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Your Imperfections Make You Human. Your Humanity Makes You Influential (Part 2)

By December 10, 2014May 24th, 201912 Comments

Welcome back for Part 2 of my conversation with Teen Whisperer Josh Shipp.

You haven’t listened to Part 1 yet? Go do that first, then come on back. It will save me some explaining. But as long as we’re on the subject, let’s recap the situation.

Josh is a recognized teen behavior expert well known for helping adults understand teens and teens understand themselves. He’s worked with, appeared on and/or contributed to MTV, CNN, FOX, The New York Times, 20/20, Anderson Cooper Live, and Good Morning America. In 2009 Josh was named to Inc. magazine’s “30 Under 30” of successful entrepreneurs. He has lectured at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA and MIT, starred in two documentary-style television series and authored two books: The Teen’s Guide to World Domination  and  Jump Ship.

If you did listen to my intro and outro to Part 1, then you know Josh challenged me to remove e-mail and social media from my iPhone as a means of increasing my overall productivity and enhancing the quality of my interpersonal interactions. Today is day 3 and as Josh so adeptly predicts in this second part of our conversation, I am indeed twitchy. A little anxious. Scattered and basically just uncomfortable with the whole idea. Why? Because I like being connected at all times. I like the buzz and anticipation of checking social media. And I can easily justify it as part of my job. But this does not mean it’s healthy because it isn’t. My relationship might not fall into Her (the movie) territory, but it’s definitely obsessive compulsive, if not just a downright addiction.

What does this remind me of?


Weathering a detox — or in this case an iDetox — isn’t fun. But for me it’s familiar territory. I know that if I stick with it, it will pass. I also know that the simple fact I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms is a pretty good indicator that I am onto something. Something I need to do if I want to grow.

Monday night I fired an e-mail off to Josh to thank him again for doing the podcast and to let him know Part 1 was live. I closed the note with the following:

“P.S. – deleted Twitter, Facebook AND e-mail from my phone. Think I’m going to have a panic attack. Tell me I’ll be OK.”

The next morning, Josh replied:

“Imagine having Doritos and a green drink sitting in front of you. If you’re new to eating clean … you’ll grab the Doritos every time, even though you know better. But when the ONLY option is the green drink, you are at first forced to go for it, but then later choose it. We should choose real humans, friends, family, etc. first. But social media is the Doritos. As sad as this is, we have slowly trained ourselves to go to real people LAST instead of first… This is a way of reprograming ourselves.”

So true. I’ve decided to undergo this #iDetox for me, but I also know I’m not alone. This is for the millions of people out there quietly coveting smart phone addictions that are ultimately degrading the quality of their three dimensional tactile, analog lives. Their real lives. If I can do this, then so can you.

Are you in? If so, here’s what I am doing for the next 30 days — I dare you to join me:

  1. Delete your social media and e-mail apps from your smart phone.
  2. On your iPhone to go: Settings > General > Restrictions > That should be ON and you should NOT have the passcode. Let your partner or a buddy set it.
  3. Delete the App Store. That’s right. You heard me.
  4. Set reasonable, permissible “work hours” for e-mail and social media (on a desktop or laptop). Do not deviate.
  5. Openly share the ups and downs of your experience online (during prescribed “work hours” of course) using the hashtag #iDetox.

This is not about quitting social media or becoming some kind of technology luddite. It’s simply about creating healthy boundaries around use. It’s about prioritizing real relationships over virtual ones. And it’s about being more present in the life you are actually living. Let’s treat this like a fun 30 day ride. An experiment undertaken together. If after 30 days we conclude we are happier, more present, and importantly more productive, then together we can assess a long-term strategy and its implications going forward.

None of us are perfect. But to echo Josh, it’s these imperfections that make us human. And the pooled, communal humanity is what just might make this collective endeavor highly influential.

So let’s tap that Josh Shipp vein once again and pick up the mainline where we left off on Monday. I sincerely hope you enjoy the second part of the conversation and I encourage you to let me know what you think of it and this whole #iDetox experiment in the comments below.

