Like so many of us, Heath Wilson and Joey Odom have experienced the challenges of life with screens. Addictive games and clever algorithms keep drawing us back to our smartphones and away from the people, projects, and work that matters far more than our distractions. That struggle led them to create Aro, a new platform blending analog and digital technology to make it easier than ever to put our phones down and experience life uninterrupted.
On this episode of Screen Sanity, co-founder Krista Boan sits down with Heath and Joey to talk about what led to the creation of Aro, how they hope it affects user’s lives, and what they’ve experienced already since incorporating more time away from their phones into their lives.
It’s a great discussion that points all of us towards one of START’s big-picture values — that parents start with themselves, adjusting their own absorption in technology and modeling something better for their kids.
Screen Sanity is executive produced and hosted by Krista Boan.
It’s produced, edited, and mixed by Mike Cosper
Episode 13 Wilson and Odom
[00:00:00] Krista Boan: Hey everyone, welcome to the Screen Sanity Podcast. I’m your host, Krista Boan, co-founder of START where we help families raise happy and healthy kids and a world that is increasingly digital. We’ve had hundreds of conversations with parents everywhere who share that the number one battleground on their homes is screen time.
And while we’ve learned that there is no easy button when it comes to parenting today’s kids, there’s also an unbelievable movement of parents who are stepping into the arena and fighting for their kids’ hearts.
Each episode, our guests will help us dive into some of the tensions families are facing, and walk us through some of the conversations you’ll wanna have to prepare your kids for the road ahead. Welcome to Screen Sanity.
All right, friends. Great to have you back today. You know, if you’ve been around long at START that we talk a lot about our first rule of thumb, which is starting with yourself. And that’s just the idea that, you know, our kids are watching us, observing our relationships with our phones and that, you know, ultimately, we are the ones responsible for setting an example and modeling the life that we want our kids to have with technology.
It’s- it’s an awesome concept, but if we aren’t careful, this concept can sometimes be crushing. Because the truth is, no matter what task we are working on or what work stream we’re jumping in, it seems like they all lead to the same ocean, which is, “Just let me take my phone real quick.” And you add on an additional layer of, you know, tech companies using addictive techniques to pull us in. And [laughs] it just feel like we’re drowning in the technology world.
And, you know, it’s just recently that I began to realize that I needed to stop blaming myself for being a poor example for my kids, you know, and you just stop shaming myself and asking what’s wrong with me. You know, why can’t I be a better example? And I’ve really come to understand that this whole thing that we’re up against isn’t about there being a flaw in us, but a flaw in our environment.
And so, that’s something that is great, because once we name it, we can begin to fix it. And we can start shifting the narrative to feel less like a slap on the wrist for the way we use our phones and more like an invitation towards something better.
And today, we get to talk to a couple of founders who have grown so passionate about responding to this, that they have put themselves on a journey towards developing a solution that could really help. And I cannot wait to get to that part of the podcast. But first, let me introduce you to Heath Wilson and Joey Odom, co-founders of Aro. Aro’s mission is to help people experience life uninterrupted by making it easy and rewarding to put down our phones. Heath and Joey, welcome to the Screen Sanity Podcast.
[00:02:58] Joey Odom: Hey, Krista, how are you.
[00:02:59] Heath Wilson: Hey, great to be here.
[00:03:00] Krista Boan: Oh, we’re so glad you’re here. Hey, would you want to just start us off by just taking us on a little bit of a journey of the backstory with you guys? What led you to become passionate about the topic that we’re gonna talk about today?
[00:03:13] Heath Wilson: Where to start? So, a lot of my life experiences, let’s call it, over the last 10 or 15 years that starts, you know, all the way back in 2006, 2007 when the BlackBerry was first released, and then with the iPhone in ’08 or ’09. Um …
[00:03:29] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:03:30] Heath Wilson: So, I was an early adopter of technology. I love technology. I’m- I’m pro phone, I’m- I’m pro technology, but I did fail many times along the way in terms of, you know, my level of commitment to technology versus, um, other parts of life. But more recently, within the last five or six years, I just had a kind of an interesting series of life experiences that kind of put together this mosaic of what later turned into Aro.
So, start with one day I was riding, uh, a road bike actually to work and, um, it was terrifying. I was lit up like a Christmas tree and I swore …
[00:04:05] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:04:05] Heath Wilson: … I’d never do it again after, you know, dodging mirrors for …
[00:04:10] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:04:10] Heath Wilson: … several mir-, uh, minutes. But I ended up driving home that night and for some- … I don’t remember how. I must have left my car at the office. But as I was driving home, I’m- I’m in- in a big SUV and I’m looking down and everyone is on their phone.
[00:04:21] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:04:21] Heath Wilson: So, my first thought was … Well, I had two thoughts. One is, “Wow, this is really dangerous and makes sense of …”
[00:04:26] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:04:26] Heath Wilson: “… of how I felt this morning.” Then I get to a red light and I pull out my phone and it hit me, I said, “Wow, I just … I don’t have the capability right now not to look at this thing, uh …”
[00:04:36] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:36] Heath Wilson: “… when I’ve got a free moment.”
