You can't throw away your smartphone

I sometimes will hear people say, throw away your smartphone. You can't throw away your smartphone. You can be like Johann and go to Fire Island for a summer, but you know, ultimately he's back on the phone. We live in a world that is dominated by these platforms, and maybe one day that will change. But as an individual living in that world, we have to make peace with these systems that we are gonna have to use to understand the world around us, to relate to people.

And we're all facing a microcosm of the same dilemma that you described, which is how to be moral on them, knowing that the platforms make it more appealing, and enticing, and rewarding than it's ever been to do things that we would otherwise consider immoral. And they make it harder and harder and more of a disincentive to try to be responsible with even just individual words that we might use on dashing off a tweet, because each of these things that might feel like you're just at a stop light and you have a few seconds, and you're just gonna dash off a comment, but they all play into this broader system. They're all training the algorithm, they're all training yourself, they're training your peers, other users.

And the, maybe the best thing that you can do, I mean, you should try to modulate your usage, you should try to be really thoughtful about how often do I really have to be on it? I post like 5% as much as I used to. But probably the best thing you can do is just to be really aware about when you go to tweet something, or post something, or to record something on YouTube, being thoughtful about, is this because I think this is a good idea and what I wanna do, or is it because this giant corporation has nudged me towards doing that because they wanna make a little bit more money off of me and try to addict other users to make more money off of them? And what do I want my input into this giant system that is shaping everything in the entire world to be?


And conversely, applying that same rubric to your consumption, like do I really need to watch this video, or click on this link or whatever? Like I think just being much more mindful and responsive versus reactive. And there are little tricks you can do. You can set up times where your phone will shut off certain apps. You can turn your phone onto grayscale, which is actually incredibly helpful in making it less addictive. It doesn't take away too much from it. But ultimately I think it's just about knowing, and it's just about trying to find that will to decide what the right thing is gonna be, and then to do it, even if it might feel really good to look at some more tweets.

From Max Fisher at Rich Roll podcast, 2:12:10