1 Big Idea to Think About

  • When we live with purpose and engagement we build a life that is far more engaging than anything an algorithm can provide.

1 Way You Can Apply This

  • Take one step to limit the distraction of your phone and replace it with something you enjoy in the real world. For example, change your lock screen to black so you are less tempted to open the phone. Use your extra time to pursue a hobby or new skill.

1 Question to Ask

  • How much of my day is dominated by technology?

Key Moments From the Show 

  • An influencer gives up social media (3:25)
  • “Be more engaging than the algorithm” (6:50)
  • Slowly transitioning from a smartphone (11:08)
  • Asking first-order and second-order questions with social media (16:50)
  • A formula for disconnecting from our connected lives (19:18)
  • Fighting against our “opt-in” culture (24:47)
  • What can be done when technology is everywhere? (26:42)
  • Strength in numbers: How to connect with others who want to disconnect (32:25)

Links and Resources You’ll Love from the Episode

Greg McKeown: 

Welcome everybody. Before we get to the podcast itself, a reminder to sign up for the 1-Minute Wednesday newsletter. You’ll be joining more than 175,000 people. You can sign up for it by just going to gregmckeown.com/1mw. And every week, you will get 1 minute or something close to it of the best thinking to be able to help you design a life that really matters and to make that as effortless and easy as possible. So go to gregmckeown.com/1mw

Welcome everybody. I’m your host, Greg McKeown, and this is the Greg McKeon podcast where, of course, we explore the art of essentialism and living a life that truly matters. Today, we are honored to have a remarkable guest with us, Erin Lochner. Erin is the visionary founder of the Opt Out Family. It’s a global movement. If you’re going to do anything in this space, it sort of has to be a global movement now because there are so many global movements pushing against this type of work, advocating for a different kind of lifestyle, and she’s advocating for a tech-free lifestyle. 

Formerly a social media influencer with a million followers, Erin courageously stepped away from the digital spotlight to embrace a life grounded in simplicity and genuine connection. Her groundbreaking work has been celebrated by prestigious outlets like the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post, and she’s shared her insights also on the Today Show. In her latest book, The Opt Out: How to give your kids what technology can’t. Erin offers profound insights and practical strategies for families seeking to reclaim their time and build – this is our special word for the year – meaningful relationships away from screens. Her approach is not about demonizing technology but about finding a balance that fosters authentic interactions and a deeper sense of presence within our homes. When Erin is not scrawling on her trusty steno pad, she, her husband, and their three children are often found chasing Alpenglow. I don’t even know what that means, but I’m reading it here.

Alpenglow? What’s Alpenglow?

Erin Loechner: 

It’s a mountain sunset. It’s a whole different. It’s a bit like golden hour, but you see the whole landscape. It’s the most beautiful thing.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Reading, Kipling and biking to town for more tortillas. Erin’s journey from social media maven to an advocate for a low- tech lifestyle is both inspiring and instructive, making her a perfect guest for our discussion on living intentionally and prioritizing what truly matters. And also, I should say, who truly matters. 

Please welcome with me, Erin Lochner, to the show. Welcome.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Oh, Greg, thank you for such a warm intro. This is going to be lovely. I’m thrilled to be here.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Did you give up all of the social media?

 

Erin Loechner: 

I did. It’s gone.

 

Greg McKeown: 

So here you are trying to bring about a message to the masses, and you had a million followers, but you’re not utilizing any of that to get the message out, which, of course, makes sense because you can’t advocate one thing and then be completely the most hooked, locked in person. But did you get rid of the million followers? How did that connect with this? Maybe you’re a surprising person to be advocating for these ideas. We’re so curious.

Tell us your story. How did you get here?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yes, well, it was obviously before Effortless came out because otherwise, I would have just done the easy thing and kept it all and then shut down. Right. But, yeah, you know, I did. I deleted everything. And I wish that there was this one moment right, this very tidy before and after kind of the hero journey where you just ditch the phone and call it a day. But I don’t think life works like that for many of us. For me, sort of the first layer of kind of recognition that I wasn’t putting my energy toward what I thought would reap the most benefits in my life was after my child was born. And that’s what kids do, right? Really reveal those priorities in ways that you didn’t recognize. And so, at the time, I was an hgtv.com host. I had sort of fallen into this world of influencing very much by accident. I was a writer at first and had always loved design. I had worked in LA as a, in the gallery curating space and was very interested in styling. And online magazines were becoming a thing. And I fell into this job that I truly loved. And yet with every job comes with parts of it that you aren’t as gung ho about. And for me, that was kind of the trade-off. And it was the recognition that living this life; I would be parenting with my phone in my hand a lot more than I wanted to.

