Logging Off, with Blake Snow

Eudaemonia Podcast: Transcript

Blake Snow is an executive content advisor, writer, and recognized journalist who has published feature articles for top-tier US media, including CNN, NBC, and National Geographic. He’s also the author of Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting. On this episode, Kim and Blake discuss why it’s vital for our well-being that we minimize our online activity and connect more mindfully with our real-world lives. 

Kim Forrester 0:00
According to studies, up to 6% of the world’s population is addicted to the internet – a startling statistic when you take into account that only 39% of the world’s population has access to the internet. You’re listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. I’m Kim Forrester, and today we’re going to explore why it’s vital for our well being that we learn to log off.

Intro 0:26
Welcome to Eudaemonia, the podcast that is all about flourishing. Plug in, relax and get ready for the goodness as we explore the traits and practices that can help you thrive in life … with your host Kim Forrester.

Kim Forrester 0:45
Blake Snow is an executive content advisor, bodacious writer, and recognised journalist who has published thousands of feature articles for top tier US media including CNN, NBC, USA Today and National Geographic. Over the last decade, Blake has rigorously researched, tested, and developed several connectivity strategies for finding offline balance in an online world, which resulted in his first book, Log Off: How to stay connected after disconnecting. It’s my absolute delight to be chatting with Blake today to discuss how our well being is enhanced when we minimise our online activity and connect more mindfully with our real-world lives. Blake Snow, thank you for choosing to be a part of the Eudaemonia podcast. It’s such a delight to have you here today. How are things?

Blake Snow 1:33
They’re great, Kim, I mean, given the circumstances of this crazy world that we live in. Oh, my goodness. I mean, yeah. It’s great to be on the show. I’m really looking forward to speaking with you, Kim. Thanks for having me.

Kim Forrester 1:48
Well, I guess there’s a sweet irony that, as most of the world is sort of turning to online, we’re going to talk about the reasons why it’s vitally important for us to go offline at times. It’s been around a decade, Blake, since you decided to create a healthier relationship, shall we say, with the online world. What have you learned, or what have you relearned, about yourself since logging off?

Blake Snow 2:11
Oh gosh, so much. When I first quit Facebook and social media, Kim, I thought I was committing social suicide. And when I was backing off the internet, I just thought, ‘This is gonna ruin my life. This is how we have relationships now.’ And so I just bought into that, and having been connected to that world for so long, it just becomes who you are and kind of the way that you engage in a lot of your relationships. It’s just, that became my new normal. So I was very nervous to quit that, but I knew it wasn’t doing me any good. There’s also lots of research that shows that it doesn’t do people good to be following people that closely, from afar. And so I took the leap of faith; I took a jump. And since then I realised that the cream of the crop always rises to the top. I might not find out what you have for lunch, Kim, you know, right away. But if it was really amazing, eventually I will – if you’re a close friend or a colleague. And that’s true of everything. It just, you know … memorable vacations or important happenings with your co-workers or family members – those things transcend the online world. They really do. And it’s proof that we are mostly, predominantly offline creatures. We’re physical, you know, beings and we require those physical relationships. And so that was a great reset. Now I didn’t completely log off – that’s kind of a misnomer. You know, people think, ‘Oh, did you just go to the mountains?’ No, no. I still use this wonderful, powerful tool called the internet to enhance my life and work. I use Google Maps regularly to get to these wonderful places in the real world. But it’s just I do it in a very precise way, which is more like a tool rather than as the default setting that many people do: beep, pick me up, beep beep, pick me up, give me attention. Beep, beep, beep, you know, buzz, buzz buzz. And that’s just not the way I wanted to live life. So it’s kind of hard to just pick one way that it’s really blessed my life. I’ve grown closer to family, I’ve been able to explore the world more. I’ve picked up music again. It’s been wonderful. It’s been a net gain, 100%. I will say there’s some minor downsides. I generally don’t know what my extended family is up to as much. I do miss that. Seriously. So cousins and aunts and uncles, I’m not as close with as before. That was one small downside. But I think the gains and the proximity and closeness I’ve gained with the truly important – the incredibly close – relationships in my life far outweigh what I would argue is a very small, incremental loss in terms of getting off of social media.

