At Conversations, Levi shared the story of how he became an advocate of “disconnecting to recconect.” Felix is not a luddite nor a stranger to digital technology; at the age of 24, he was working as V.P. of a thriving tech startup. However, after suffering a near-death experience triggered by entrepreneurial-tech burnout, Felix traded in his laptops and cellphones for a backpack and decided to travel the world. Two years and 12 countries later, he returned to create Digital Detox.
Discussing the multiple ways technology touches our lives, Levi explained the physical, social, and psychological implications of constantly looking at a screen. Likening the buzz/beep of a mobile device to the bell in Pavlov’s experiment, Levi shared how modern technology has specifically been designed to tap into the human dopamine system—ultimately changing our habits and causing us to be “addicted.” Levi discussed the challenge of staying balanced in today’s data-driven world, and how he overcomes this through multitasking less, practicing gratitude, getting outside, and making small environmental changes (such as using an analog alarm clock instead of a phone). Levi emphasized that the key is not about being anti-technology, but about questioning mediums and personal habits. By being a little more self aware, Levi predicted that soon we will starting asking ourselves how we can design products, technology and experiences in a way that make us appreciate life instead of distracting us from it.