[00:04:37] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:39] Heath Wilson: So, I kind of found that away. I then had a couple of years of- of life experiences and mentoring groups both as a mentee and also as a mentor, and it’s with a bunch of guys. And- and you get to this point of this program and you talk about, “Hey, what is the one thing that’s keeping you from being the type of person you want to be?”
[00:04:56] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:04:57] Heath Wilson: And every one of us pulled out our phone.
[00:04:59] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:00] Heath Wilson: Now, we said it in different ways, you know, work too much play too much, somewhere in between. But everyone pointed to this device as the biggest inhib- inhibitor. And wow, that just kind of really struck me. So, you know, put a few of these life experiences together. I went home one night and wrote … You know, I can only describe as a manifesto.
And it’s funny, I mentioned … I was having this conversation with someone recently and I mentioned Jerry Maguire. And they said, “Who’s Jerry Maguire?” So, I won’t …
[00:05:23] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:05:23] Heath Wilson: … blame it on Jerry Maguire, but I wrote this manifesto, this rambling, you know, three or four pages of, you know, something is wrong with our relationship with our phones, and I think there’s a way to fix it. Um …
[00:05:34] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:05:34] Heath Wilson: And again, I filed that away. A couple more years of work and really being ingrained in work, and you’re spending probably too much time on the phone at work. And I’ve read- started reading some habit books, um, just thinking about, you know, “How do we form habits, good habits and bad habits?”
Anyway, a lot of this stuff kind of came together and, um, I just text Joey one day and said, “I’ve got this idea, I think there’s something to it. We need to meet.”
[00:05:56] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:05:57] Joey Odom: You- you know …
[00:05:58] Krista Boan: Joey, what did you think when you got that text? What were you thinking?
[00:05:59] Joey Odom: Yeah. I mean, it was … You know, Heath- Heath was, um … Heath has been a very successful entrepreneur over the years. And so, we had been friends in a non-business setting. And so, it was a little bit, a little bit out of the blue to- to-, um, to be honest and we had done … Um, you know, spent some time socially, but, um, it was … We sat down and- and it was instant. Uh, you know, this instant, that resonance with me on what he- what- what he wanted to address. And I still … And we laugh. I don’t know if he was asking me to join him or if he was just …
[00:06:27] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:06:27] Joey Odom: … mounting an idea, but I knew I got to leech onto him …
[00:06:30] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:06:30] Joey Odom: … as much as I can.
[00:06:31] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:06:32] Joey Odom: And because this- this means so much to me, because … And I don’t even think Heath knew this. I mean, this- this tension around phones, I was feeling the exact same thing.
[00:06:40] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:06:40] Joey Odom: Um, and the … You know, it really hit me that this is something that I was battling with too and- and struggling with and- and really trying to figure out and solve because I think the phones … You know, this is my relationship with technology. It kinda came front and center as a dad and I think that’s- that’s one place that Heath I both started is just how this has affected us as dads.
And so, I- I think maybe the best example of that is this story with my son was five, playing soccer. Um, and he was the … So, my son, just a wonderful, sweetest boy in the world, but he was the last kid on the team who- to score soccer goal. He had not scored a soccer goal a year. And so, you know, we’re sitting on the sidelines, this moment, you know, comes back. And I think about it almost like in- in- in cinematic terms. You see it slow motion, the ball is in front of him, he rears his leg back, he kicks the ball, it goes end, over end into the net. Harrison scores his first soccer goal. Crowd goes wild. His coach goes out and lifts him up. And- and what’s the first thing that he does …
[00:07:40] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:40] Joey Odom: … is he looks to the sidelines to make eye contact with me to make sure that dad saw it.
[00:07:46] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:46] Joey Odom: Dad was proud, dad was with him in that moment. So, it’s this beautiful moment. And the only problem with it is, is that my wife retold the story to me because I was looking down at my phone at who knows what group text, sports score, whatever it was. But the point is, I missed that moment, because I was looking down on my phone.
And so, is that my phone’s fault? No, that’s- that’s the- that’s … The- the fault is my relationship with my phone at that moment. So, when Heath- when Heath texted me with this idea, it hit me. And it’s something that we said and Heath said at the very beginning. He said, “Hey, listen, I don’t know who this is for just yet, but I know I’ll spend a lot of money to solve it for my family.” So, that was where it began. It begins this passion project really for both of us. “Hey, let’s figure out how we solve this for us and our families.”
[00:08:35] Heath Wilson: And I- I think since then I’ve realized, look, there’s- there’s only so much time we have, you know …
[00:08:41] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:08:41] Heath Wilson: … with our kids when they’re in the house. And, you know, my priority is just weren’t, obviously weren’t straight at that time.
