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Megan Johnson Recommends How to Break Up with Your Phone

417 Magazine’s vice president of operations shares her thoughts on a book by the 2022 Ladies Who Launch keynote speaker.

by Lucie Amberg

Apr 11 2022 at 8 a.m.

Megan Johnson, VP of Operations 417 Magazine
Photo by Brandon AlmsMegan Johnson is 417 Magazine’s vice president of operations Purchase Photo

When we began brainstorming about speakers for this year’s Ladies Who Launch, Megan Johnson, 417 Magazine’s vice president of operations, immediately thought of a book that changed her life: How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price.

“I discovered that my phone was a habit,” Johnson says. “I understood better how phones and apps are designed to be addictive. The most shocking part was that the time we spend on them damages our ability to focus, think deeply and even form new memories.”

She went through the book’s 30-day “phone detox,” which she says provided understanding about the habits she’d created with her phone and helped her set better boundaries—for herself and her whole family.

Last week, we announced that Catherine Price is the keynote speaker for Ladies Who Launch on July 14. We’re looking forward to Price’s insight and can’t wait to share in the empowered vibes Johnson reports feeling, especially since Price has released a new book that’s giving us all the vibes. Her new book is The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again, and it’s a how-to for reconnecting with “True Fun,” which Price describes as “the magical confluence of playfulness, connection and flow.” Sign us up.

Catherine Price
Photo courtesy Catherine PriceCatherine Price is the author of How to Break Up with Your Phone.

Megan Johnson’s Top Takeaways from How to Break Up with Your Phone

• During an auditing step, I was alarmed at how often I was picking up my phone. At a red light. During a commercial. Waiting for a document to load on my computer. To avoid something I didn’t want to do. Even glancing at it during a conversation with another person. (How terrible is that? I learned that it’s called “phubbing,” as in “phone snubbing.”) I’d lost the ability to be bored; I instantly had nervous energy the second I wasn't occupied.

• Another "made me think" moment was an exercise that asked me to describe an experience and how much I'd pay for it. One example I thought of was an uninterrupted dinner with my husband. I’d easily pay $100 for that, but if you’re on your phone during an experience like that, you're essentially paying $100 to scroll through Instagram.

• One tactical step I appreciated was creating a speed bump that requires you to stop and think before using your phone. Catherine Price suggests putting a rubber band around your phone or something on your lock screen. That small barrier can make you think about your “WWW,” as in “What for/Why now/What else.”

• I cut out social distractions by turning off every notification on my phone with the exception of texts and phone calls. And when I’m feeling really out of control and life is just flying by me, I delete social media apps altogether.

• I also tidied up my apps. Now I keep a few on my home screen, and the others are buried within folders on my second and third screens. This keeps them out of sight and out of mind; I’m no longer triggered to look at them.

Ladies Who Launch 2022

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