+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy
Health

Danes have the best work-life balance in the world thanks to these 3 important beliefs.

Maybe the rest of us could learn from them.

Danes have the best work-life balance in the world thanks to these 3 important beliefs.


By the end of her first week living in Denmark, Helen Russell was worried about her husband's brand-new job.

She explained in an article she wrote for Stylist that she was sure Lego had fired him already because he kept coming home early.

Originally from the U.K., Russell was used to her home country's work customs, where late nights and long hours were worn as a badge of honor. She felt surprised and embarrassed when her husband first came home from work in the early afternoon — she'd hardly started her own day of freelance writing.


The trend continued, she said, and by Friday, her husband was strolling through the door as early as 2:30 p.m. But it wasn't a reflection of his work ethic. It turns out, in Denmark, working fewer hours is ... just what people do.

Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

This healthy work-life balance is such a crucial part of Danish culture that they even boast about it on the country's official website.

It's a major point of pride for Denmark, which has a reputation for being the happiest country in the world. The government encourages a 37-hour workweek, a designated lunch break, a minimum five weeks of paid vacation, extended and paid parental leave, and flexible schedules with the option to work from home as well as incentives for child care. On average, Danes spend less than one-third of their time working — and yet, they're still more productive than most of the European Union or the United States.

You might be thinking, "What's the catch?" But the truth is that Danish values and national attitudes are behind the country's commitment to work-life balance.

Photo by Jon Olav Nesvold/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Workers in Denmark are trusted to deliver on whatever their job is.

Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

By and large, people want to work. They want to do a good job. But many people wrongly assume that others are inherently lazy, that work is a reflection of our moral values, and that time equals productivity. (But, in fact, a lot of jobs that exist today aren't even measurably productive.)

So what if, instead of finding ways to pass the time until the clock hits 5 p.m., we just did what we had to do for work and then called it a day? What if you were actually empowered to take personal responsibility into your own hands rather than relying on the threats of a manager lurking in the corner making sure you put in the physical time at a desk?

That's what Denmark does. As Russell writes that one of her Danish friends explained to her, "Come Cinderella hour — home time — everyone from the receptionist to the CEO goes. We're trusted to do a good job; do our work; then leave." Maybe that's how they get so much stuff done?

2. Family is obviously important, but in Danish culture, people are actually encouraged to value their families — and everyone else respects it.

Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.


According to Russell's experience, it's totally normal for people in Denmark to list their child care pickups and other family business in their digital calendars for others to see. There shouldn't be any shame in prioritizing family. (And if you don't have a family? You deserve the same freedom.) Also in Denmark, child care is tax-deductible, and the state provides maid services and pensions for the elderly.

This emphasis on family extends to the country's educational approach as well. Rather than using an exam-based schooling system, Denmark is "hugely child-centered and this leads to well-rounded and enthusiastic children," according to teacher Stephanie Lambert, another transplant from Britain.

The country's focus on fewer working hours frees up educators to invest in the personalized needs of students as individuals rather than stressing about uniform success. And as a result, Danish children have these same values instilled in them from a young age. It's ingrained in them by the time they join the workforce, and they'll pass these same values down.

3. Danes also recognize work and play shouldn't be at odds with one another. Everyone benefits from a little R and R — workers and bosses.

Photo by William West/AFP/Getty Images.

More work means more stress, which means more health problems and less getting done. Maybe that's one reason why the Danes spend so much less on health care?

Studies have shown vacations make our brains more creative, which is why vacation days should not be treated as some rare commodity, hoarded like gold for some far-future payoff, or used to cover for other personal matters. People in Denmark receive a minimum five weeks of paid vacation time, and they actually use it — without any fear of shame or social stigma.

It's a simple truth that many Danes recognize, from day laborers to high-end executives: Happier workers are better workers. "We think everyone has a right to be respected, from a CEO to a janitor," Danish psychotherapist Iben Sandahl told The Local. "We try to teach our children to focus on the good in themselves and others rather than on status or labels."

Denmark's model of work-life balance is proof that time is not the same as productivity, and treating people well is actually better for everyone.


Granted, there are some people who think the Danish secret to happiness is actually just lowered expectations. Yet, being humble, realistic, and appreciative isn't such a bad thing.

Either way, the Danes have proven a healthy moderation of labor and leisure is not only possible, but it's measurably preferable to forcing people to live to work and work themselves to death. Maybe it's time the rest of us followed their example.


This article originally appeared on November 23, 2016





Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.



Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.

Brittany is clearly no stranger to busting a move and showed off her skills, but Kelly had the audience (and the internet) absolutely floored. He not only nailed every move, but kept a constant grin from ear to ear.

