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Smartphone Pulling You Away? Take The '30-Day The Flip Phone Challenge'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- New Year's Day is known for being a day of resolution.

Typically, we think of weight loss or exercise, but there's another area many of us need to reflect on.

Like most parents, Coon Rapids dad Troy Thompson knows the days are long, but the years are short.

"My kids are 6 and 7 and the time goes quickly, so I just want to spend every minute I can with them," Thompson said.

He realized his smartphone was getting his way,

"I heard my kids say, 'Put down your phone,' about a thousand times … and at one point I said, 'You're right, and I have a problem and I'm going to put it down," Thompson said.

Americans spend about three hours a day on their smartphones. Wanting to break the cycle, Thompson got a flip phone and says it quickly shifted his focus.

"I went to gymnastics and I watched my daughter for the entire 90-minute class, and we made eye contact 41 times, and I'm guessing the other parents made eye contact a handful of times because they were glued to their device," he said.

So he started a company that inspires and holds people accountable called the 30 Day Flip Phone Challenge. The idea of Thompson's program is after 30 days, you hang up the flip phone and go back to the smartphone -- but use it in a very different way.

"I just want people to do this hard re-set and realize its OK, I really don't need my smartphone 24-7, I can still access social media with my laptop or desktop at work, but I don't need to be on it 24-7," Thompson said.

He says the month-long hiatus weakens the urge, and strengthens bonds.

"I'm saying, for 30 days, go to a flip phone, reconnect with your family, reconnect with people, reconnect with humanity," he said.

Thompson's company charges a one-time $67 fee, and provide accountability and encouragement during the 30-day challenge. They also offer support and accountability with others who have also given up their phones.

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