Kim Forrester 4:47
You mentioned there that you haven’t completely withdrawn from the online world. And you do say in your book, it’s more about being discerning about what you’re actually logging on to rather than, like you say, being the slave to that little beep beep notification.

Blake Snow 4:59

Kim Forrester 5:00
Right, it’s about choosing what works for you and what doesn’t. So what steps can we take – as very fearful and very hesitant human beings, I might add – if we want to, sort of, pare back our online usage and become more discerning about these kinds of commitments?

Blake Snow 5:18
Great question, Kim. And I would just assure everyone that the internet, your email, your inbox, your buzz, your apps, they’re not going anywhere. So if you prevent them from interrupting your life at any moment, and you find – which you probably won’t, but if you’re really nervous – if you find that, ‘Oh, my life will be miserable things will be horrible, I can’t do that’, go back to it. You know, we kind of buy into this lie that I’m committing social suicide. I’m ostracising myself by, you know, disconnecting in large swaths from my online life. And it’s just not true. The studies, the science doesn’t support that. It’s just, I think, in an illogical fear that many of us have. So if you’re super scared about that, congratulations, you’re a human! I went through the same thing. But my advice to you, or my challenge to you, would be like, try it. Try it for a month. It’s gonna be there when you go back. It’s not going anywhere. So that would be my first challenge – is just accept that you could go back to it if it’s really horrible. And then secondly, you really do need to do a clean reset of your notifications and alerts. That’s the biggest, kind of number one thing I recommend in the book. It’s pretty telling him that, I think it was two years ago, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, he came out and said that he turns off all his alerts. Is that not just … the maker of the iPhone says he turns off all alerts and default alerts and buzzes. I can’t tell you how deep, you know, that reality is. So if the maker of the iPhone doesn’t even eat his own dog food in that regard, we shouldn’t either. And so that’s the thing. I think the trick is, once you leave that, then you start picking up this powerful tool on your terms – when you’re ready – rather than letting it interrupt your life. And when that happens, you create more, you do more things that you want to do, rather than letting apps or your inbox dictate how you should be spending your time. So it’s powerful, powerful stuff.

Kim Forrester 7:12
You also suggest that we are very careful about the apps that we add into our lives and into our technology. And you sort of say that we should ask ‘why’ instead of ‘why not’? What do you mean by that?

Blake Snow 7:24
Yes, I do. So there’s this study, I think it was from Stanford, that says that you can only realistically maintain about a hundred relationships in your life. So as one fades, you can bring another one in. Or as you bring in a new relationship, another will just invariably fade. Humans don’t have the capacity to maintain that number of relationships. This is whether you have a lot of virtual relationships, on social media, or not. And the same is true with your apps. I’ve read that most people can use five or six apps. So if you’re adding a bunch of apps that just adds a lot of baggage and this thought in the back of your mind like ‘Oh, I need to check that app, or that’. So once you delete those, or kind of replace them, I think that’s really powerful. So for example, if I stumble upon a new app, it’s really trending, a lot of people are using, I’ll ask myself, ‘Would this work for me? Does this bless my life? Am I willing to give up one of my current ten apps that I absolutely love and use regularly for this?’ If the answer is no, I don’t download it. I’ll just wait. And maybe later it’ll come back in my life. and I could use it then. But that’s what I mean by asking ‘why’ instead of ‘why not’. The default is just ‘Oh, everyone’s doing it. Let me download it and bring this into my life as well.’ And that’s just really a bad approach with technology, I would argue.

Kim Forrester 8:36
Blake, since reading your book, I have become more consciously aware of the time that I spend online and it’s a great distraction tool. I must say the online world is fabulous if you’re wanting to procrastinate on anything. Right? So since you logged off, I’m certain that your relationship with time has changed in many ways. How has your relationship with meal-time and rest- or sleep-time changed in particular?

