TUCSON PERSONAL TRAINING CENTER

Why I Don't Own A Smartphone

Personal Training in Tucson - The Protocol Strength & Conditioning, Llc

By Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

Yes, it’s true. It’s almost 2018 and I do not own a smartphone. The more time that passes, the more comments (sometimes not-so-nice) I get whenever someone sees my phone, so I thought it would be fun to take a moment to tell you the story why I’ve never upgraded. The original reason was pretty innocent, but now it has turned into something very intentional. Let me explain…

As I’ve mentioned on here before, my financial situation was pretty rough when I started this business. I was going through some major life changes, and this also happen to be around the time that smartphones were starting to get popular. At this point, phones and plans were pretty pricey and it simply wasn’t a financial priority to get one.

I spent the first few years of this business with my nose to the grindstone. I didn’t have the desire (or ability for that matter) to borrow money, so every extra penny was reinvested back into the business. Any personal expense that wasn’t of absolute critical importance was passed on. I heard some people were spending as much as $100+ per month on their cell phone plan and I was spending about a third of that. The phones I had were either cheap or free as opposed to smartphones that were hundreds of dollars. This freed up cash to buy more kettlebells…

Over the years, The Protocol has grown way beyond what I ever imagined (THANK YOU TUCSON!). I get up every day and make a living doing what I love. I’m not the richest guy in the world, but at this point, I could probably spring for an iPhone.

Over the past few years, however, smartphones have gone from a convenient luxury, to, in my opinion, a huge distraction. When my wife and I first started dating, we were very intentional about how we interact with one another. We both had issues with this in our past, and were determined to not make those mistakes again. We have rules: No cell phones at dinner, phones get left in the car during dinners out, and no phones in the bedroom (we charge our devices in a different room). Frankly, we’re not perfect at it, but the intention is always there.

For the record, Marie doesn’t have a smartphone either, but both of us have tablets for work… which gives both of us even more reason to not need the smartphones. Tablets are distracting enough.

With this level of intentionality, it’s pretty odd when we’re out to dinner and look around the restaurant; almost every couple’s faces are glowing white from the light of their little screens. I wonder if they’re looking back at me and thinking, “Look at that guy over there eating and staring right at his wife… like a freaking psycho!”

Scratch that, they are definitely NOT thinking that. None of them ever look up from their phone long enough to make that observation…

I can’t count how many times I’m trying to have a meaningful live interaction with someone in front of me, all while they are completely engulfed by whatever is happening on that little screen. It seems like we are losing something here.

With that said, there are two main reasons I’ve decided to intentionally avoid getting a smartphone. First, having a tablet for work and a separate phone allows me the ability to better separate work time and personal time. This is often challenging for a business owner.

The second reason is, well, frankly, I’m not special. I get just as distracted seeing email notifications and screwing around on social media as anyone else. By having that little flip phone, I’ve completely removed that temptation from my life. Heck, even my dumb-phone distracts me way more than it should. I like being present to the things around me, and there is a certain calmness I feel when I’m just alone with my thoughts. When sitting down to work, removing distractions allows me to get quality work done in a time-efficient manner. Although I have no data to back this up, I also think this is good for training… when working with others, as well as training myself. I happen to believe we are not as good at multi-tasking as we think we are.

I also know for a fact that I’m not alone here. I’ve had several close friends completely abandon social media, delete the apps from their devices, and turn off all notifications. I suppose that if at some point Verizon calls me and says I HAVE to upgrade, this will be my plan of attack.

I realize this is not the first article written on this topic, and is most certainly not going to be the last. I hope if you’re reading this while your spouse is sitting next to you, that you put it away and focus on them. The internet will be here when you get back.

Until next time, 

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Marie and dog Sadie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.




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