Digital Detox 2017

How do we manage the positive and negative aspects of the mobile phone? It’s not complicated and the adjustments are small.

April 1, 2017

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We launched Digital Detox at Unacast earlier this year, and I wanted to share our internal memo from when we launched that project. Perhaps it could have an effect at your company and perhaps even in your life.

Digital Detox 2017

The mobile phone is a powerful tool and one of the reasons smaller companies like ourselves can act agile and coordinated, and change industries globally - like we do at Unacast.

At the same time the mobile phone can force context swapping that reduces focus, and most importantly reduce the time and quality we as individuals spend together. And this is important, as the relationships between all of us in Unacast are our biggest competitive advantage. Plus, it’s fun to spend time together.

So, how do we manage the positive and negative aspects of the mobile phone? Digital Detox 2017. It’s not complicated and the adjustments are small. But, it’s a start.

  1. In meetings the phone is not invited. Not even face down on the table. Meetings are “us-time”, to learn more about the business, ourselves and each other. This applies to everything from Round Tables to smaller project meetings, and from meeting start to meeting end.
  2. When we are eating lunch, out on social events or dinners the phone is not invited. Please take pictures if there are memories we want to keep, but is it really more important to share those pictures on Snapchat than to be mentally present?
  3. We all think more about the signals we send to each other when we pick up the phone in front of each other. Do we really mean to send the signal that we are not completely present and this meeting is not that important? Probably not.

The Digital Detox could be for both internal as well as external settings, e.g. when meeting partners. Exceptions would be emergencies, critical partner relations, system errors or other events that require you to be available. As always, use common sense and let’s be adults.

Please also use this opportunity to think about how you use your phone in settings with family and friends.

Let 2017 be the year you take the power back by amplifying the positive aspects of the mobile phone and reduce the negative.