So then I thought, “Okay, is there a better way to do this? Can I do this without? Can I sort of carve my own path? Can I live the life of a writer and a passionate design person, someone who really loves to curate and create spaces and meaning? Can I do that without social media?” 

And the other question in that was my daughter’s twelve now. So this was a while ago. I deleted everything about three years ago, just to give you a sense of a timeline, but there was a lot of sort of slowly layers and walking away between them. But at the time, when my daughter was just coming of age, when her friends were getting cell phones, my husband and I had a conversation, and I thought, you know, he had worked at Apple, at their advertising agency. So, we were very familiar with the algorithm. We knew this was not a place we wanted our kids to go. We knew firsthand. We had seen it all. I had been on sort of the insider circuit of it all, been on the receiving end of a lot of it. And we didn’t want that for her. And yet, I had to go first. I wanted to show her is there a way to live life without social media? Is this as inevitable as we say that it is? Is it as essential and necessary as our society makes it out to be?

And I thought, what if it’s not? And I’m going to find out, and I’m going to find out for me, and I’m also going to find out for the benefit of my family. And I’m happy to report that it’s not. It’s not necessary to live a family fully engaged life. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to have it.

 

Greg McKeown: 

This idea of the algorithm, I mean, that’s how you start the book out. Can you just talk to us about the algorithm? I mean, we hear about that a lot, but you get into sort of the numbers of it and really why it matters so much. Can you unpack that?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yeah. The best sort of definition that I ever received for an algorithm was from a programmer. We were at a conference, and he was saying, “Well, Erin, it’s just a series of recipes, right? It’s a series of steps. It’s like a recipe for where you want to go next or what needs to happen to get from A to B.” 

And I asked him, “Okay, well, who’s A? Who’s B, right? Whose goal? Whose goal?”

 

Greg McKeown: 

Whose agenda?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Exactly? And he said, “Erin, that is the million dollar question.” 

And that is when I recognized that every time we unlock our phone, the next few minutes, next ten minutes, next hour, however long, you are sort of operating this device, way less in control than you think that you are, especially if you’re on social media or sort of any algorithmic platform. Think Amazon, think Spotify, you know, anything that is sort of a recommendation engine, you are up against, you know, a billion-dollar industry that, I mean, we all know the research by now, right?

We want our attention, we want our energy, and yet other people want it a lot more than we do. And so that’s the game we’re playing. And so that’s what I wasn’t interested in my family, and I sort of came up with a loose motto that was, “Be more engaging than the algorithm.” The idea being it’s very hard to say no to devices without saying yes to something better. So can we sort of steal all of these sorts of sticky tricks and tips and strategies that Silicon Valley has paid lots of money and invested lots of research in?

And it works, right? It works. And can we, can we sort of steal those and put them into play in our own house? Can we unpack some of those delightful tricks that they use to keep us on our phones? And can we do that as parents? Even better. That was really what we were after when we sort of tackled the algorithm if you will.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Yeah. You’re saying, can we create our own algorithm for our own family that is independent of the Silicon Valley set of algorithms so that we can program our own family the way that we want to have it?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Exactly.

 

Greg McKeown: 

And can we make it better here than there? We make the real world in our family better than the digital world that’s being created for us.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yes. Can we build this life that is so exciting and engaging that we’re not sort of sneaking away to check our feeds all the time? That’s what I was after, and that’s the goal. That’s why I wrote the book.

 

Greg McKeown: 

I mean, it’s a good question, not just for families. It’s a good question for anyone individual in their own life. Can you design a life that is so meaningful, so engaging, so good that you have no interest in being in this digital world that other people have created for you? 

Now, it’s a good question. I put the following question to a few individuals on this podcast. I’ve done it before and had very different answers. But let me just put a position to you, and then let’s hear your response.

So, whatever the device is in our pockets, it’s not a phone. What it is is a $3 trillion, military grade, distraction-producing, disorienting, connection-stealing, contention-producing device, and we’re no match for it, right? That’s a position. I think, in a lot of ways, it is my position, although I’ve heard some good responses that challenge various assumptions I’m making in that statement. What’s your reaction to it?