Peace + Plants,



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  • TommyF says:

    Rich, the iDetox is such a smart and brave endeavor. It’s funny how we overcome the big problems in our life, only to have these small, seemingly inconsequential habits subtly fill the space we’ve created for ourselves. I’ve been on my own Facebook iDetox for months now. Early on I struggled. I found myself cheating, by opening up Safari on my iPhone and accessing Facebook from there. I just couldn’t LET GO! After deep reflection, I realized it was my ego at work, needing a venue to express itself. So, I took a more drastic action of disabling my account. Trust me.. it was HARD! I’d be out on long runs, with all these deep insights, just obsessing about launching Facebook when I got home, so I could express myself to what I felt made me relevant. By overcoming these urges (which I still struggle with), I’m finding the same peace, day-by-day, that I’ve found in my sobriety.

  • richroll66 says:

    Thanks Tommy – Day 4 and it’s all new. Just trying to embrace the ride – it’s not easy but it just feels good to talk about it. I think this is a big issue for a lot of people and yet we really don’t give it the address I think it deserves. Keep rocking man, Rich

  • Lisa says:

    The phone detox is a great idea! Lately I found myself obsessively checking social media on my phone out of boredom anxiety and also while I am waiting to look like I have a purpose or so I don’t have to interact with others around me. I have also been checking when i am out with my kids. They don’t have smart phones or screens with them and I am doing to them that which I am not going to to allow them to do. I HATE when I go somewhere and the children barely look up to answer a question. I was becoming that child. So heres to being mature and getting off the technology!

  • richroll66 says:

    So true – never fun when you catch yourself doing something you tell your kids not to do! Glad you are facing this – lets do it together:)

  • richroll66 says:

    I hear you man. Totally relate.

  • William Smith says:

    Hey Rich! Sun Valley Wellness Festival in in Sun Valley, Idaho, not Utah. Excited to have you visit our great state!! Would love to get to meet you and maybe do a group run while you are in town, if you have time. Sun Valley really is “God’s Country”, there are so many beautiful places to be active.

  • BobbyD says:

    Just accepted the iDetox challenge! Feels invigorating and scary all at the same time. I’m tired of “checking out” of my life and from my family. Time to take back control! I really enjoy your podcasts and your message. Keep up the great work! All the best to you and your family!

  • Hey Rich – Been listening to you consistently for the past two years, and you’ve helped me a ton. I hadn’t listened in a couple months. Then I heard an episode yesterday and it was just what I needed… You and Julie helped anticipate and deal with the different energy that the end of the year and holidays can bring. I was also reminded of your podcast from a year ago at this time, and your dealing with some financial obstacles. It’s easy to allow those negative worries enter our lives. At a time where it’s easy to spiral down into a negative path of worry and fear, listening to you and Julie reminded me that things always work out. So much can and will change in a year. Thanks. – Nick

  • ak says:

    hi rich – for some reason its playing part 1 again…

  • richroll66 says:

    Hmm that’s weird. All working fine on this end. Maybe refresh your browser? No idea why that would be happening – all systems go on my side.

  • Victor Dumitrescu says:

    Rich, the outcome of this 2 episodes it’s just awesome. I took upon the iDetox myself a few weeks ahead of this in some moderation but when I asked my wife to listen to this episode and she did – she also called me asking me that we need to do this so we are ON…. and we LOVE it. Thanks for the good vibes you bring on to the world, by the way you have to dig the 811 book when you get the time, the reasoning behind that lifestyle is crazy. The extra week episode is always welcome, good to hear other questions from other listeners…

    PS: The 21 minutes practice must be the coincidence, is this something that you picked up during a class or is this something developed by your beloved wife. I do have a 21 minute practice too except the tea.

    Love, V

  • Luke Jones says:

    Hi Rich, I’ve been a big fan over the past few years, and you’ve helped me in so many ways! I’ve listened to almost every RRP episode, and this was one is definitely up there with my favourites. Keep up the great work, you’re inspiring so many people!


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