Screen time slowing you down? Try ‘monk mode’

Need to use less tech? The answer might be… tech.

A white man in a dress shirt winding up to throw his phone on a yellow geometric background.

If you’ve ever found yourself watching TV with your computer on your lap while scrolling on your phone, then you know our tech use can sometimes get out of hand.

But with so many screens and notifications, what’s a modern-day consumer to do?

The answer, for some, is “monk mode,” the productivity trend inspired by — you guessed it — monks and the secluded, reflective lives they lead.

One-part detox and one-part productivity hack…

… the practice centers on abstaining from digital distractions in order to achieve deep focus.

While the approach itself is nothing new — entrepreneurs were talking about this back in the early 2000s — it’s recently taken off on social media. The hashtag #monkmode has 68.8m+ views on TikTok.

Ironically, those seeking enlightenment are using technology to stay offline:

  • The Freedom app, which allows users to block specific social sites or turn off internet access entirely, has 2.5m+ global users.
  • FocusMe lets users customize their website blocking (you can block all of Facebook with the exception of one group, for example).
  • Cold Turkey claims its website blockers are nearly impossible to break.

And for those who simply can’t survive without a touch of gamification, Forest lets users plant trees — both real and digital — each time they meet their focus goals.

Monk mode comes at a time…

… when many are trying to escape the constant cycle of notifications.

It’s just one of many recent tech trends bringing consumers back to basics:

  • Gen Z has an affinity for flip phones and outdated cameras.
  • Record players have had a major resurgence.
  • There are clubs of young people dedicated to giving up technology.

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