A Retreat from Your Devices

Key Takeaways

  • We’ve become so attached to our smart devices that we keep them on and check them regularly throughout the day.
  • The pandemic made this worse, as we constantly checked the news and kept in contact with others when we couldn’t meet in person.
  • Try taking a break from your smart devices to recharge and operate better in life.

Have you ever participated in a trust fall or observed one? If you haven’t, a trust fall is an exercise in which one person stands on a platform and falls backwards, hoping that the people below will catch them. It’s not easy to do, and some people have a particularly difficult time trusting that they’ll be caught.

Similarly, we humans seem to have a difficult time trusting that everything will be okay if we’re separated from our smart devices. For a lot of people, this might be even more difficult than a trust fall! An article in The Daily Stoic discusses this addiction we have developed and how it’s shaping our behaviors and cognitive functions.

In the article, they state that many of us experience phantom pocket vibration syndrome, where we hallucinate the sounds and feelings of our phones receiving notifications, even when they’re not. Then there’s nomophobia, which is a fear of being detached from your smart device.

While we’ve been experiencing these things for years, the pandemic hasn’t helped things. We’ve been home more often, with more time on our hands, distanced from our friends and family, looking for ways to connect to them and to the world…so we’ve spent even more time scrolling through our phones.

If you’re finding it difficult to unplug, try this challenge – a smart device trust fall, if you will. Start by placing your phone on airplane mode so that nothing comes through, and do this for one hour. If you find that goes well, then try going somewhere overnight and placing your phone on airplane mode for the entire 24-hour period. You can bring your device with you, but lock it in your car and leave it on airplane mode.

For the final part of the challenge, go on a vacation where you turn all smart devices off. Leave them on airplane mode the entire time you’re gone. You can have your phone with you in case you need it for an emergency, but otherwise you’ll disconnect from TV, social media, news, etc. Just enjoy interacting with the people you’re with.

Perhaps by doing this, we can become less frenetic and more connected on a human level with each other. So try doing this reset and see that the world doesn’t end when you unplug from it for a while. Until next time, enjoy!


If you’d like to read more on this topic, here are a few of our past Coyle Blog posts that you might enjoy:

The Fear of Missing Out

Unplug to Unwind


Gary Klaben serves as a Financial Advisor, and visionary for Coyle Financial Counsel. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about The Coyle Process, approach designed to get your arms around the big picture, so you can make informed financial decisions. Ask Gary about The Coyle Process and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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