Unplug with Alanna Harvey

Alanna Harvey - Flipd

1. How did you get involved in Unplugging?

Growing up I never had the latest phone or the newest gadgets – I was on social media, but didn’t post frequently or feel like it held any significance in my life. When I got involved with Flipd, as ironic as it is, I had to become omnipresent on social media, available through email 24/7, and constantly check for user feedback. I went from someone who could leave the house without her phone, to someone who was always on it for work. I started even checking my email during my first alarm before hitting snooze. I was checking while half-asleep! I knew then I’d developed the same poor habits that we’re trying to help curb with Flipd. Knowing that I’d had good phone habits before, I’ve taken strides to fix my behaviour. Flipping Off is the easiest way for me to disconnect from my phone without having to turn it off.

2. What do you do when you unplug?

Whenever I’ve decided to Flip Off or step away from technology, I tend to do things like organize my agenda for the week, read a Lonely Planet guide or wine book, head to a yoga class, do groceries, or sit and play with my cat. I’m happy to step away from my phone and technology when I know there’s really no good reason to be using them.

3. What is the most overrated piece of modern technology?

Google Glass. I don’t believe there’s a need for it, and if there is, it’s certainly not yet. There are much larger problems that a company like Google could be solving with technology, and I think that Google Glass doesn’t serve a greater purpose or real social need. If Google Glass was created to improve a specific job or make a difficult task easier to do, then maybe. But when it’s being touted as a way to see your notifications projected in front of your eyes rather than glancing down at a screen, I can’t justify that.

4. Do you make unplugging a regular practice? If so, How?

I always unplug before going to yoga and make a point to not check my phone for at least a half hour following. I also try to avoid checking in bed, so I’ll keep my phone charging outside of my room or at least out of reach.

5. Any plans for the next NDU?

I will be participating from home for the upcoming NDU. I’ll use Saturday to work out, clean my apartment and get organized for the coming week. I also would like to host my own Unplugging event sponsored by Flipd in the future. I’d love to introduce the concept to Torontonians, and I can see our community appreciating the message and wanting to be involved.

6. If you could unplug and spend with one person for an hour, who would it be and what would you do?

My boyfriend and business partner, Cristian, who’s the best company. I’d enjoy going out for charcuterie and a big glass of Pinotage, and I wouldn’t be missing my phone for a second.

Alanna is the co-founder and marketing director behind Flipd, a productivity app designed to help reduce mobile distractions at the source. She co-founded Flipd because of her firm belief that while some technology can be invaluable, constant access and bad habits have led to poor social skills, lowered self-esteem, and an overall lack of appreciation for life’s small pleasures. In her spare time she likes to run, lift heavy things, practice yoga, cook, and write. To learn more about Flipd and how it can help you unplug, visit www.flipdapp.co or download it from Google Play.

Shane Hankins