The solution to smart phone addiction may not be ditching your cell but actually getting 2 of them: 'cocaine phone' and 'kale phone'

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The solution to smart phone addiction may not be ditching your cell but actually getting 2 of them: 'cocaine phone' and 'kale phone'
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  • Many Americans spend hours a day on their phones and struggle to cut back.
  • George Mack, a newsletter writer and marketing executive, said having two phones helped him fix his phone addiction.
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Many Americans who spend too much time on their smartphone romanticize about getting rid of it altogether and returning to the days of flip phones and T9 predictive text. Some actually do it.

But what if the solution is not fewer phones, but more? That's exactly what George Mack, a newsletter writer, marketing exec, and Twitter personality, said helped him solve his smartphone addiction.

Mack said he now has two phones: a "cocaine phone" and a "kale phone."

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He described his kale phone as "full stack serotonin" — the brain chemical associated with happiness, focus, and calmness, according to Cleveland Clinic. Mack said the only apps on this phone are notes, Kindle, Uber, and Maps, and that only two to three people have the number, in case of emergencies.

His cocaine phone, on the other hand, is "full stack dopamine" — the brain chemical associated with motivation and rewards. Social media is known to trigger the brain's reward system by releasing dopamine with each swipe, ultimately turning us all into dopamine junkies who are always craving just a bit more. Mack's cocaine phone has the time-killing apps you'd expect: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and WhatsApp, and allows anyone to call.

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He goes into detail on Twitter about how he uses each phone, but ultimately what kinds of phones you use and what you put on them will depend on your specific circumstances and needs. He said he's gotten "countless DM's of people who have said this has fixed their smartphone addiction."

Mack's not the first person to suggest a two-phone solution, but thinking about it in terms of kale and cocaine, or serotonin and dopamine, could be useful in figuring out how to divvy up your phone usage. The two phones could also help set boundaries about when you're using your phone as a useful tool, and when you're using it in ways that aren't a net positive on your life.

And if you're like the many Americans who spend a third of their waking hours staring at phones or tablets, you've got nothing to lose and a lot of time to gain by trying it out.

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