too much screen time, digital detox
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Too Much Screen Time? Let These Luddite Teens Inspire You.

“‘Luddite’ Teens Don’t Want Your Likes”

This article by Alex Vadukul for the New York Times is all about The Luddite Club, a high school group in Brooklyn who ditched their smartphones and found a simpler way to connect with others.

Feeling drained from too much screen time? Same, my friend. Same. That’s why it was so refreshing to read about these teens resisting the relentless surge of tech and social media. They’re choosing a simpler, more present way of living. If you’re burnt out from the buzz of endless notifications, this story could be a welcome break. TLDR? No worries. I’m breaking down the key points for you, with some tips to get your own screen time down, too.

What’s The Luddite Club Up To?

Unlike their peers, these teens are choosing to go smartphone and social-media-free. Of course, they still want to find ways to make friends and socialize; they’re just going about it the old-school way. Here’s how they’re doing it:

1. Embracing Offline Connections: In our fast-paced, digitally dominated world, it’s easy to forget the beauty of genuine, in-person connections. The Luddite Club, meeting every Sunday come rain or shine, provides a sanctuary for teenagers to connect on a deeper level, away from the distractions of social media. They share experiences, engage in creative pursuits like sketching, and immerse themselves in the world of literature. 

too much screen time, digital detox, phone-free morning
No phone, no problem.

2. Finding Solace in Nature: The club’s gatherings in Prospect Park offer a much-needed escape into nature, providing a space to breathe and reconnect with the world around them. Nature has a unique way of grounding us, reminding us of the beauty in simplicity, and offering a moment of calm in the storm of daily life.  

3. Challenging the Status Quo: The Luddite Club stands as a bold challenge to the societal norms that push us towards constant connectivity. By choosing flip phones over iPhones and embracing a lifestyle less dependent on technology, these teens are making a statement about what truly matters to them. 

4. Rediscovering the Joy of Reading: In the serene bubble of their Sunday meetings, the Luddite Club members dive into the worlds of Dostoevsky, Spiegelman, and Boethius. They find solace in the written word, a reminder that there is a world of knowledge, adventure, and wisdom waiting to be explored beyond our screens. 

5. Fostering Mindfulness and Self-Reflection: The switch from smartphone to flip phone has led many club members to a journey of self-discovery and mindfulness. As they step away from the constant buzz of social media, they find space to reflect.

Be a Screen Time Survival Story

Don’t you just love these kids? The Luddite Club offers up an excellent reminder for the adults in the room:  It’s okay to take a step back, reconnect with the world around us, and find joy in the simple pleasures in life. I don’t think you have to switch to a flip phone to reap some of the benefits of their bold experiment, either. Reducing your screen time even a little bit can have big benefits.

Make it Part of Your Morning

If you feel like your day includes way too much screen time, one of the best ways to nip it in the bud is to start with a phone-free morning. Here are some simple strategies to make it happen.

  • Don’t use your phone as your alarm. These analog options will help you delay picking up your phone.
  • Charge your phone in another room at night. The best room is the last one you go into each morning. Don’t charge it by the coffee maker in the kitchen.
  • Choose a different activity for your first 15 minutes, like journaling, a tea ritual, or a morning stretch routine.

Screen time is a hard habit to break, so aim for building your phone-free morning just 15 minutes at a time, and be sure to give yourself some extra grace while you try this out.

How do you keep your morning phone-free? Share your strategies in the comments below!

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