 

Erin Loechner: 

I mean, I think it’s Essentialism, right? Do I need everything on my phone? Do I need everything on this kind of Swiss army knife device? And for me, I’m a light packer, both in the car trunk in a suitcase and also in my pocket. So, I don’t carry a smartphone with all the bells and whistles.

 

Greg McKeown: 

But do you still use a phone? Do you use a smartphone still?

 

Erin Loechner: 

I have a phone, yeah, I do.

 

Greg McKeown: 

But is it a smartphone?

 

Erin Loechner: 

It’s not a smartphone.

 

Greg McKeown: 

It’s not a smartphone. Okay, so what kind of phone do you have?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Well, I’ve done the Nokia flip phone. I have done no phone. And we’re kind of in a hybrid thing at a time. So we have a landline. And what I do now on.

 

Greg McKeown: 

I’m interrupting you again, but by the way, we were just watching a show the other night, and there was a landline on it, and my wife pointed out, which is so valid, that at that time, your landline phone doesn’t run on electricity. We’re talking back in the eighties or before. So if the power went down, your phone line still worked, whereas in now, of course, if the power goes down, your phones are not going to work. Most phones aren’t going to work. And even if you get a landline, you have to get a very particular landline otherwise that will also go down. So we’re very, very dependent on the actual technology front itself.

Okay, so you have a landline.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yes. Well, and I will say my first step was sort of the smartphone dumbphone route. Right. Dummifying your smartphone. Honestly, you know, we know all the tricks that we know. Grayscale. And what helped me was turning the parental controls onto myself. So, just taking the internet off, I kept. I didn’t keep a camera on there. I don’t keep. There are maps. We have a smartphone that has maps in it, and that has kind of phone and text, and really, that’s it.

But I will say, for people who don’t want to go totally hog wild and throw out the smartphone at all, one of the best things that we did at first was just turn our lock screen to black, turned kind of the phone wallpaper to black. You know, you’re taking out the cute beach photos of your family, and you’re taking off the. You know, even the sweet inspirational messages and all of that. And it sends this odd signal to your brain that it’s just a phone, not your phone. You know, it’s like your life isn’t inside this device anymore. It’s just a thing on a counter, and you kind of disassociate from it. It’s not your personal identity. It’s not this thing that you really need to carry when you go to the library or the grocery or everywhere else you’re going. And so that was pretty transformational for me. And, yeah, I highly recommend that option. If you don’t want to totally throw out your devices..

 

Greg McKeown: 

Remove the cuteness, remove the familial connection to it, because obviously none of us want to live a life where we look back at it and say, I was in service to my phone. I lived my life in service to my phone. Phone. We don’t want our tombstone to read, “He checked his phone.” This is not the goal for anybody. But many of us can pursue a strategy we don’t mean to because other people are highly invested and interested and rewarded for getting us to do just that, for designing algorithms in their own interest, not in ours.

Can you talk more about the algorithm? Is there anything specific, any data that you have on that that would be helpful to people in understanding how influential these algorithms have become in our lives?

 

Erin Loechner: 

I mean, one of the more alarming statistics was how quickly, certainly on social media, children are fed content that they aren’t seeking out actively disturbing content. You know, I think it’s something like five minutes to see suicide ideation, three minutes to see eating disorder content. It is. These are just. Here, I am signing up for an account, and I am liking a couple of things, and I am following the suggested user. This is zeroed. I tested this myself with just a dummy account, and it was, you know, I have my options of suggested users, and it’s like a Kardashian and some sports player and whatever. Instagram, at the time, thought that I would be into giving no information other than my age and my gender.

And that is alarming to me that the sort of expectation was that I would automatically have 1ft planted and influencer culture. I don’t like that. I don’t like that for our kids; I don’t like that for myself. And I don’t think if we’re sort of planning and designing a life and those are the templates offered, where does that lead next? I was very interested in a conversation I had with a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and she was teaching me about first-order thinking and second-order thinking. Right?

I wanted to know, as part of my research, how can we sort of prioritize decision-making in the family? And she said, “A lot of us are operating first-order thinking,” meaning, when should I give my child a cell phone? Are they ready for a smartphone? Are they ready for social media? Sort of all of those insular questions that we asked. And she said, “But the second order thinking is always more important. What happens next? What happens after I give my child a smartphone? What happens after they have social media? What happens if they run into something disturbing? How much am I willing to give them over to technology?” 

