Mixed Signals: Own devices

My kids just survived two weeks with no screens. No TV, no mobile phones, no iPads.

No. 24 – 1st of August, 2021

My kids just survived two weeks with no screens.

No TV, no mobile phones, no iPads.

They did brilliantly. They seemed happier, more interested in helping out, and I know they created more memories than they would've via a screen.

And now we're home. And life is almost exclusively screen time, with the odd food or hygiene break.

So here's the problem... left to their own devices, my kids gravitate toward their own devices.

I can put in controlling measures (no screen time before 4pm), or effectively control screen use (by getting out of the house as much as possible), but what I really want to encourage is getting them to think about how they manage their own screen time. How too much impacts their well-being. How what they consume makes a huge difference too.

I would love to hear what's worked for you.

On with the links...


01. Expensive to be poor.

“For every $1 in sales, Dollar General and Dollar Tree earn an average gross profit of ~$0.30. That's higher than rivals like Target ($0.28) and Walmart ($0.24).”

Dollar stores are big business in America. A new one launches every 6 hours. They are a $94b industry. Here's how they do it.

+ And here's another way to do it... the incredible produce stores in California, where cashiers memorise the codes for 3,000 products.

+ Either way, it's expensive to be poor.

02. Reading, fast and slow.

Howard Berg holds the Guinness record for being the world’s fastest reader. He reads at an incredible 80 pages per minute, and has read 30,000 books. Over on the Alex & Books Podcast he shares some of his tips for reading faster, and (importantly) remembering more.

+ I shared Howard's book recommendations, and one of his techniques for remembering any number.

+ Contrast with this, in praise of reading slowly, re-reading, and reading aloud.

+ Whatever speed you choose, think carefully about where you buy your books.

03. Leave kids a-lonely.

Smartphones could be making our kids feel more lonely. (One of my free NYT share articles). But it's not the likes/comments/retweets that are doing it... it's what screen time replaces.

+ I agreed with a lot of that article, but disagree that schools should be banning phones. Rather than banning more stuff kids are drawn to, they would do well to better understand the influence our environment has on us.

+ Something from me: We know 'Lord of the Flies' gets it wrong, because it came true 14 years later.


This is from my newsletter, Sometimes Weekly. Get the next issue sent to your inbox.