Catherine here, author of How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life (phonebreakup.com). A lot of people have been asking me about recommended holiday gifts, so I’ve put together an inaugural gift guide that includes books and products that have helped to make me a healthier, happier and saner person—hopefully they’ll do the same for you and your loved ones.
Have you checked your cell phone today?
It's likely a part of your morning routine and your afternoon and evening routine.
But too much screen time can be bad for your health.
The Pew Research Center estimates 77 percent of adults own a cell phone, and we're on them a lot.
Sometimes at the expense of our families.
As the whirlwind of the holidays descends, you may find yourself wishing that you could slow down time. Here’s the thing: You can.
You just need to put down your cellphone.
I first discovered this myself a few years ago when, as an experiment, my husband and I took a 24-hour break from all our screens starting at sundown Friday. Saturday morning we accomplished more by 11 a.m. than we’d normally get done in an entire day. We cooked. We talked. We cleaned. We read. I practiced guitar. We played with our daughter. I felt like I’d unlocked a time-stretching superpower that I hadn’t known I possessed.
In today's 24/7 digital world, you may feel like your phone rules your life, from text messages to email to apps and social media.
It doesn't have to be that way, according to Catherine Price, the author of "How to Break Up With Your Phone."
Price, who had an epiphany about her attachment to her phone after becoming a mom, has created a seven-day phone breakup challenge to help people re-evaluate how much they use their phones.
Here is a guaranteed conversation starter: Tell someone you’re an only child, born of an only child, who has decided to have an only child. Being an only child is somewhat unusual to begin with. Two generations is rare. But three in a row? It is the genealogical equivalent of a unicorn.
I know this because I am a unicorn. My mother is an only child. My father was raised as an only child. (Technically, he had two siblings, but they were older, lived in a different state, and were so estranged that I never met either of them; now both are dead.) As a result, I have no aunts or uncles. I have no cousins that I know of. I have no siblings.
Screen Time, part of the operating system that iPhone owners began downloading last week, represents the biggest move yet by a technology company to encourage less use of a device, not more. That’s a good thing: According to data from a time-tracking app called Moment, Americans spend on average four hours a day — a quarter of our waking lives — staring at their smartphones.
Screen Time, which is new with Apple’s iOS 12, automatically tracks how often you pick up your phone and how much time you spend on each app. It also allows you to set daily limits for time-sucks like social media, games, or streaming video. It’s a good start, but Apple could do more. A huge number of people need help creating better digital boundaries.
Would you, could you put your phone away even just for a day?
Just in time for the National Day of Unplugging (celebrated on both March 9 and 10), author Catherine Price shares tips from her new book, How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life (Ten Speed Press).
If you’re like most people, your phone is within arm’s reach of you right this very second (that is, if you’re not reading this article on it to begin with), and the mere mention of it is making you want to check something. Like the news. Or your texts. Or your email. Or your Instagram feed. Or, really, anything at all.
Go ahead and do it. And then come back to this page and notice how you feel. Are you calm? Focused? Present? Satisfied? Or are you feeling a little scattered and uneasy, vaguely stressed without really knowing why?
The moment I realized I needed to break up with my phone came just over two years ago. I had recently had a baby and was feeding her in a darkened room as she cuddled on my lap. It was an intimate, tender moment — except for one detail. She was gazing at me … and I was on eBay, scrolling through listings for Victorian-era doorknobs.
I’m not going to try to explain this particular personal passion. The point is that a good 15 minutes had probably passed before I finally caught sight of my daughter looking at me, her tiny face illuminated by my phone’s blue light. I saw the scene as it would have looked to an outsider — her focused on me, me focused on my phone — and my heart sank. This was not the way I wanted things to be.
An increasing number of us are coming to realize that our relationships with our phones are not exactly what a couples therapist would describe as “healthy.” According to data from Moment, a time-tracking app with nearly five million users, the average person spends four hours a day interacting with his or her phone.
Strategies for traveling without letting your phone keep you from enjoying your trip.
Now that summer is in full swing, a lot of people have been asking me the same question: How can you take your phone with you on vacation without letting your phone ruin your vacation?
It’s a modern quandary: Phones are obviously useful tools, especially when you’re on the road. But too often, a quick check turns into an hourlong scroll session. And if you’re going to spend your trip trolling Instagram or responding to emails, what’s the point of leaving home?
It might seem absurd to have to strategize how to set boundaries with your smartphone. But the reward — a vacation that feels like a vacation — is well worth the work. Here are some useful tips on how to use your phone on vacation, without letting it hijack your trip.
9 Ways to Finally Stop Spending So Much Time on Your Phone
“Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Steve Jobs said in 2007, when he introduced the first iPhone. Eleven years later, the question isn’t whether he was right. It’s whether we like the way we’ve changed.