“Reason number 1838329194920 why I love my dad,” Brittany wrote in her caption.

@bnrevell Reason number 1838329194920 why I love my dad. 🫶🏼🥹 #thatdougietho #fatherdaughter #weddingtok ♬ original sound - Brittany Revell

People in the comments were quick to profess love for Kelly as well. Here are some gems:

“WHO IS THIS LEGEND!”

“I aspire to this level of smooth.”

“Pops got moves!!🔥”

“He really is the main character 🤩🤩”

Others shared praise to both dancers for delivering an unforgettable performance.

“I would absolutely lose my mind if I saw this at a wedding,” wrote one person.

“This is probably THE best TikTok I’ve ever seen. You and your dad are legit rockstars!! Congratulations!!” added another.

Brittany told The Morning Show on Channel 7 that she and Kelly have been learning dances together “for fun in the living room” since she was little. “He has always had some rhythm, but I did not know he could pick up the moves like that,” she quipped. Hey, there’s always something new to learn about dear old dad.

Brittany also shared in an interview with NBC News that people were responding to more than just impressive choreography—it touched them on a heartfelt level.

“I think it’s kind of unique to see a dad of Asian descent be able to open up, let loose and just embrace their American child’s music and culture,” she said, adding that several people who didn’t have relationships with their fathers commended how “inspiring” it was to see the fun Brittany and Kelly created, encouraging them to “be better with their future kids.”

Weddings are a celebration of love, and that can extend beyond the bride and groom. This father expressed his love on the dance floor, and it’s giving us all something to smile about.

Odds are Brittany and her dad are gonna keep posting even more amazing dance videos. You can keep up to date by following Brittany on TikTok here.


This article originally appeared on 09.13.22

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Just because it's common in movies, doesn't mean it's common in everyday life.

Odds are you’ve come across a movie or television moment that made you think, “this definitely would never happen in real life.” Or maybe you thought something about a time or place which wasn’t actually real, thanks to a show you watched. I, for example, totally thought separate his & hers beds were a common thing in the 50s, thanks to “I Love Lucy.”

That’s kind of the magic of motion pictures. The line between reality and illusion is sometimes so blurred you really can’t discern between the whole “art imitating life” and “life imitating art” thing. Of course, the unbelievability of some common tropes make you wonder how they’ve endured for so long in the first place.

Recently, Reddit user rustyyryan asked: "What American thing is not that common but shown in many Hollywood movies/TV shows?"

Thousands responded. But here are some of the best answers.


1. "On Law and Order, when the police come and people keep doing their drone jobs. Sorry, but the most exciting thing in my day is a visit by the police, so I’m stopping everything, offering coffee, asking lots of questions, and ratting out my neighbors on unrelated things!"wawa2022

via GIPHY

"The other thing with Law and Order and other cop shows is that people always act annoyed toward the cops. IRL, the vast majority of people are not going to act that way. I’ve had a couple of cop visits and I was always shocked and kind of nervous and there was no way I would have acted like they were getting on my nerves!"logorrhea69

2."Presents where the box lid is wrapped separately from the rest of the box." sra19

"This drives me crazy! I get it...it would be a huge hassle to have to re-wrap a present for every take, plus you have to worry about continuity, but I have literally never seen a present wrapped this way in my life."yourlittlebirdie

3. "At schools, teachers give assignments like normal people and don't shout it at the class as they're departing after the bell rings." Beezo514

via GIPHY

4. "Women having sex while wearing a bra the whole time. That's the first or second thing I take off of her." BendingDoor

5. "The houses and apartments shown do not represent the living conditions of most folks."rjainsa

"One of the reasons Spielberg's films from the '80s/'90s were so believable was that he insisted on houses looking lived in. The Goonies and E.T. both showed messy houses, single parents, scruffy kids, etc." springloadednadsack

via GIPHY

6. "Empty parking spaces on city streets." other_half_of_elvis

7. "Especially right in front of the place you’re going."BxAnnie

8. "Moms making huge breakfasts that no one eats." babyfresno77

9. "This is the one. Every time, I’m like, 'What time are these kids getting up? What time does school start?'"DanDan_notaman

10. "Cars exploding in a crash." St_Ander

"My husband is a firefighter, and he hates car explosion scenes in movies because they don't happen the way movies show them happening."Specialist-Funny-926

11."I noticed that no one has screens on their windows on TV. Where I live the bugs would carry you away."RusticSurgery

via GIPHY

"This one drives my husband crazy. He always comments on this when someone opens a window, sticks their head out, or throws something out. Could not do that where I live."Sunnywithachance099

12. "Shoes on the bed." slash-5

"I absolutely hate that trope. People with their shoes on beds or sofas. Hate it."Farscape29

