TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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If you’re not going to be ‘there’, don’t be there: why you should put your device away more

close up photography of smartphone icons

My life changed when last year I decided that at 6pm every single day my phone would go down to charge, and the only device I could use was the TV. I have since benefited from better sleep, more reading, and better being able to focus on things I do choose to watch.

The reason I made this rule is simple. I found myself getting worked up over very trivial things on the internet that had an adverse effect on my sleep, as well as my relationships.

However, one other thing is that has changed is that I now don’t feel compelled to have a device with me 24/7, and I now know I can survive without one (in Yamabushi training we don’t use phones so I know I can go without for a week, same with coffee, but besides that).

Devices feel like a wall that you’re putting up, like those perplex screens that have been all the rage during the pandemic, only this time they are opaque. No matter how much we try for it not to be the case, devices put you in your own little world that essentially blocks us from what’s going on and doesn’t make us fully present in the moment.

The next time you are interacting with someone and you find yourself reaching for your device, ask yourself whether there is a legitimate reason to use the device, or whether you’re just going to be doomscrolling. Even more important, ask yourself how much you value quality time with the other person. I guarantee you’ll change your ways.

(Also, try putting your device on to charge at least two hours before bed in a different room to your bedroom, tomorrow you will thank you)

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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