THE LIE OF TECHNOLOGY IN EFFECTIVE FATHERING -The Shocking Practices of Digital Founding Fathers and Why They Do Them


Digital Cocaine
Arena Men,

Do good fathers allow life-wrecking drugs into their home? Do they buy drugs for their children, knowing those drugs have the potential to ruin their young lives? When will the pendulum swing back to center? We are allowing technology to ruin not only our minds but our children’s as well.

            You have been commissioned to lead your family. You cannot ignore the devastating potential of technology if it becomes more than a simple tool. To sit on the sidelines while your children are ruining their life is like watching a bully assault your child and choosing to “let it play out”.

            Don’t be a fool.

            Our latest Men in the Arena Podcast was one of the best ever. We have internationally renowned, Brad Huddleston, to discuss his latest book, Digital Cocaine: A Journey Toward iBalance, addressing the critical issues of technology and its long-term effects on the human condition.

Bribe the Gatekeeper

In its 2,700-year-history, Genghis Khan (1162 - 1227), Mongol Empire founder, was the only invader to breach the Great Wall of China. Legend has it that when asked how he did it, he simply replied, “We bribed the gatekeeper!”

            You are the gatekeeper for your family and your mind is the gatekeeper for your soul. Here is what the Bible teaches:

            “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete(2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

The Brain: A Sequential Processor and the Multitasking Myth_

I’ve never considered myself a multi-tasker but often envied this quality in others—until now. In Digital Cocaine Huddleston wrote, “Neuroscience has learned that the human brain cannot multitask. Instead, we task switch, which is rapidly switching from one task to another, and when we do, our productivity decreases by as much as 40%.”

            The brain is actually a sequential processor, meaning it can only handle one thing at a time—not multiple tasks at once. This is critical information.

            The Harvard Business Review, in an article titled, “How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking” explains further:

            “You might think you’re different, that you’ve done it so much you’ve become good at it. Practice makes perfect and all that. But you’d be wrong. Research shows that heavy multitaskers are less competent at doing several things at once than light multitaskers. In other words, in contrast to almost everything else in your life, the more you multitask, the worse you are at it. Practice, in this case, works against you.”

            Why are multitaskers substantially worse and less competent than single-focused taskers?

Gray Density Matters

To make matter worse for the misinformed multitasker, Huddleston continues, “Researchers found that people who media multitask had lower gray matter density in a specific area of the brain than those who used a single device once in a while…Virtually all multitaskers think they are brilliant at multitasking….It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking. They get distracted constantly. Their memory is very disorganized. Recent work we’ve done suggests they’re worse at analytic reasoning. We worry that it may be creating people who are unable to think well and clearly.”

            You would think those who created the technology we use daily would vehemently disagree but, again, you are wrong.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Do What?

Steve Jobs was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc. He is recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution. When raising children, he made a point of having dinner with his children at a big, long table in their kitchen, discussing books, history and a variety of things. Huddleston wrote, “The New York Times must have been shocked by Steve Jobs’ answer to this question, ‘So, your kids must love the iPad?’ Jobs’ reply was, ‘They haven’t used it… We limit how much technology our kids use at home.’”

            Evans Williams, who is a founder of Twitter, Blogger and Medium, said that in lieu of iPads, their two young sons have hundreds of traditional books that they are welcome to pick up and read anytime.

            Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now chief executive of 3D Robotics said, “This is rule No. 1: There are no screens in the bedroom. Period. Ever.

            Microsoft founder, Bill Gates set a time limit of 45 minutes per weekday of total screen time for games and an hour a day on the weekends. Additional computer time is granted for homework.

            Hundreds of billions of dollars were made by these trailblazers in technology, but you would never know it by how they limited technology with their children.

What do they know about technology that they aren’t sharing?

            The bigger question is, what are you gonna do about it?

Getting Personal

After interviewing Brad, I made three immediate changes and hope you will consider making some as well.

            First, unless Shanna is driving home late at night from her job as a flight attendant, I now charge all electronic devices in a separate room. Emergencies can wait until I wake up from a deep and glorious sleep!

            Second, I no longer allow internet use on digital devices during staff or board meetings. I want focus and creativity at full capacity and not diluted with task switching (remember multitasking is a neurological myth).

            Third, while at the office I leave my phone in the truck and turn my laptop Wi-Fi OFF! What a game changer that has been. I am no longer stressed out. I have Ninja focus. And my efficiency is off the charts! I’m a believer! 

Fingers on the Touchscreen

What will you do with this new knowledge? I hope something. When you find technological balance—everyone around you wins (though their new limits may make them feel like they are losing)!

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Becoming His Best Version,