In the Spring of 2017, I had a disturbing realization. For the previous 10 years, I had spent most of my waking hours staring at my phone. I convinced myself that it kept me connected and informed. But the truth was, it was disconnecting me; from my family, from my friends, from my place in the real world. And, worst of all, I was setting a horrible example for my kids Orion and GG (ages 8 & 6 at the time).
I desperately needed a digital detox. That night, I turned off my phone. The effects were immediate. I felt connected. I felt alive. I felt so good that I wanted to try to inspire other people to stop staring into their phones, like I had been doing, and get out in the world living and connecting.
My idea needed a name; something to shout out, like a mantra. I liked the sound of “log off”. But I wanted it to be abstract, intriguing and hopefully memorable.
‘Laug Auf’ popped into my mind, so I jotted it down. In a stroke of synchronicity, “laug”, in Estonian, is “eyelids” and “auf”, in German, is “open”. Together, they’re “eyes open”.
Laug Auf reminds my family and our friends to manage our ‘device time', limit our digital distractions, be present with one another and, most importantly, to live with our “eyes open”.
Hopefully, Laug Auf resonates with you, too. Because together, with our 'eyes open', we can change the world.
Axel "Akke" Yberg