Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

35209767Title: How To Break Up With Your Phone
Series: n/a
Author: Catherine Price
Source/Format: Blogging for Books; Paperback
More Details: Nonfiction; Self-help
Publisher/Publication Date: Ten Speed Press; February 13, 2018

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone...

Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up "just to check," only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone--but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution. Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents a practical, hands-on plan to break up--and then make up--with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good. You'll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and learn how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You'll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will ultimately enable you to take back control of your life...
I was mildly apprehensive about whether or not I would like and find some useful advice in How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price. I’ve read a book that covered a similar if not the same topic (Unfriending my Ex and Other Things I’ll Never Do by Kim Stolz), and I liked it. However, thinking back on it now, it was more about Stolz’s experience with taking a break from her phone and her thoughts about it, whereas Price’s writing reads more like an analytical study about the pros and (mostly) cons of heavy phone/tablet/computer/ social media use has on almost every corner of a person’s life, including time and even how our brains function. She also covers how to make changes and healthier choices, and that’s what I liked about How To Break Up With Your Phone.

This book has two parts: the wake-up and the breakup. In the wake-up, Price cites studies as evidence to support the point of the book. It’s meant to be a wake up call: the hard facts and the ugly truth. And this book is more than successful at not only stating those points but making the information stick. The more I read, the more I realized that some of the things being mentioned were habits I exhibited almost unconsciously. As I continued to read, the more I agreed with what was being said. Part two covers the breakup. The writing made the steps for the 30-day plan approachable. There was a focus on realizing, questioning, and changing habits accompanied by a lot of useful tips and simple exercises. Price’s writing is done in a positive, encouraging tone that makes you want to try some of the things being mentioned to find out if the changes will have any effects.

How to Break Up With Your Phone is a quick read that wasn’t just surprisingly good, but also eye opening in a lot of ways. I haven’t had the time to try the 30-day plan for myself. However, the book has given me ideas about smaller changes that I can implement now. How to Break Up With Your Phone is a book that I’m definitely going to keep on my shelf for future reference.

Disclaimer: This copy of the book was provided by Blogging for Books (Publisher) for this review. 

CATHERINE PRICE is an author and science journalist whose articles and essays have appeared in The Best American Science Writing, the New York Times, Popular Science, O, The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post Magazine, Slate, Parade, Salon, Men’s Journal, Self, Mother Jones, and Health magazine, among others. Her previous books include Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food and 101 Places Not to See Before You Die. A graduate of Yale and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, she’s also a recipient of a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Reporting, a two-time Société de Chimie Industrielle fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, an ASME nominee, a 2013 resident at the Mesa Refuge, a fellow in both the Food and Medical Evidence Boot Camps at the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, and winner of the Gobind Behari Lal prize for science writing. You can learn more about her and her work at

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