re actually not too bad. They don’t ask often, but every once in a while they will say, mom, you realize we’re the only kids in school who don’t have phones. I just think it’s good. That’s awesome. You’re different in a good way because I am terrified about what it will do to them because I see the other kids in our family and what it does to them and how they’re slaves to their phones. I feel like I can’t even handle a cell phone. So how can I expect a 10 and 12 year old or a 13 year old to handle a cell phone. I’m holding off as long as I can for that reason. I just want them to love life, I did when I was a kid. I didn’t have this as an issue. I want them to enjoy real moments.

Amy:

I think that’s wise. There’s so many parents that feel pressure to let their nine-year-olds get Instagram or to let their kids sleep with their phones in their room. I see a lot of kids in my therapy office and some of them struggle with sleeping because their friends are texting them at two in the morning and they feel pressure to reply because otherwise you’re not the cool kid if you’re not replying at two in the morning. The problems that these kids have are because of their phones and I’m not against kids having phones, but I think if we’re going to give them phones, we need to make sure that they have the tools, the guidance, we need to set restrictions on it so that they can develop much healthier relationships with technology.

Megan:

I agree with that. Obviously I’m very passionate about this. I really enjoy talking about this with you. Is there anything else we could talk about? Just speaking directly to food bloggers who are always on tech, we’ve given them a lot of good ideas about ways to proactively use phones for good. Ways to get started with recognizing if it’s an issue and how to counter that. Is there anything else you feel like we should touch on?

Amy:

Just carving out time where you aren’t using your technology. There’s a lot of research about just doing a digital detox and what that can do for you. And how sometimes just taking a break from our devices helps us to form better connections with people. There’s a study where they took kids and they took one group of kids and they sent them away to summer camp where they didn’t have access to the digital devices. The other group, I just continued as normal, which the average kid these days is on there,it’s getting like between seven and nine hours of screen time a day. That’s without the pandemic. Obviously kids that are remote learning now get way more than that. But what they found before the kids went to summer camp, they took all the kids and they asked them, how do you think this person feels?

They put them in situations where they had to guess the other person’s emotions. Well, they found that the kids who went to summer camp just for two weeks without their digital devices did way better when they came back. Being without their technology and without trying to look at emojis all the time and instead they were reading real people’s faces, they got way better at it. I think for adults too, that if we all just took a break, one Saturday a month maybe you decide you’re going to unplug or maybe every Saturday you’re not going to turn your stuff on until noon, or you give yourself a break on Sundays. Whatever it is, just have some areas of your life that you guard and you decide, this is a tech free time, a tech free zone.

We’re not going to worry about it. That can make a big difference. Just noticing how that affects your mental health when you do something like that. I know some people go to a remote cabin in the woods where they know they don’t even have access to technology sometimes because then they won’t be tempted to use it. They’ll say, I feel so much better. yet most of us know that on the surface, I’ll feel better if I don’t do that. But at the same time, we’re looking for that quick fix. We just feel like we can’t help ourselves. If you start carving that into your life a little more, you can recognize, gee, when I go four hours without looking at my phone, I feel better. Then you’re inspired to do it even more.

Megan:

Hence, stack those habits on top of each other, like your patient. Make one small change and then maybe another, and then before you know, it, you’re sleeping better. You’re more productive. You’re more creative. I just feel like there’s so many benefits that can come from this. If you were aware of how it is affecting you, like you’ve said Amy. This has been really great. So thank you so much for taking the time for this today. I think this is a really valuable topic and I’ve just loved everything that you’ve said. So thank you so much.

Amy:

Well, you’re welcome. It’s a pleasure to talk about this.

Megan:

I like to ask all my guests before we say goodbye, whether they have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share.

Amy:

Favorite thing to share with people is the fact that you’re stronger than you think. As a therapist, I do cognitive behavioral therapy, which means I talk to people about how to change their mindset, but all of us have brains that doubt us. It’ll try to keep you in your comfort zone. It’ll tell you to not do something because you might fail, but you can’t believe everything you think. Just learning how to challenge those thoughts. You can literally train your brain to see yourself as more competent and capable than you think you are.

Megan:

Wow. Wise words. That’s such a great way to end. Again, go to Amy’s show notes to watch her Ted talk. It’s amazing and so inspiring. You can find her show notes at eatblogtalk.com/amymorin. Amy, tell my listeners the best place they can find you online.

Amy:

So my website is AmyMorinLCSW.com, those initial stand for licensed clinical social worker. There’s information on there about my books and other resources about building mental strength.

Megan:

Awesome. Well, thanks again so much for being here, Amy, and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Intro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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