Blake Snow 9:03
Oh, great question, Kim. And both are up 200%. I’ll just say it like … So before, when I was admittedly addicted to online and my phone, sleep was a problem. I would bring my phone to the bedroom, like many of us do. That blue light would keep me up; it messes with our ability to sleep. So my phone is not allowed in my room. I’ll make some exceptions if there’s something I need to do, but I’ll keep the lamp on because you need that natural light. And then I will put it away. I’ll remove it from my room, put it in my kitchen before I then return to my room. So that, sleep has improved dramatically and when sleep improves dramatically – most people know this – but as I wrote in my book, it removes any cloudiness or fatigue, mental fatigue. Both physical and mental fatigue. And that allows you to do so much more with the wake time that we have – which is, you know, two thirds of our day. So it’s very powerful there. And then not only am I eating with my family a lot more, which has just been wonderful, I’m much more present. So while I used to eat meals with family, you know, oftentimes I’d have bad habits of keeping the phone in my pocket. It would buzz; I’d be preoccupied and distracted with what’s going on elsewhere online. I had that FOMO; that fear of missing out. Even though I’m with the people I love the most, right in front of me. And so that’s what’s so powerful about these devices – is the ability to distract us to the point where it kind of tells you ‘You know what, Kim, I know you love these people you’re with right now, but I really need your attention. I need it now. Please look at me and forget these really important people that are wonderful to you.’ And a quick side note, Kim. You’re up against some of the smartest minds in the world. You know, these devices and apps are developed by mathematicians and behavioural scientists from Silicon Valley, and these companies hire some of the smartest individuals in the world. You know, we’ve got a lot of powerful minds working against us because, in their best interest, it’s ‘Come on, give me attention so I can sell your privacy or your ad dollars. This is how I’ll make money.’ So it’s at odds with how we should be using the phone. So that’s an important thing to remember. So, it’s helped dramatically both my sleep- and meal-time, and my proximity with my family. It’s just boosted my relationships with them. It’s been wonderful. And if anyone’s interested in doing that, one of the best ways you can do it is really turn off the default notifications and alerts on your phone, and you’ll be headed in a very good direction.

Kim Forrester 11:29
It’s profoundly ironic, I think, that being connected constantly online has really caused us to be disconnected with the real world relationships that are right in front of us, asking to be nourished.

Blake Snow 11:42
Exactly. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with the science between artificial sugars but there’s been a lot of research showing, like, Diet Coke – very popular drink but with these artificial sugars – it tricks the body into thinking, you know, it’s like, ‘Oh, I got sugar’. And then, the body’s not an idiot Kim. The body goes, ‘Wait. I need carbs, I need sugars.’ That’s when the brain runs off. And then it sends the signals to your body saying, ‘Now go get me some real sugar’ and a lot of people do. The same effect happens with online relationships. We can make ourselves feel like, ‘Oh, look at all these people I’m quote unquote ‘friends’ with online. Look at all these people I can spy on, and look at what they’re doing, and just kind of follow or envy. And I only get to see the best parts of their life. I’m not seeing the difficult parts of their life.’ What happens there is, there’s research showing that it sends our relationship, our social creature being, kind of raging where we’re like, ‘No, this isn’t the relationship I needed. I feel lousy. Why do I feel lousy?’ The answer is because you’re not getting true relationships; the physical touch, the body language, the presence of hearing my voice. Social media, it’s kind of a misnomer. It’s really not that social. The in-person or the spoken voice is much more powerful than texting or this illusion of having friends online.

Kim Forrester 12:58
Another way that you’ve sort of adjusted your real life world in very beneficial ways. First of all, you take a sabbatical; an online sabbatical. And secondly – I love this one – in your book, you suggest that we can retire once or twice a year, rather than saving it all up towards the end of our working life. What do you mean by retiring once or twice a year and how does it actually benefit us?

