The Simple Way to Use Your Smartphone a Lot Less

Why do we love our phones more than the people in our lives? I channel the great Tony Robbins for advice.

Ever seen a photo of Tony with a cell phone in his hand? There’s a reason.

Your phone is toxic to your relationships. You should put it down. Turn it off often. Agreed? So how come you haven’t done it? Yeah. Me neither. There are days I check the thing every damn hour. Should I get a no-phone or a dumb-phone just for calls? Should I turn my screen black and white to make everything on the screen seem less enticing? Ugh, where do I start? And when?

I started writing this piece in a coffee shop. From where I was sitting I could see the computer screen of the guest at the table next to me —he was watching a Tony Robbins video. I don’t know what the topic was. It doesn’t even really matter. Something about that man makes me stop and try to listen every time I see his face. I imagine the script in my head, Tony saying, You, sir/ma’am/person. Yes, you, hiding in the corner over there. Does your partner fucking use that dumb phone when you’re together? Even when you’re eating dinner or watching TV?

Tony also swears like a sailor, which makes everything he says a little scary. But he’s a gentle giant, which is probably why millions of people are drawn to his advice and his over-the-top book titles like Date with Destiny and Awaken the Giant Within.

Watching him is sort of brainless because if you do it enough, you get his formula and you realize that the answer you want is already right there in your head. Want more meaningful time together? Shut the phone down. Want to focus more, feel more, relax more? Stop staring at the phone.

The simplest way to use your phone less is to find people and activities thar interest you more. The answer is so clear. But most of us are too lazy or numb to even notice.

That’s when you need to channel your inner Tony: This is your life! By using the phone constantly, you have been taking life and putting up a door. In your case a wall. SHUT IT DOWN and destroy the wall. Everything you are seeking and desiring is right now inside of you and completely alive. The only thing that’s stopping you? YOUR SMARTPHONE. Put it down.

In pretty much every damn photo, he’s asking you to hold on to something—BUT NOT YOUR PHONE.

Ok, so I had seen the Tony Robbins video pretty much by chance. But, clearly, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Back at my desk, I Google a few Tony Robbins quotes and find this one: Live life fully while here….take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Don’t try to be perfect. Just be an excellent example of being human.

Tony with his wife, Sage: No phones in the dozens and dozens of shots I searched online.

My goal this Valentine’s Day? It’s to be with the people who make me forget to turn my phone on or even look at it. Thanks, Tony, for unleashing the human within me.