Not even in the terms of. You know, we talk about screen time and no phones after 09:00 p.m. I’m not talking about any of the sort of typical limitations and regulations that parents put on their phones. I’m talking about do you want this device to be influencing your child and the trajectory as they’re shaping their life?

And that’s what we’re; that’s what I’m not interested in.

 

Greg McKeown: 

I think a lot of people are not interested in this. And I think a lot of people can feel the nature of the problem even as they don’t feel like they know what to do about it. I was having a conversation with somebody I just met, and we were talking about some of these ideas, and he said, this is a serious problem in my own home. He said, “I’m like a stepfather to a ten-year-old son.”

And so this is someone who became addicted to technology in the lockdowns, which is not a really unusual story, even though maybe it’s more extreme in this case because he was so young and he didn’t seem to have much of a filter.

And if they even, he says, “If I managed to have a family dinner, if I managed to get food, bring it home, get it on the table.” So he said, “And that ten year old will be on his device the entire time from beginning to end. If we, if I or his mother tried to take it away, there will be an unbelievable tantrum. And so I feel torn between which problem I want.” 

And as I say that, you know, there’s something that’s. There is something repugnant about that for all of us, including for him. And maybe not everybody has a situation as out of control as that, but I think many of us do have some version of that. Somebody in our life, somebody in our family, is being influenced by technology in a way that is seriously suboptimal for them. And even if it’s only that it keeps them from creating in their life so that they’re consuming instead of creating, that alone seems like a bad trade-off.

So what do we do? Especially now, your oldest is twelve, so I know that there are people listening to this going, “Well, okay, Erin, that’s fine for you. You have younger children, but what do you do when they’re teenagers? What do you do when so much of modern life is integrated into the smartphone, which it is, you know, so much of life now is built into that device? How do we undo it? Can we undo it?” If so, give us the formula.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Well, and I love that question because you’re right. My goal is to start now. And the reason for that is I want my child to be able to dine in a restaurant that doesn’t only have QR codes as menus. I want my child to be able to visit, you know, an airport and not have an iPad on every table as a suggested entertainment device. Right. I want something better for our kids. 

And I think, I think, you know, to your friend with the ten-year-old. This is why it’s so hard. We have such an emotionally charged, we have a lot of feelings about technology. It is a very layered conversation, as it should be. It’s very important, and it matters deeply. And so I find that whenever I’m talking to other parents, it always helps to sort of depersonalize the topic a bit. 

So if we take technology totally off the table, right, if we have some sort of litmus test, right, say, okay, say your child, say your teen, whatever age, is begging for a family pet. They want the family pet. It’s going to cause all kinds, it’s going to have all benefits and teach responsibility and all of this. And, then, you say yes. What happens if the family pet, so let’s say the dog is keeping your daughter up all night, barking, whining, whatever? She’s not getting enough rest. Let’s say when your daughter takes the dog on walks, it’s not going down the path that she wants.It’s leading her. It’s guiding her. Let’s say the dog, you know, is an allergenic dog, and now her best friend can’t come over because she’s not allowed to be around dogs. Right? 

You can see where I’m going with this. What do you do as a parent? And I think, Greg, the question we have to ask ourselves is, what would we do with the dog? Right? Would we rehome the dog? Would we maybe have a shared responsibility with the dog? Would we let the child figure it out on their own with the dog? All of these are available options to add, and there really is not a wrong answer, except to not question it at all. And that’s what I’m getting at with this book, is we have to recognize that once we join, once our child has a device, once we have a device, it’s not kid or no kid here. This is us as humans. Once we have a device. We are now on a treadmill or kind of a conveyor belt, really, that is going to a path that we don’t really know where it ends, and we’re not as much in charge of where it ends unless we decide to turn it off. And that’s why, to me, opt out is not an all-or-nothing decision. It is a spectrum. It is every time you are given the option to opt in, whether it’s facial recognition at your kid’s summer camp, whether it’s signing a social media waiver at the PlayStation, whatever, all of those moments, we can either first-order think or second-order think. We can say, “This is going to be the hard way. I’m going to have to call the summer camp and ask to opt out of facial recognition. What does that look like? Do I have time for that right now?”