[00:08:48] Krista Boan: Yeah. Well, we … I mean, we live in this culture, right, that’s built on efficiency and performance. And it’s just super easy to get baited into the lie that we can multitask and do so many things …
[00:08:59] Joey Odom: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:59] Krista Boan: … with our attention. But the truth is that we can’t, right? The truth is that we can only think about one or two things at a time. That’s just how our brains are wired. We’re limited, right, to only being able to focus on one thing.
So, when Joey thought he could, you know, quickly check a score on his phone in a son’s soccer game, it just comes with a big cost. Um, when you try to do more than one thing at a time, you do it much less effectively, and it stretches way beyond our role as parents, obviously, but also into our role as professionals, as community members, and then even just as artists and creators.
[00:09:39] Joey Odom: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:39] Krista Boan: Because anything that you’ve ever achieved in your life that you’re proud of, whether it’s playing an instrument or, you know, being a great parent or starting a business, right? That require a huge amount of sustained attention. And when your ability to pay attention and focus breaks down, your ability to solve problems, and achieve goals, and do all the things that you have dreamed for in your life also breaks down. And then …
[00:10:09] Joey Odom: Mm-hmm. Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. We also … I- I think as a culture, we- we think that, “Well, this is just how it is.” And that- that’s- that’s one interesting thing is we talked a bunch of other families and, um … Not families just, you know, single working professionals or whomever it is, it’s just … There’s- there’s almost a certain level of resignation that like, “Oh, well, this is just how it is. Well, what are you gonna do?” It’s … You know, the phone is always buzzing or you have …
Or- or I find [laughs] for myself, it’s not necessarily the inbound distractions, it’s more these outbound distractions. It’s- it’s me sitting here with my phone, and all of a sudden wondering, you know, “Who did lead the, you know, the Braves and RBIs in the 1995 season?” Like silly things that are just sitting there. And that could be in the middle of a conversation, but we have this growing feeling that this is just the way life is. And I- I think …
[00:10:52] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:10:52] Joey Odom: … what’s- what’s kind of fun and exciting is to imagine this world where it actually isn’t like that. And we- we talk about this concept of experiencing life uninterrupted a bunch.
[00:11:01] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:11:01] Joey Odom: And, um, and that’s really what we’re- we’re aiming towards. And that’s a really, really great thing.
[00:11:07] Heath Wilson: But I think for the most basic level, we want to make it easy to take a break. We want to make it easy to put your phone down. And we actually come at this from a place of, you know, pro technology. I said earlier, I’m an early adopter of most technologies, and I actually like my phone quite a bit, so I’m not giving it up. I’m not, you know …
[00:11:25] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:11:25] Heath Wilson: … parking it back for the days of phone that sits on the kitchen wall. But I do think there are times when it makes sense to put it down. I think when you’re having a conversation with a friend, when you’re having dinner with your family, when you’re trying to read a book, when you’re sitting on the back porch, when you’re out playing with the dog and, you know, it could go on and on and on. And we just …
[00:11:43] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:11:44] Heath Wilson: I- I feel like we have become so accustomed to putting this thing in our pocket …
[00:11:48] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:11:49] Heath Wilson: … that we interrupt ourselves. Uh, as Joey said, we interrupt ourselves. It’s not the incoming necessarily. It- it can be just, you know, a moment of curiosity.
[00:11:55] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:56] Heath Wilson: Um, and sometimes a moment of curiosity is great, especially when you have to …
[00:11:59] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:12:00] Heath Wilson: … you know, think through the problem or think through the- the trivia question. But, you know, at the heart of what we’re doing, we are, we’re just making it easy for someone to put their phone down and not for the sake of putting their phone down. It’s really what’s on the other side of that. It’s that life after, um, taking a break …
[00:12:18] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:12:18] Heath Wilson: … and so, those moments where you can notice, it’s those moments where you can connect. Um, so that’s, that’s really the goal. It’s pretty simple, actually, is to let’s make it easy.
[00:12:28] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:12:29] Joey Odom: Yeah. And- and I think that, you know, we talked about this ex- experience life uninterrupted is sounds like a big grand vision. And it is and it can be, but what’s cool about the two is that- that may- that may just be a conversation. That could add …
[00:12:41] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:41] Joey Odom: … add this memory of- of, um, two stories. One walking with my daughter. Um, it was raining outside. We were leaving a Braves game. It was raining and it’s, it was, um … I was feeling a little bit frazzled. And so, she reaches up and grabs my hand and I noticed, okay, this is a moment where I can experience life uninterrupted.
[00:13:00] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:00] Joey Odom: And it was 12 seconds of me holding my daughter’s hand, but I can see it in my mind, I can feel …
[00:13:05] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:05] Joey Odom: … the raindrop touching my head.
[00:13:06] Krista Boan: Yes. Oh, yes.
[00:13:06] Joey Odom: And it’s just that moment. And that was a magical moment, but it could also be this moment of, “Hey, I gotta get something done at work. And I gotta do it …”
[00:13:13] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:13:13] Joey Odom: “… uninterrupted, because I got a deadline facing me and I gotta get after it.”
