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Arts & Culture

Breaking Up (With Your Phone) Is Hard To Do

J Stimp
Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

Most of us would like to get a break from our phones to do the things we say we want to do if we weren't busy watching, say, YouTube videos. We later get mad at ourselves for wasting time on something that left us feeling like we ate a gallon of ice cream when we only wanted a cup.

It's not all our fault. Our smartphones are designed to keep us coming back. Our brains have been chemically-primed to want just one more hit. So, who is in control?

If your concerned, take this online 30-day Phone Breakup Challenge.

Also this hour: Comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle are requiring ticket holders to lock up their phones during their shows. They're not alone; hospitals, courts, schools, and churches are all using Yondr, a small fabric pouch with a locking device that allows people to hold their phones but not use them until after the show. Is it a good idea or does it curtail freedom of expression?


  • Catherine Price - Freelance journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food and most recently, How To Break Up With Your Phone. (@Catherine_Price)
  • David Greenfield - Founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry, UConn School of Medicine, and the author of Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. (@CITACenter)
  • Graham Dugoni - Founder and CEO of Yondr

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on June 18, 2018.

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