The amazing hour (& other ways to put your phone down)

It’s not uncommon that I find myself frozen except for the fingers, unsure how much time has passed, scrolling along the endless stream of ‘content’. The feeds are especially, mathematically curated for me. Designed to reel me in. Indeed — something called ‘Text Neck’ is now an epidemic, since we spend so long with our necks unhealthily curving forwards to face the tiny screens we carry with us everywhere.

I’ve tried quitting. I really have. Like fad diets, I’ve attempted cutting my ‘screentime’ down, going cold turkey, having a no-phone rule before bed or on public transport. I know it’s bad for me, but I am hopelessly addicted. But perhaps not forever.

This week I came across The Atlantic’s video where James Hamblin lays out his proposal for a fun new craze to solve the problem: The Amazing Hour.

What I like about this is that it’s not a ‘no phone’ rule. The hour includes not looking at screens and putting your phone away, but the emphasis is on the amazingness. Building a pocket of amazingness into the end of the day – that the last thing you do each day is joyful – is a delightful approach.

Inspired by the progress I’ve made, and joy I’ve experienced through pre-sleeping Amazing Hours, I encourage you to do the same. But why stop at just one? How about an Amazing Breakfast, with no phone, and just the quiet stillness of the morning and the deliciousness of your first cup of coffee? Or an Amazing Lunch Hour, walking around the block listening to a good podcast?

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