[00:13:16] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:13:17] Joey Odom: Um, the other one, and- and- and this moment, this is a- a story with another one with my daughter, um, as we’ve been working on this, and as we’ve been kind of developing Aro, she and I watched a movie together. The Harry Potter movie. And at the end of it, she said … And she was probably 10 years old. She goes, “Hey, Dad.” She said, “Did you know that’s the first movie we’ve watched together and you didn’t have your phone?”
[00:13:40] Krista Boan: Oh.
[00:13:40] Joey Odom: Or like that. And that was meaningful to her. She actually brought it up. This is two years ago.
[00:13:44] Krista Boan: Awe.
[00:13:44] Joey Odom: She brought this up two weeks ago. And she said, “Hey Dad, do you remember that? Do you remember that’s the first time we watch a movie without your phone?”
[00:13:49] Krista Boan: Ugh.
[00:13:50] Joey Odom: And I thought, “Goodness gracious.”
[00:13:51] Krista Boan: Wow.
[00:13:51] Joey Odom: She- she’s notices our kids do notice. That’s what’s the one of the more interesting things we’ve been on this journey is how much people notice, their kids notice. We have story after story of, um, of kids at a very young age, um, noticing their- their parents’ use of their phones.
[00:14:09] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:14:09] Joey Odom: And so, we … So, you’re exactly right. It is that exchange. It’s what’s on the other side of that. Whether it’s a- a magical moment, holding your daughter’s hand in the rain, or if it’s getting something done. There is something really, really great that can happen on the other side of that, and it comes back to experience, something I found interrupted. Um …
[00:14:24] Krista Boan: I love that. They’re … Um, our friend, Andy Krupp, said something one time that, you know, it isn’t that we are distracted, it’s that we aren’t distracted enough.
[00:14:35] Joey Odom: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:36] Krista Boan: That we’re actually captivated, but it’s the thing that captivates us is actually not- not the thing that we want to be captivated by. You all take this as a challenge, and you have just done some serious leaning in about how you could do things different, similar to our journey over at Screen Sanity and how we found.
You started by researching and talking with family and friends, and trying to figure out how to solve this problem, which really comes down to just like how to make a major life change. So, that’s really easy and simple and we [laughs], we love that.
[00:15:10] Joey Odom: [laughs] Right.
[00:15:10] Krista Boan: Just- just one of the easiest things to- to ta- to tackle there.
[00:15:13] Joey Odom: And that actually is. What we found, for me, is we’ve been on this journey for the last three years. For me personally, and I would say I was the worst perpetrator of this in the past of just, you know, phone snubbing somebody all the time or even phone snubbing myself when I’m [laughs] … when I’m on, you know, in- in- …
[00:15:26] Krista Boan: [laughs] right.
[00:15:27] Joey Odom: … in the middle of something …
[00:15:28] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:15:28] Joey Odom: … is- is that, no, it actually can be different. And it’s a really, really great thing and …
[00:15:34] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:15:35] Joey Odom: … um, we talked about this a bunch more, but this thought that it’s our environment that dictates those things. And …
[00:15:40] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:15:40] Joey Odom: … otherwise, what are we doing? To your point, in- in doing these, the great art-, you know, artistic, creative things, Krista.
[00:15:47] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:15:47] Joey Odom: And, you know, those moments come from an environment. Otherwise, it’s just us trying to will ourselves towards something. You know, we- …
[00:15:54] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:15:54] Joey Odom: … we joke around. You know, you- you couldn’t expect you to not eat chocolate cake if you’re carrying chocolate cake around all day long. You’re gonna e- …
[00:16:01] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:16:01] Joey Odom: … eventually eat the cake. And so, if you set your environment up where you’re not carrying it, well, you’re not going to eat chocolate cake if- if you’re not holding it, you know, in your hands. And so that’s, and so that’s really the- the- the premise that we’re working around is that it’s this environmental thing kills the need for willpower. That’s a really, really powerful thing.
[00:16:17] Krista Boan: I think we’ve talked about that you’ve looked at James Clear. He’s the author of Atomic Habits. Listeners, if you haven’t, you know, checked out James Clear. And I thought what I do is pull a few things that James Clear shared about habit formation. And I would just love to kind of throw these at you guys. And I’d love to hear whether or not you find that these are true. Are you guys ready?
[00:16:37] Joey Odom: Come on.
[00:16:37] Krista Boan: All right. So, the first thing is just this idea of identity based habits, which is basically saying that the strongest place to start looking at what kind of, what kind of habits you want to change is first looking at what kind of person you want to be.
And then every time you do something, casting a vote for that person. So, every time we take one small step, every- every time we make a tiny change, we are casting a vote for the person who we wanna be. And the more we start casting votes for that version of your story, the more the scale start to tip in favor of you actually becoming the person that you wanna be. Would you guys find that to be true? Or …
[00:17:20] Heath Wilson: I think we’ve highlighted every word in James Clear’s book.