Blake Snow 13:21
So what happens with retirement in general, Kim, is oftentimes – not always, but I would say the majority of what I’ve read, you know – they’ll defer this relaxation or doing bucket list goals till when their body’s more rundown. You know, and they may have health issues. And what happens is, they go to that point and then they figure out, like, ‘I need involvement, I want to contribute. This isn’t fun to not do anything except leisure and recreation full-time.’ And so there’s a lot of studies supporting that idea, that started, I believe, in the 1950s or 60s, really is outdated and doesn’t really work. So this concept of mini retirements is, if you’re able to completely break free and get offline – and so that’s why I recommend you know, about twice a year, an electronic fast for a week. And then this mini retirement, something similar where people, I would argue, Kim aren’t really breaking away from vacation. If you’re still checking your work email, Kim on a vacation, you’re really not vacationing. You’ve kind of just changed geographies – it might be a warmer temperature and nice sun but your mind is still where it normally is. So mentally, you’re not getting a true vacation, or you’re breaking free and letting your mind recharge, and letting your subconscious come in and do a lot of the heavy lifting that it can and should do. So that’s what I mean about a true vacation several times a year. Or not even just a vacation. If there’s something you’ve wanted to do, take a week or two off to try to accomplish it. Maybe that’s trying to finish some art projects you’re working on or a piece of music. Do stuff like that. That’s what I would call, like, these little mini retirements on a yearly basis.

Kim Forrester 15:03
No, that makes perfect sense. I guess we see retirement, this concept of retirement, as a time of complete liberation from obligations. Right? So what you’re saying is, that by turning off our phones or by walking away from the internet, we can actually create a space where we are liberated from those obligations.

Blake Snow 15:21
Yes, aIbeit temporarily. But it’s invigorating. So I’ll give an example. I got a recent email from this man from Colombia. He said, ‘Blake, I’m a dentist, from Colombia. I just read your book, Log Off and I want to tell you the changes it’s made in my life.’ And he talked about how he never used to be able to break away but now he’s breaking away periodically – on nights and weekends as I recommend in my book – but on vacation. And he said, when that happened – and this is something I’ve seen in my own life – when that happens, he comes back to work much more invigorated. It reminded him how much he likes work. But he’s got a break from that work to really appreciate that. So that was really wonderful to read his take on how these healthy breaks can actually make us better workers, as opposed to the always-connected workers that many of us have become.

Kim Forrester 16:09
Which is precisely why I knew I had to have you on the show. This show is all about flourishing and this is such an important part of flourishing in our lives. Last season, Blake, I interviewed Courtney Carver. She is a simplicity expert. She lamented that we’ve become consumers and not creators in our lives. Do you agree with that particular assessment? Do you feel that we inhibit our ability to create when we spend so much time consuming online information?

Blake Snow 16:36
Wholeheartedly, Kim. Courtney is exactly right. And there’s many studies proving that. You talked about how the internet is a great distraction. The reason it is such a great distraction, Kim, is it’s bottomless. There’s no final page. There’s no game over screen. There’s no you listen to the last song of this great album. It’s bottomless. So what happens is, it sends our dopamine levels raging. And dopamine is a very healthy thing that evolution – or God or whatever you believe in – gave us to cause humans to seek and be curious. And it’s a wonderful thing. But when you couple it with a bottomless device or platform, like the internet, it sends dopamine raging and there’s no finish. There’s no end in sight. When that happens, like Courtney rightly observed, Kim, we just consume. We consume. That dopamine just says, ‘Keep seeking, keep seeking, keep consuming, keep being curious.’ And there’s no, like, really good break for us to stop and say, like, ‘No, I need to create, I need to stop consuming.’ We do need to look for ways to create and it’s very difficult to do when we’re dealing with a bottomless internet.

Kim Forrester 17:41
What you were sort of implying there about the dopamine, this leads into what you call the king complex. What is the king complex? And why is it so important for us to recognise this when it comes to trying to log off more often?