13. "Classes last longer than for the teacher to say something pithy, ask someone a question and then hear the bell ring. School buses don't honk for your lollygagging ass. If the bus stop is empty, they keep driving." Scrotchety

14. "Halloween party costumes are much more elaborate on TV compared to real life."Fireproofspider

via GIPHY

"You never see anyone in some crap they picked up at Spirit Halloween 30 minutes before the party."Repulsive-Heron7023

15. "Nobody ever has to ask someone to repeat themselves in a movie. I probably say, 'What?' about 60 times a day." Street-Suitable

"This is all TV and movies. Nobody ever stumbles over their words unless it is a plot-necessary miscommunication or the bumbly can't get my words out trope."Jimmy_riddle86

16. "Abrupt endings to conversations or phone calls without saying bye." ParapluieGris

via GIPHY

"OMG, thank you. Seriously, I wondered if people actually did this."raggitytits

17. "The idea that you could be like six months behind on rent before they threaten to evict you, or six months behind on the power bill before they cut off your electricity. Maybe it used to be like that, but it sure isn’t anymore." komeau

18. "People in a bar ordering a 'beer.' In real life, the server would likely be exasperated and ask about brand/kind and quantity." remymartinia

"This one drives me nuts. I have never once in my 14 years working at restaurants and bars had someone just order a 'beer.'"EveInGardenia

…and lastly…

19. "Kids dressed up for school, which would result in them being sent home to change…Also, teens wearing stilettos to school."Wulfkat

via GIPHY

"Most teenagers today wear a baggy sweatshirt or a large T-shirt to school."Randomthoughts4041

Melissa Pateras explains how dry cleaning works.



Have you ever wondered what happens at the dry cleaners? Or are you like me, who just assumed the people at the dry cleaners were wizards and never questioned their magic? Turns out, dry cleaners aren't magic and there's actually a pretty interesting explanation of how they came to be and what they do.

Melissa Pateras is known on Tiktok for her laundry knowledge. Seriously, her ability to fold laundry is hypnotizing. This time, she created a video explaining what actually takes place at the dry cleaner and the internet is aghast.

Before Pateras explained what happens in the mysterious world behind the counter of a dry cleaner, she asked a few of her friends what they thought dry cleaning was. Their answers were...interesting to say the least.

One friend surmised, "You put it in a box, right...and then you let some wind, really fast wind, blow around on your clothes and it wipes off all the dirt." The friend, whose username is @unlearn16, continued with her working hypothesis, saying that the clothes are then blasted with infrared heat to sterilize the garments. While that is certainly an interesting theory, that's not what happens.


Another friend guessed, "Dry cleaning is when they take all of your dirty clothes into this big dryer with a clean sheet that sticks all of the dirt to it from your dirty clothes." This friend was also incorrect, and Pateras finally explained why after her friends dug deep into their brains for their best guesses.

Turns out dry cleaning was invented by accident when Jean-Baptiste Jolly spilled a kerosene lamp on his tablecloth, which dried cleaner than it was previously, according to Pateras.

The laundry guru explained that while it was dangerous, the practice of cleaning things with kerosene continued until a less flammable method was discovered. But even the safer method is still fairly harsh, which is why dry cleaners take buttons off of clothing before running them through, she says.

This prompted one commenter to ask, "They really take the buttons off of every shirt?" to which Pateras replied that it only occurs if the buttons won't withstand the chemicals.

If you've ever been curious about what happens at the dry cleaner, watch the video below. She takes you through each step.

@melissadilkespateras

What is dry cleaning #laundry #laundrytok #drycleaning #funfacts @Tracy Taylor @Unlearn16 @Ana Pac @Ashley Mathieu @Li

This article originally appeared on 5.10.23

Music video about the female body is leaving people laughing

Sometimes you come across something that makes you giggle and want to cry all at the same time. Laughter can help take the sting out of uncomfortable or upsetting information and Farideh (@ilove farideh) has found a way to make hard truths funny with music videos. Recently the Instagram creator uploaded a video poking fun at the medical mystery that is the human female body.

Women have been a mystery in the medical community for as long as medicine has been around. Of course doctors know that women exist and the inner workings of the human bodies but there seems to be something about uterus owners that baffles doctors. It ranges from hormones to pain levels, to specific issues related to having a uterus.

Farideh covers it all in a catchy tune complete with pretty awesome dance moves that has commenters clapping along. The song starts off with the woman listing multiple medical conditions specific to woman, endometriosis, PCOS and more before singing, "what's happening to your body, we don't know because we've never really studied the female body."


"You say it's all in my head but the research is quite spotty," Farideh sings. Women in the comments are backing up the woman with her musical observation of what it's like to navigate the medical complex as a person born with female reproductive systems.