[00:17:23] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:17:23] Heath Wilson: Yes, absolutely. Um, I- … You know, yes, we want people to put their phone down for a few minutes a day, but we’d rather than become the type of people that put their phone down. And I think that’s really getting to identifying as someone who is- is able to take a break.
Um, uh, you know, there’s a lot of great examples in the book of, you know, someone driving to the gym and, you know, getting in the parking lot. I’m not going into the gym, but, you know, the type of person that goes and- and works out.
So, I think anything, any habit formation takes time. It’s baby steps. You know, it’s minutes before it’s hours. It’s- it’s a few days before it’s weeks or- or lifestyle. But, you know, Joey and I have been on this journey for three years. So, you know, two and a half of that, we’ve actually been using and living, you know, the lifestyle of Aro, um, and it has become more habitual, but it wasn’t easy at first.
[00:18:18] Krista Boan: Yeah, right, right.
[00:18:19] Heath Wilson: Yeah. It- it took a while to build a muscle around taking breaks and putting our phone away and engaging in real life.
[00:18:26] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:18:26] Joey Odom: You know, uh, uh, Krista, to that point, I- I’d-, I was at a Daily Journal and they ask a- a question every day. And one of them the other day was what-, basically what motivates me to be the type of person I wanna be. And what my …
[00:18:36] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:36] Joey Odom: … answer was is- is that what motivates me is how my kids will describe me in 20 years, and how my kids …
[00:18:42] Krista Boan: Oh my goodness.
[00:18:42] Joey Odom: … will describe me now.
[00:18:43] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:18:44] Joey Odom: And so, part of that is and so much of this, it really does just begin with- with us as dads. That- that really is, I think, the beginning point for all of this as us as dads. And I think about who I want to be, I- I do wanna be the type person that puts their phone down. But even more than that, I wanna be the type of person that is so locked in when my kids are talking to me.
[00:19:02] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:02] Joey Odom: I wanna be so totally present with them.
[00:19:05] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:05] Joey Odom: To where … Because we all know this, and we’ve all done this. I’ve done this probably more than- than either of you combined, but I’ve, interrupting a conversation with a glance of the phone. And what does that do? That kills vulnerability with your children and you know …
[00:19:15] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:19:15] Joey Odom: Like with my daughter, when it’s- when it’s … Because you never know when that moment is gonna come.
[00:19:19] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:19:19] Joey Odom: But when it does happen, you got to be ready for it. And so, I wanna be the type person that’s so present with them. And so, that requires a prerequisite for that is be- being in a place where my phone is not with me, where my phone …
[00:19:31] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:19:31] Joey Odom: … is placed down to where when she opens up that I’m totally locked in there with her.
[00:19:35] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:19:35] Joey Odom: So, I think is- is … And identifying with the person you wanna be, I think for me, it begins with just being present, being- being totally engaged when someone is across from me.
[00:19:43] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm. I love that and, um, yeah, predetermining like those- the things that are gonna kinda set the stage so that you can be that person, right?
[00:19:52] Joey Odom: Mm-hmm.
[00:19:52] Krista Boan: Making, being aware of- of what you can do ahead of time to set yourself up for success. I love that. Um, hey, you touched on this, but the next thing from James Clear is just that, you know, our culture is always telling us to dream bigger, and increase our outputs, and set lofty high goals. And I think that’s our temptation with technology too, is just like, “I’m just gonna put my phone down and I’m gonna, [laughs] you know …”
[00:20:17] Heath Wilson: Yeah.
[00:20:18] Krista Boan: “I’m gonna, I’m going to unplug for five hours a day.” I don’t know what it is, but the- the thing is, is that you can set goals, but that’s actually the easy part. Because when it comes to actual change, we don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of the systems that we have in place.
So, as much as we can keep floating along on a wish and a prayer, um, that we will somehow, you know, wake up and be able to resist the pull of our phones and start living the deeper, more purposeful life that we want to live. If we don’t create the system to get us there, our habits are not likely to change.
[00:20:54] Heath Wilson: Well, I think he also says the environment is stronger than willpower.
[00:20:56] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:57] Heath Wilson: And I’ve learned that the hard way many, many times. In fact, you know, if-, when you get into his habit loop formation, one of the key aha moments for me and for us was this idea of a visual cue, and how that factors …
[00:21:11] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:21:11] Heath Wilson: … into your environment.
[00:21:12] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:21:13] Heath Wilson: I remember reading that book. And this was, you know, early stages of- of Aro. And I thought, “Ah, I get it. Now, I know why I don’t ride the peloton when it’s in the basement.” Right? So, I need to lug this, you know, awkward …
[00:21:26] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:21:26] Heath Wilson: … heavy machine up to remain … Uh, a couple of, so it wasn’t just me. Let’s be clear.
[00:21:30] Krista Boan: Yeah. [laughs]
[00:21:30] Heath Wilson: But the- … I- I lug this thing upstairs. We put it in a room that we have to walk by every day. And lo and behold, we end up using it more than we did …
[00:21:37] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:21:38] Heath Wilson: … when it’s in the dungeon. So, you know, there’s little experiments like that, that I think if you build your environment around, you know, the type of lifestyle and activities that you want to pursue and achieve, it makes it a lot easier.