Or I’m going to let it play out how it plays out. We just need to know that those are; it’s either opt in or opt-out. And we have. We have those options as parents available to us.

 

Greg McKeown: 

So at the very first layer of empowerment, what you are trying to do in the movement is to help people, in a sense, wake up to how default opt-in is, that it’s happening for you. If you take the default path right now, this thing will bury you. It will consume you; it will consume your children. Your family culture will be made up of paths and avenues, and thoughts that you did not instigate. And in fact, your family didn’t instigate either.

But either AI algorithms or people who are being paid to increase engagement in digital technology are designing and building for you. So that’s sort of the first thing is like, it’s like a red pill, blue pill moment, maybe, where you’re saying.

 

Erin Loechner: 

I think, yeah.

 

Greg McKeown: 

See the matrix that you’re in so that you can begin to make a different choice.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yes. No, I think that’s. I think you summed it up far better than I could. Yes, it is the idea that these are predetermined decisions that are being. Going to be made for you, and you’re going to be moving deeper into them as you go. And so, in that regard, it is much harder to parent with a device, with a child that has a device, than to not. If our definition of parenting is sort of mentoring and guiding our children and kind of, you know, I wouldn’t say that we necessarily shape our kids. I think they come out who they are, right? And I think we can change people about this much. But if we are trying to build a family and culture, and we’re trying to build something that serves their best interests. That is an optimal way of life.

If we’re trying to point them and guide them in that direction, the device is going to be in direct opposition to that.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Okay, so let’s say I hate phones. Let’s say everybody listening can feel the frustrating unintended second-order consequences of technology. I think a lot of people listening to this feel exhausted by the subject, feel beaten before they’ve almost begun, they say. Your point about second-order, I think, is a really salient one because you say, “Well, what’s the decision in the moment? Well, maybe it’s just easier to go along with it.” 

But then, if you add up all the unintended second-order consequences, you say, “Oh, well, if I added up all of that consequences, it is worth opting out in the beginning because that’s a pain, but it’s not nearly as much of a pain as the other.”

So I hear that. The question, I think everybody wants to know, is, can it be done? What can be done? It’s everywhere. It’s in everything. Now you’re saying you can do it at a gradient level, right? You don’t have to be the hundred percent opt-out person or family, but help give us the most powerful single strategy you yourself have used to become an opt-out person and an opt-out family.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Other people, other people. 

 

Greg McKeown: 

Alright, tell me. 

 

Erin Loechner: 

Don’t try it alone. And sometimes, what this looks like is, honestly, I have scripts available on our website so that you can reach out to. I mean, I once made my best friend at an airport because I noticed that her kids were playing with paper airplanes, and all the other kids were on an iPad. And I thought “That’s somebody I want to get to know.” 

And so I just.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Deliberate choice.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Absolutely.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Nobody is playing with paper airplanes now unless they opted out. That’s true. That’s true. Everybody’s on a device at an airport.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Totally. So, I wanted to get to know her, so I gave her my phone number, and she was local. And now we get together and our kids play on the trampoline and play in the backyard and roam the neighborhood. And I think that’s how you do it, is you find people who recognize. And a lot of this starts very early on. I think we check our own tech usage for sure, but then I think we find other people who have similar values. We do this in every other area of our life, right? We tend to gravitate toward people who eat similarly or believe similarly, or work similarly. And I think this is one of those issues where we can get along a lot better if we find others who are kind of on the train that we’re headed as well.

And I think it’s very possible. I think they exist.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Where do people find that? You found one of your best friends at the airport with the airplane. That’s a beautiful story to me, but it also signals to me how rare it is. You didn’t find it in your neighbor. You didn’t find it in your school. You were at an airport where there are millions of people, and then this one family is doing it differently. Is that how you have to find them in this almost random way? Or have you found other ways that are more realistic to people or more that they can do it in a more deliberate rather than just unusual circumstance?

 

Erin Loechner: 

Yeah. Honestly, one of the easiest ways to find them is to get involved and start pushing back a little bit. So one of the mothers in the book, I was helping her approach her school district. So we spoke with so many teachers and parents and administrators and principals in the research of this book, and I wanted to know, okay, what is the best way to approach a school? Right. There are so many moving parts. We do not want to make their job more complicated. We recognize technology is very infiltrated in education. That’s a whole other issue.

