I'm a tech CEO who tried to give up my smartphone for a year. I wasn't fully successful - but it did make me a better leader.
Courtesy of Ben Crudo
- Ben Crudo is the CEO of Diff, a full-service agency that designs and builds ecommerce solutions for major retailers. Ben is passionate about demystifying ecommerce while using technology to enhance human experience and connection.
- A year ago, he decided to make a huge permanent change: swapping out his smartphone for a "dumb one." As the CEO of a growing tech company, he knew it was a risky move, but he thought it would ultimately help him in the long run.
- While he hasn't been able to go smartphone-free, he has found that you don't need to go completely cold turkey to curb a tech addiction. Instead, it's all about balance.
- Now, he only uses his smartphone during working hours, and can only be reached by dumb phone on nights and weekends.
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About a year ago, I made a huge change. After spending my honeymoon in the backwoods of New Zealand - out of WiFi and cell range - I realized, for the first time, just how addicted I was to the supercomputer in my pocket. When I got back, I traded in my smartphone for a "dumb" one, with the intention of making a permanent switch.
It was a risky move considering I'm the CEO of a growing tech company. Still, I figured being more present in the world would benefit both my home and work life. I went into this experiment with gusto, and at first, I found it liberating. Yes, there were some blips in the road - like getting lost without my GPS and constantly worrying I'd miss important work emails - but I learned to adapt and was confident I'd seen the last of my smartphone.
I wish I could say that was true. Over the past year, I've encountered some real hurdles - mostly technological - that have kept me from going completely smartphone free. But it hasn't been a total loss. I've still managed to cut way back on my smartphone use by removing distractions like apps and setting firm boundaries around my communication patterns. In the process, I've learned that curbing a tech addiction isn't about cutting off access to technology but rather finding a healthy balance with it. And it's even helped me become a better CEO.