"She came for the entire failure of the medical community with a banger and bars. Not one lie told," one person says.

"'Just take birth control pills' - every single doctor for any symptom at all," another writes.

"Thank you for doing this. This is art. This is iconic. This. Is. Our. Anthem. 'Do you have pain? No you don't.'" someone agrees.

"Thanks. I hate it because it rings so true, but love you for singing the truth," one commenter shares.

While many women in the comments were praising the creator, others shared their heartbreaking reality of not being taken seriously when seeking medical care.

"'I don’t feel quite right and I’m so lethargic'. GP: lose weight, exercise more, see my partner who is a psychologist. It was stage 3 cancer. I wish I was joking," a woman reveals.

"Immediately after giving birth, my uterus didn't contract and I was hemorrhaging significantly. I was in severe pain. They thought I was overreacting and having a panic attack so instead of treating my problem, they gave me a dose of Lorazepam to shut me up. I ended up losing over 3 litters of blood, went into shock, and had to be resuscitated. Why are there so many stories like this? Unacceptable," another explains.

While Farideh's song is amusing, the issue she's highlighting is extremely important. Hopefully the research gap will be addressed so women can feel listened to and cared for when they seek medical attention.

David Shankbone/Wikipedia, Photo credit: Canva

Is this the only way to break phone addiction?

On a recent episode of his “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” podcast, Ted Danson noted that Woody Harrelson doesn’t have a phone. He even joked that the “Hunger Games” star was “one of those bullies in life that make other people carry his phone for him.”

Harrelson quickly clarified that Danson’s jape wasn’t “exactly true,” sharing what really led him to ditching his device three and a half years ago.

“Well, I just don’t like to have, you know, to be readily available to any human being at any time,” he told Danson. “I like to be in touch with people in a way, but I don’t like the appendage on my appendage.”

Harrelson’s sentiment is certainly a relatable one. But it’s his failed attempts to “limit” his screen time that really resonate.

“Back then I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to set this limit. Two hours,’ ” Harrelson reflected. “It’s like 9:30. You know, I’ve already hit my limit at 9:30, so I woke up, and I’ve been on it two hours already because, cuz you know how it can just keep going and going.”

Goodness, how many of us have tried—and failed—to limit our screen time?

Even with little alerts that say “you have five more minutes'' on various apps, those alerts are easy to ignore once you do it a couple of times. Another strategy might be putting our phones on “Do Not Disturb” to ward off notifications, or setting it to “Night Mode” so that the screen is less bright and eye-catching. But anecdotally, all of these hacks seem to only do so much.

Harrelson also explained that he would find himself at dinner and and instantly reaching for his phone once there was a lull in the conversation. Who among us hasn’t been guilty of this modern day social faux pas? It even ignited the seemingly short-lived “phone stacking” movement, where friends going out to dinner would all stack their phones on the table, and whoever reached for their device first would have to cover the tab.

Lastly, Harrelson admitted he only ever used the phone to send texts, rather than make phone calls. According to Statista, texting is by far the most common phone activity, followed by emails, app usage, online shopping, internet, etc. Making phone calls didn’t even seem to make the list.

All this to say—phone addiction might not be on the same level as substance addiction, but its addictive qualities are incredibly hard to shake. And this is partially due to the fact that our society enables and encourages phone usage, much in the same way that alcohol is a fully ingrained aspect of our culture.

Paul Graham, famed Silicon Valley investor, notes that often society forms “antibodies” against addictive new things, coming first in the form of a change in public opinion, followed by a change in legislation. He uses the example of smoking, and how it went from being “totally normal” to something “seedy,” and eventually laws were created to match societal change. Even with alcohol we have seen this, with alcohol-free bars even becoming mainstream.

What makes “technology addiction” different, however, is how rapidly it evolves.

“Unless the rate at which social antibodies evolve can increase to match the accelerating rate at which technological progress throws off new addictions, we'll be increasingly unable to rely on customs to protect us. Unless we want to be canaries in the coal mine of each new addiction—the people whose sad example becomes a lesson to future generations—we'll have to figure out for ourselves what to avoid and how. It will actually become a reasonable strategy (or a more reasonable strategy) to suspect everything new,” he writes.

So, if our current world really doesn’t offer any buffers between us and our devices, Harrelson’s cold turkey approach does make some sense. Not that his approach is in any way feasible for 99% of us. But still, it offers some food for thought. Without agreed upon collective changes to our phone behavior, what chance does an individual really have of breaking free of this widely common habit? Is the only option to opt out entirely? These are questions thus far without answers. But what an important conversation to have moving forward.