Blake Snow 17:54
Well, that’s a great question. And in all the research I did for the book, this was kind of the big Eureka idea that I had while writing this book. And, it’s this – I call it the king complex, Kim, because the Internet has made or at least given the illusion to many of us, that were the kings of our own domain. So if I say, ‘Hey, pull up all this information about national parks, or any interest or diversion I have, the internet will do that. It really kind of gives us the illusion that we’re the king of everything and we can just ask this internet jester, if you will, to bring us this, that and the other. And it’ll just keep doing it and keep doing it. And so power corrupts, Kim, and that’s what happens with many of us online – is that we get this idea that ‘Hey, we’re the king of our own domain. I’m powerful now. I don’t know that I’m being corrupted by this, but I’m just gonna keep going down this because it feels very good to be able to ask a computer something and it never tells me “no”. It just gives it to me again and again. And then I can switch to another subject.’ And so that’s what I mean by the king complex and how many of us fall into this trap. And that’s why many of us, you know, can’t get offline, or feel trapped or addicted to our phone, or our favourite app, or social media, or the internet in general.

Kim Forrester 19:08
I absolutely recognise that sense of empowerment that you’re talking about there. That sense of, ‘Oh, I can go online right now. And I can get anything that I want, right now, online.’ And I do think it’s also really, really bad for those of us who struggle with patience.

Blake Snow 19:25
Of course. It does. It makes us impatient. Kim, do you have children?

Kim Forrester 19:29
Yeah, I have two young adult children. And we all are the same in that we want the information and we want it now.

Blake Snow 19:36
Yeah, well, I don’t know if your children, if they had iPads when they were younger. It sounds like not. But there’s a lot of studies that show, even a child that is exposed to this king complex has a very difficult time, you know, facing their emotions or accepting a ‘no’ from a parent. So, in a lot of ways, we’re just children when it comes to the king complex. So it’s fascinating how the internet can affect our impatience.

Kim Forrester 20:00
So let’s go to those moments where we’re not necessarily the king, but we’re the minion, right? And what I’m talking about here is when we have a boss or someone who has authority over us, and they expect us to be online all the time. Or Blake, what about if the only way your social circle interacts is online? What do we do about that? How can we actually incorporate those sorts of expectations into a healthier offline life?

Blake Snow 20:27
That’s a great question, Kim. And I get that often, and it kind of comes in two parts. The first is, if you have a boss, Kim, that expects you to answer emails late in the evening or on weekends and gets verbally upset with you for not doing so, I would recommend it’s time to maybe seek out a new boss or employment. And I mean that. That’s a sincere request. I know some can’t do that right away, but that just shows me you have a boss that isn’t considerate of the rest of your life. And that’s just not someone you want to be working with, or for, long term. But you’re right, there are some short term things that you might have to do. You could you could even tell your boss, ‘Hey, I’m very stressed out and I need to break from work so I can work better for you in the hours that I am in the office. Can you do this?’ And just see the response. I would say, nine times out of ten, Kim, no one wants to sound like the very demanding person, and they’ll largely go along with that. I’ve heard a lot of success stories from people that have tried that. And the same goes for your relationships. I know a lot of people that have read my book say, ‘Blake, but I feel obligated to reply to a text right away.’ And I would say a lot of that is just a projected obligation. I would argue a lot of friends still maybe understand that, if it’s an emergency, pick up the phone and call. That still is the case here. When emergencies happen, people still understand to call someone. Now that’s changing a little bit with younger generations. But even … like, even the young generations I work with are respectful of that. The only alert I get, Kim, is when I get a text or a call from my wife or kids. Nothing else comes through. So it does happen where I don’t get something for a few hours, or maybe the next day. And as I’ve become that, I think my relationships just know that. They know that that doesn’t define who I am as a person; they know that I’m a person that lives more consciously offline than most. And they’re fine with that. I mean, I still get invited to parties from friends that, you know, ‘Hey, I put this on Facebook. Oh, I really like Blake and Lindsey’, my wife, ‘I got to go reach out to them about it via text.’ And so, as I said before, the cream of the crop I think transcends the online. And you really just need to set those boundaries and expectations with the relationships that are important to you. And I would wager nine times out of ten, if not 99% of the time, Kim, people know. They would know that they’re being too demanding if, ‘I saw that you read my message. You need to respond to me right away.’ By the way, Kim, turn off your read messages. That’s a very … that’s an invasion of privacy and it leads to a lot more problems than not. And so I hope that helps. But yeah, that’s a two-part answer. If you’re working for someone that’s demanding and insists on being demanding, that’s stressful and I don’t think that’s something that’s sustainable long term. And then secondly, to get to that point, you might just need some gentle reminders to your friends that, ‘Hey, I’m not checking email enough. I care about our relationship or I care about your text. It might take me some time to get it. But I will get to it because I care and I love you.’ And I’ve just never met anyone that was unsatisfied with that answer.