[00:21:51] Krista Boan: Yeah, I love that.
[00:21:52] Joey Odom: [inaudible 00:21:52]. I know for me, it- it does wear, it wears pretty thin. I can have these great intentions, which leads to willpower, but it just, it- it just gets, it just gets too difficult. And that’s an okay thing to say. I think James Clear also says that most people think they’re lazy, but they really just lack a system.
[00:22:08] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:22:08] Joey Odom: And so, you think you actually get in this cycle of beating yourself up if you’re so reliant on willpower. Like, “God, why I can’t do it better? Why can’t I do …” Well, it’s because …
[00:22:15] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:22:16] Joey Odom: … you don’t have a great system in place. I know for me, I- I need it. Um, I’m much less likely … I’ll do the chocolate cake example again. I’m much less likely to eat chocolate cake if there’s none in the house. It’s actually …
[00:22:25] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:22:26] Joey Odom: … close to a 0% chance that I’ll eat, because …
[00:22:28] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:22:28] Joey Odom: … it’s just not there. Because that environment …
[00:22:29] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:22:29] Joey Odom: … is set up for the success that I want. It’s set up, it’s set up for me to be the type of person that I say I would like to be.
[00:22:36] Heath Wilson: But that, you know, the aha moment I mentioned, it was a realization that we don’t … Most of us don’t have a place for our phone other than our pocket.
[00:22:44] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:45] Heath Wilson: And, you know, we have drawers, and cabinets, and baskets, and bowls in our house. But for whatever reason, we’re not good at leveraging those as a place for our devices. And therefore, you know, we put it in a pocket or carrying around with us. So, that’s really where this idea started candidly was, “Hey, let’s- let’s define a place, let’s build a place that becomes the de facto spot where someone would put their phone down and they don’t need it.”
[00:23:11] Krista Boan: Yeah, I love that. So, your- your business proposal is to go around and build new rooms on people’s houses.
[00:23:18] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:23:20] Joey Odom: [laughs]
[00:23:20] Krista Boan: [laughs] All right. So, after, um, knowing that you wanted to create something that could help you, you know, change your relationship with your phone, you guys developed a product that I cannot wait to talk about. Can you tell us about the Aro? Is it … What is the Aro? How can it help me? Give me all the details?
[00:23:37] Joey Odom: Yeah, sure. What-, you know, it’s- … I’ll begin actually with- with the word, the word Aro. It’s a New Zealander, tribal word, the Maori language. And Aro means … We love it. It means to notice, um, among other things, but the thing that really …
[00:23:52] Krista Boan: Oh.
[00:23:52] Joey Odom: … jumps out is to notice.
[00:23:54] Krista Boan: I love that.
[00:23:54] Joey Odom: I mean, that’s the goal. I mean, the goal is not, “Hey, let’s put your phone down.” The goal is, “Hey, what happens afterwards? What- what do you notice after you put that away?” And again …
[00:24:01] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:02] Joey Odom: … it could be a creative thought, it could be something at work, it could be your family, whatever they may be. And so, we’ve, um, you know, as we’ve kind of concepted around it, it’s- it’s this … It begins with a place, and I will say even Aro is really we think of it as a platform. A platform to make it easy to put down your phone, period.
[00:24:19] Krista Boan: Oh, nice.
[00:24:20] Joey Odom: That is our goal, because let’s- let’s say our- our phones, as wonderful as they are, they’re really hard to put down.
[00:24:26] Krista Boan: Amen.
[00:24:26] Joey Odom: And so, we make it easy and that’s the goal, and that begins with, as James Clear talks about, this visual cue, this actual physical home for your box, this place where literally you drop your phone.
[00:24:38] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:24:38] Joey Odom: Aro knows that your phone is there. You go experience life on interrupted. You got do whatever you want to do. And then when you take your phone out, Aro knows when your phone is not there anymore. And then it shows, “Hey, you just spent … Hey, Krista, you just spent an hour and a half away from your phone.” Because we think you should get rewarded for that time that you’re away from your phone.
[00:24:56] Krista Boan: Darn straight.
[00:24:56] Joey Odom: It’s no small …
[00:24:56] Krista Boan: I wanna that. That’s amazing …
[00:24:56] Joey Odom: Exactly.
[00:24:56] Krista Boan: … information. [laughs]
[00:24:56] Joey Odom: [laughs] It’s not small feat. Yeah.
[00:24:57] Krista Boan: Like you get me an hour.
[00:24:59] Joey Odom: [inaudible 00:25:02].
[00:25:01] Krista Boan: Typically, an hour would be a really big time right now. Typically.
[00:25:05] Joey Odom: [laughs] Well, well, what’s neat about it is an hour would have been unthinkable for me when … You know, two years ago, three years ago, when we’re …
[00:25:12] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:25:13] Joey Odom: … concepting around it, it would have been unthinkable. Um, in fact, there’s this, there’s a great study by a woman by the name of Gloria Mark at U- UC Irvine that says it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus after you’ve been distracted.