And yet, how do we best come alongside our schools and help them recognize sort of, you know, what the iPad tech classroom is doing to little children, but also, how can we make their job easier, you know, like, how can we work together to do this? And so I formulated a script with other teachers, and a mother had sent this script to her local school district, and the teacher replied and said, “I so appreciate you bringing this up. I’ve had three other parents talk to me about this within this school year. We’re working on issuing sort of a no homework on iPad system, and it’s coming into play next year.” 

And that mother said, “Do you mind sharing who the other parents are?”

 

Greg McKeown: 

Right.

 

Erin Loechner: 

“I know that might be overstepping, but do you mind?” 

And the teacher said, “Let me ask them if that’s okay, but I’m sure that they would love for you to get together.” 

And so by advocating, by joining sort of this conversation and the movement, if you will, you find other people by doing the work you truly do, you find them along the way. I’ve asked librarians, “Hey, can you tell me if anybody else is using sort of an old school library card instead of kind of the app on their phone?”

And she said, “Yeah, there’s more than you would think.” 

People have all kinds of reasons for opting out. Some people do it as a privacy issue. Some people do it as a financial issue. Believe it or not. I think that we still assume that iPhones are available and accessible to everyone, but they’re not. And so there are many reasons that people choose this kind of lifestyle. And I would love us to rally together, whatever those reasons, and start making some change on a grassroots level, recognizing it’s probably going to take legislature many, many years to do it.

 

Greg McKeown: 

Yeah. And I just, you’re right, because we already know now, right, like, the data is, we have had a long enough period since the unholy alliance between social media phones. You know, smartphones and social media get aligned around 2012. And that created, turned devices into something completely different to what, what they were before. And we know now. Right, like the data is in, it can be analyzed now, and especially for adolescent girls, but it’s broader than that as well.

The effect has been really genuinely damaging on all of the things you think you would care about. And so, at some point, it will become more policy in more places. But the technology is moving so fast, and a lot of these, these legislatures work a lot slower than that, and they’re not particularly tech savvy. So, I can see a huge gap for the foreseeable future. So, in the interim basis, okay, I love this idea. Find like minded people or find people who are trying to do this so you’re not alone. That seems very sensible. Talk to me now within my own family; let’s say I want to be a leader in this field. I want to make a difference myself and be one of those families. What would you advocate? Where do I begin?

 

Erin Loechner: 

I think you start right where you are. I think you. So maybe your child is looking for a job. Look at all of the pain points that you’ve encountered, right? Your child comes home, and they say, “I need a phone, I need a smartphone because the way that they keep time cards and the way that they track a sort of rebilling is all through this app. So I need this app. So I need a phone.” 

Pause there and say, okay, how can we talk to your boss about some options for an opt-out family?

Because, and when I say we, I guess I mean the child, right? If the child’s independent enough to have a job, let’s have them and be independent enough to have the conversation about the job. And yet, I have spoken with so many different employers, both the ones that do use the time tracking app and the ones that don’t. One was the owner of a Verizon store selling the devices themselves. And he said, “Honestly, if I’ve never had that question posed. If I did, I would hire that person in a heartbeat. Because I can’t tell you how distracted my salesmen are on the sales floor on their own devices.” Right? 

“I want them to be less distracted at work. So if a child or a teen approaches me and says, I would like an option for an opt-out family, I have a desktop computer, and I have an email address, and that’s it. Can I work for you? Absolutely. Across the board.” 

 

Greg McKeown: 

At least to him. It would be appealing. We don’t know, for other people, but it’s a nice anecdote there that you say, well, yeah, I would love to hire someone who’s not distracted all the time.

 

Erin Loechner: 

Right.

 

Greg McKeown: 

That makes sense.

 

Erin Loechner: 

So it’s recognizing all of those reasons why you yourself have thought, well, maybe my child does need a device, or maybe I do need a smartphone. Do you absolutely need Uber? Okay, well, then let’s start with that. Let’s start with, is there a cab company at this airport that I can call? If so, can I have their phone number? If not, can I talk to you about why? In recognizing that all of those, yes, you’re going to have some conversations with people who aren’t decision-makers, and they’re going to pass the buck and say, “I’m going to give you my manager’s information.” 

But if we are willing to build a different future for our kids, we have to actively be involved in that. And I think we have a perfect testing ground to see what works and what doesn’t. If we’re willing to have all those conversations.