Kim Forrester 23:30
And in the meantime, you get to celebrate the fact that you are being an inspiring and healthy example for everyone around you by choosing to be more connected with the real world. Right?

Blake Snow 23:40
Exactly, yeah! Yes, you are.

Kim Forrester 23:42
Blake, are there ways that we can help facilitate healthier online behaviours in others; in our friends, and the people that we love, and the people around us? For instance, can we stop adding to the noise on social media? Can we ensure that we’re not only connecting with people online? Are they things that we can do that will help free other people from this addiction?

Blake Snow 24:04
Yes, you just said it yourself, Kim. That, you know, about this being a good example; of being a good steward of technology, and smartphones, and the internet. Lead by example. Oftentimes I’m asked about my book, like, ‘I can’t get my kids off their phones or their iPads. How can you help me?’ And my first question always, Kim, is ‘Well how do you use your iPad and your phone? Are you teaching them?’ Chances are you taught your children, or your colleagues, or your friends those behaviours – or at least you’re reinforcing that behaviour. So be the change you want to be in the world. This applies to smartphone use and internet use more than anything. And I think, I have a reputation, Kim – and many of my other friends that have chosen to live this conscious offline life – other people know about that and they deep down want to aspire to that. And I’ve had many friends come to me say, ‘You know, I’ve changed. Your example helped.’ Or, I have a brother in law that has always been good with this. He’s never had problems using the internet or smartphone too much. And I’ve always admired that. And he’s done so much in his life that it’s inspiring. So be the change you want to see. There are ways you can do that. Don’t take your phone out and place it on the dinner table, Kim. That sends the message loud and clear, ‘Hey, you’re sort of important to me. But right here, this is the most important. If this buzzes at me, I’m picking it up. And I’m going to ignore what you’re saying.’ I mean, that’s a powerful message – to silence your phones during movies and at mealtimes, and not put your phone on your table. That’s another small little example that you can do. When you’re with friends, it’s a powerful example when you don’t check your phone. Or if there is an emergency – which doesn’t happen very often, I would argue, Kim – tell your friends beforehand, or the people you’re with, ‘Hey, I am expecting this very important call that I couldn’t reschedule. So I just want you to know that I may be taking that. But I’ll excuse myself and then I’ll come back and I’ll put my phone away.’ So show the people that are important to life, you know, that ‘I’m still using these tools, but I’m gonna do it in a different way. And I want you to help me. I want you to keep me honest.’ I’ve asked my wife and friends that, especially as I was getting offline, is this whole idea of accountability partner. Tell the people that are most important in your life, ‘These are the changes I want to make with my phone and technology. Can you help me? Will you encourage me? Will you ask me if you see me cheating on my phone, you know, during the mealtime? Please ask me and I’ll say “Thank you, thank you for the reminder”, and I’ll put it away.’ So empower those relationships to help you be the change you want to be, as well.

Kim Forrester 26:25
That’s so simple and profound. And powerful. Like it also seems to me that our online behaviour affects the way that we interact with the world at large. Okay? I feel like a lot of people are not their best selves when they’re online, and this kind of exacerbates social differences, and political differences, and cultural divides. Do you feel it would be helpful for society as a whole if more of us chose to log off more often; if more of us chose to step away from the online echo chambers, and perhaps seek out healthier ways to build more constructive dialogue?