[00:25:25] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:25:25] Joey Odom: And I remember telling my wife, when I read that, I said, “Other than sleep, I haven’t done anything uninterrupted for 23 minutes and 15 seconds in about 15 years.”
[00:25:34] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:25:34] Joey Odom: So, it’s, um … So, you know, one- one of the beautiful things about Aro is that we realize that … And this is one- one big thing that Heath, Heath always harped on is this has to be frictionless. When you put …
[00:25:45] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:45] Joey Odom: … your phone in Aro, you can’t open an app, tap the year away. No, no, no, you have to drop your phone.
[00:25:50] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:25:50] Joey Odom: And it immediately know that your phone is there. So, this is a high tech place for your phone. By the way, it’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful aesthetics. We had a bunch of input from great interior designers, because … So, it’s going to live in your home. It’s going to be beautiful, and then it knows …
[00:26:06] Krista Boan: I love that.
[00:26:06] Joey Odom: … exactly when your phone is there. And, um, because what do we do? It’s the opposite of screen time. We get our screen time reports on Sundays, and we usually feel bad about ourselves.
[00:26:14] Krista Boan: Right. Right.
[00:26:15] Heath Wilson: Yeah.
[00:26:15] Joey Odom: “Oh, gosh. Three hours on my phone today. What am I doing with my life?”
[00:26:18] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:26:18] Joey Odom: Here, you get this report that says, “Hey, you’ve spent however much, 20 minutes, 40 minutes an hour and a half a day apart from your phone doing something intentionally.” And we think that’s a pretty powerful reward for yourself.
[00:26:29] Krista Boan: That’s so powerful to flip the narrative, isn’t it? That is such a powerful technique to help us feel more successful, right? And satisfying and simple.
[00:26:40] Heath Wilson: You know, you said simple in that it reminded me. I mean, one of the things we’ve really done with the product, we wanted to make it hyper practical. So, not only is it easy, you know, to put your phone down, and we- we recognize the phone is there and the app starts tracking and all those good things. It charges the phone as well, so we, you know, make it super easy for people to put their phone down. But on the other side of that, we are fairly aspirational. We do think life uninterrupted is amazing, right?
[00:27:06] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:27:06] Heath Wilson: And it could be one of those moments that- that Joey mentioned earlier, it could be just a more productive session. It could be, we said this earlier, uh, uh, you know, watching a movie without a second screen.
So, and Kristy, you said an hour would be a long time. I will tell you when- when, you know, first started using Aro, it did feel like a long time. But now, it actually feels pretty easy for- for many periods.
[00:27:25] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:27:25] Heath Wilson: So, it does, it’s- … Again, it takes a while to build up that digital muscle, but you’ll find over time that you build a different relationship with it. It just makes it that much easier to take time apart.
[00:27:35] Joey Odom: Well, and- and that’s … There’s something fun about that too is this, you- … Heath mentioned the digital muscle, and that’s exactly what we’re talking about is we’re just … Most of us just … People love to say like, “Oh, I’m addicted to my phone.” We actually strongly disagree with 99% of those people. Said, “You’re not addicted to your phone. You’ve learned that you need to have your phone on you all the time.”
[00:27:56] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:27:56] Joey Odom: I didn’t say … Jo- Joey learned …
[00:27:58] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:27:58] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:27:58] Joey Odom: … for about 13 years that I needed to have my phone with me at all times.
[00:28:01] Krista Boan: Right. Right.
[00:28:02] Joey Odom: And when I said, “Well, wait a second, maybe I don’t need it to have with me.” All of a sudden, I realized I was building this muscle, so I learned a behavior that put me in a constant state of distraction and interruption. And all of a sudden, when I unlearned that, it was a lot easier. And so, I wasn’t addicted to my phone, I just had kind of a bad system. My- my only home for my phone was my pocket rather than a place that was-, that put distance between my phone and me. And it makes an enormous difference. Just that system alone makes- makes a huge difference.
[00:28:30] Krista Boan: Yeah, I love that. And I love … I mean, the implications for doing it, not just for you personally, but for your family. Is that part of the vision that the family would have kind of a common place and with a common language?
[00:28:42] Heath Wilson: Well, yeah.
[00:28:42] Krista Boan: And yeah.
[00:28:43] Heath Wilson: It started there, right? I mean, I had three kids approaching teenage years, so … And I know the, I know the average age for phones is coming down of late, but at that time, it was 13 or 14. And I thought, “Hey, if we can start differently, like if they can build that muscle from the outset, instead of me having to come back two or three years later and try to, you know, rewire expectations around how often they have their phone, it would be so much easier.”