Today, the average American checks his or her phone 47 times a day — many more if they’re younger — and spends about four hours a day staring at its screen. That’s roughly a sixth of our total time alive. Given these numbers, it makes sense that there’s an increasing sense of concern over our relationships with our phones. In January, two of Apple’s biggest shareholders wrote an open letter to Apple requesting that the company provide “more choices and tools”that can help parents set limits on their children’s phone time. In the same month, Facebook announced that it had overhauled the algorithms behind its news feed, to put more emphasis on “meaningful interactions” — i.e., posts from friends and family members, rather than brands. And February saw the launch of the Center for Humane Technology, a coalition of former tech employees who are alarmed about the impact of the technologies they helped create.
The psychology of why you can’t look away — and how to do it anyway.
Pop quiz: On average, who do you spend more time thinking about?
A. Your best friend
B. Donald Trump
A. Your mother
B. Donald Trump
A. The person you love the most in the world
B. Donald Trump
If you answered all Bs, you’re in good company: America is obsessed with Donald Trump. With our smartphones as our enablers, we’re reading about, listening to, and discussing Trump from the moment we wake up in the morning until we lay our heads down at night. It’s an unhealthy relationship, and for the sake of ourselves and our country, it’s time for us to take back our lives.
You, like most people, probably use your phone too much. People spend an average of four hours a day staring at their handheld screen, according to the time-tracking app Moment, and that doesn’t include time spent using their phones to do other things, like listen to podcasts or take calls. Engage in any activity for that long and it changes your brain. Those changes may be positive if we are talking about, say, meditation. Less so if it’s time spent staring at your phone.
For the past three years, I have been conducting research and writing a book about our relationships with our phones. I’ve since concluded that phone time is affecting everything from our memories and attention spans to our creativity, productivity, relationships, stress levels, physical health, and sleep. In short, if you feel like your phone is changing you — and not always for the better — you’re not crazy. You’re right.
If you think that scurvy is just about loose teeth, think again. For Distillations (the magazine of the Chemical Heritage Foundation), I tell the crazy story of a disease that killed more than two million sailors between the time of Columbus’s transatlantic voyage and the rise of steam engines in the mid-19th century—and explain how a lot of what you think you know about it is probably wrong.
I recently had the chance to do a Q&A with Anahad O'Connor, nutrition reporter extraordinaire, for the New York Times. Here's the full Q&A.
And here's his intro:
"Many people can rattle off the names of the most popular vitamins and the foods that contain them in abundance. But understanding exactly what vitamins are and what roles they play in the body is far more complicated. In fact, though scientists recognize that there are 13 vitamins that are essential for good health, there is no real consensus on what they actually do and exactly how much of them we truly need.
Catherine Price, a science journalist, explores these questions and more in a book that was recently released in paperback, called “Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection.” Ms. Price traces the history of vitamins from their discovery as lifesaving organic compounds that prevented strange diseases to their ubiquity today in foods, beverages and dietary supplements. Ms. Price sheds surprising light on the mythology surrounding vitamins and explains why even basic advice promoted by experts – like the nutrient requirements for healthy adults known as the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA – may be misguided.
Recently, we sat down with Ms. Price to discuss some of the most common misconceptions about vitamins, the reasons vitamin D testing can be misleading, and which questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether to take a multivitamin. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation."
For the LA Times, I explain how little scientists truly know about vitamin D—and how you can make an educated decision about whether to take a vitamin D supplement, even while they're still figuring out the details.
I did not—at least until I went way, way, way down a yeast rabbit hole for Vitamania, and ended up learning a lot more about America's yeast craze than, well, I'm going to guess nearly anyone. Some of the best stuff got cut from the book, but thankfully was revamped for this feature piece in Distillations Magazine. Grab a yeast cake and check it out!
"THERE is much concern these days about what’s in our dietary supplements. Are they actually filled with the ingredients that the labels promise?
Maybe, maybe not. Quality control issues in the estimated 85,000 dietary supplement products available in America should give every consumer pause. But even vitamins themselves — the 13 dietary chemicals necessary to prevent deficiency diseases like scurvy and rickets — pose hidden hazards of their own."
(image credit: Oivin Horvei for the New York Times)
Flywheel, in case you do not keep up with the stationary biking/clubbing scene in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Florida, Atlanta, North Carolina, Texas, or—now—Philadelphia, is a descendant of SoulCycle, another New York-based spinning cult. By “spinning,” I mean a fitness class where you ride on a stationary bike in a dark room, sprinting up imaginary hills to a soundtrack of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. And by cult, I mean, well, cult. In my one and only SoulCycle class (a single class in Manhattan costs $34), I watched a group of ponytailed, aggressively fit women—many in makeup, at least one carrying a gold-embossed SoulCycle gym bag—line up on the sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side outside what used to be a bodega-sized store called Champagne Video. Their $34 did not buy them a locker room, or even a shower. It was good only for 45 minutes in a small room that was packed so tightly with bikes that it was difficult to maneuver between them, and a sound system so loud that I took them up on the complimentary earplugs. “Change Your Body, Take Your Journey, Find Your Soul,” read the manifesto on the wall
For Slate, I reveal my competitive streak. Did I mention that I won?