Blake Snow 27:02
Yes, Kim. The answer is yes. And it’s a wholehearted ‘Yes’. What I’m recommending in Log Off isn’t just for personal reasons, although that’s why I started this journey, and wrote the book, and made the lifestyle choices that I did. So there’s incredible personal gains by logging off and forming a healthy relationship with your smartphone and the internet. But there’s very big societal benefits as well. And you’ve talked about groupthink and how we are now more hive-minded than ever before. And there’s a lot of research showing that. When the internet first started, Kim, I don’t know if you remember, you could have – or at least when commenting first started – you could get everyone’s comments on the single news page. And it was wonderful. You could see opposing views. You could see people bringing up new things. What happens now, Kim? That just gets separated on everyone’s little social media feeds with all their hive-minded thoughts. So that just entrenches our political beliefs and our personal beliefs. We are exposed to far fewer ideas because we can just block a belief that makes us feel uncomfortable, whether it’s true or not. And so, that is why you’re seeing a more divisive world – is because we’ve been able to live our life now with with these very toxic … you know, we get to pick and choose what were exposed to information-wise. That’s why misinformation is high. That’s why, certainly in America, and I’ve heard across other countries in the world, political partisanship is incredibly high; arguably more than before. I mean, it’s always been present but now it’s to the level that just seems toxic, where you can’t have a discussion or you can’t ask a question without being lumped into, you know, this political opponent or another one. So it’s very unhealthy. And to answer your question, yes, if we did more logging off and we didn’t so much seek out this hive-minded group thought from our favourite pages – that we cancel out everyone else that doesn’t agree with us – that would just … it just leads to more open mindedness

Kim Forrester 28:59
Blake, my final question is one that I ask every guest on the Eudaemonia podcast. Can you offer my listeners a simple morning reminder? So normally I ask for a practice, or a mantra, or an affirmation – something that can help us all start logging off and enjoying a more fulfilling real-world life.

Blake Snow 29:19
There’s a sign right above my office that I see before I come in every day and it says, ‘I can do hard things’. I think everyone needs a reminder of that, Kim. All of us do. Because, oftentimes, we know that, but sometimes we forget it if we have a little doubt, if yesterday didn’t go so well, or if we had a bad day at work or, you know, a relationship. We can kind of … sometimes we doubt ourselves – that ‘Can I do hard things? I know I have in the past, but can I overcome this?’ I just constantly remind myself and my family and friends that we can; we’re capable of doing incredible things. Even with this horrible pandemic that’s going on, Kim. Like, we’ll beat this. We can collectively, as a society. We can beat Internet addiction. We can beat smartphone addiction. We can beat hive-minded thinking if we make conscious decisions about how we use our technology and how we inform ourselves. So you can do hard things, Kim. Every listener to this podcast can. I can. And that’s the affirmation that I live by that has really benefited my life.

Kim Forrester 30:15
That’s just beautiful, Blake. Thank you for sharing. Now your book, amazing book, Log Off: How to stay connected after disconnecting. I picked it up as research for the show, and it changed the way I view my online behaviour. And it’s an easy read. I really recommend that people get their hands on the book. If people want to find out more about Log Off, or more about the work that you do, How can they find you online?

Blake Snow 30:39
Very easy, Kim. The book is www.logoffbook.com. That’ll take you right to the page where you can download the audio or listen to it on Audible, download the Kindle or ebook version, or buy the paperback version. And it’s been really fun to see, Kim, by the way, just little hot pockets. Like just a few months ago there – it must have been in a book club – but, like, Australia really took a liking to the book and bought several. So it’s really fun to see it having an impact all across the world. So www.logoffbook.com can get you the book. And then, if you want to learn more about me and the work I do as a freelance writer and journalist, you can visit www.blakesnow.com. Please reach out. Please say hi. I’m always looking to make new connections – even online ones that hopefully transcend the internet and become offline ones. So thank you for having me, Kim. It’s been wonderful. I loved your questions. Thanks for reading the book. I really admire the work you’re doing. Thank you.

Kim Forrester 31:30
It’s been super fun having you on the show, Blake. Thanks for coming. As American author, Maggie Stiefvater says, ‘You could write a book about the things that you can’t find online.’ You’ve been listening to the Eudaemonia podcast. If you’d like to learn more about how to live a truly flourishing life, please subscribe and check out www.eudaemoniapod.com for more inspiring episodes. I’m Kim Forrester. Until next time, be well, be kind to yourself, and connect more with life by logging off.