[00:29:09] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:29:10] Heath Wilson: Um, so part of it was, “Hey, let’s- let’s start this off on a different foot than we have in the past.” And then second is … It’s kind of funny actually. The- the home, Aro has become not just a device that helps parents and their kids use their phones better, it’s actually been a device that helps kids manage their parents’ usage, because …
[00:29:32] Joey Odom: [laughs]
[00:29:32] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:29:32] Heath Wilson: I call it the reverse parental control app, because …
[00:29:35] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:29:35] Heath Wilson: … we have so many stories, particularly when- when kids are young. Let’s call it …
[00:29:39] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:29:39] Heath Wilson: … you know, two to eight. When they don’t have phones, all they see is their parents on their phones. Like they want their attention, right? So, they see this as kind of a brilliant thing that, “Hey, this actually makes my dad or my mom put their phone down. I’m going to kind of force their hand.” Uh, again, I do think there’s applications for the family as a whole in terms of, you know, how everyone uses it, but it’s just been kind of fun to see the different use cases across different types of families.
[00:30:02] Krista Boan: I love that.
[00:30:03] Joey Odom: And Krista I would … Uh, Krista, I would say that the, you know, we found the most common time for- for people to what we say go Aro, uh, for people to put their phones down is- is dinnertime.
[00:30:14] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:30:14] Joey Odom: That’s when people want to connect most.
[00:30:17] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:30:17] Joey Odom: And so, and so it’s that time now. And what normally happens and households all across the country in the world is it’s a little bit of nagging. “Hey, you know, Harrison, put your phone away. Hey, hey, Dad, why are you looking at your phone at dinner?” So, I- I think we-, what we do here, I think one of the brilliant things is- is it takes a little bit of this nagging out of telling everybody …
[00:30:36] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:30:36] Joey Odom: … to put their phones away.
[00:30:38] Krista Boan: Yes.
[00:30:38] Joey Odom: It becomes the ritual. And even if it’s just for dinner, even if that’s the only thing that people do that … Imagine the difference there in families …
[00:30:46] Krista Boan: Oh, my goodness.
[00:30:47] Joey Odom: … if you had an uninterrupted family dinner. It’s a pretty significant thing. And so, this takes the nagging out of you just … You know, we even have a function on the app. Again, back to this notion. We just wanna make it easy for people to put their phones down. Within the app, you can send a notification within your household that says, “Joey is invite- … Dad is inviting you to go Aro.”
[00:31:07] Krista Boan: I love that.
[00:31:07] Joey Odom: That’s- that’s a function, you know, to where it just, it sends that invitation and makes it easy for people to join you. And all of that is built around that.
[00:31:15] Krista Boan: I love that. Tell me what the response has been.
[00:31:18] Heath Wilson: Well we might … You know, I’ve got like my eldest who … I’ve got twins that are about to turn 16. So, we’ll have, we have cars on the horizon and trying to figure out how to drive and those types of things. Um …
[00:31:27] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:31:27] Heath Wilson: So things have changed a little bit, but, uh, I mentioned that only because they started using it after they had phones, right? So, the early period was, “Hey, we gotta- we gotta re- rewire how we use these things.” Now, what was really … Oh gosh, uplifting maybe is the right word. Um, you know, teenage kids have a lot of spending the night parties.
[00:31:47] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:31:47] Heath Wilson: And it’s almost every weekend where I walk downstairs and I look in Aro and there are a number of phones. Too many phones. You know, overflowing …
[00:31:57] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:31:57] Heath Wilson: … with phones, and that’s pretty shocking, actually, that kids, teenagers would willingly put their phones …
[00:32:05] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:32:05] Heath Wilson: … into this platform.
[00:32:07] Krista Boan: Oh my gosh.
[00:32:07] Heath Wilson: “Let’s take a break.”
[00:32:08] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:32:08] Heath Wilson: And, you know, I- I asked my daughter one night, I said, “Why … You know, tell me. Like I know that, you know, we live this lifestyle, right? But tell me, why and you-, you and your friends do this.” And she said, “Well, we just have such better conversations. We stayed up until 3:00 talking. We watched a movie together or we went outside and, you know, sat by the hot tub.” I mean, it’s just, it just changes things when- when they’re not distracted. And they crave that as well.
[00:32:33] Joey Odom: Yes.
[00:32:33] Heath Wilson: I think that’s what we don’t realize, like even, you know, young kids are craving interpersonal …
[00:32:40] Krista Boan: Oh, yeah.
[00:32:40] Heath Wilson: … relationships.
[00:32:41] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:32:41] Joey Odom: But I think we all … You know, we all crave connection. We all, we all crave those things, and- and …
[00:32:45] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:32:45] Joey Odom: But it- it’s- it’s difficult to get to that point.
[00:32:49] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:32:49] Joey Odom: And so, by making it easier for you to connect with somebody right next to you, it takes so much of that friction out of the equation, because ultimately kids, no matter what … And I actually don’t … I think that’s a great point, Heath, what you just said, because I don’t think we give kids enough credit. People will …
[00:33:03] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:33:03] Joey Odom: … say, “Oh, kids are always on their phone.” I don’t think we give them enough credit. I actually think they really do want connection. It’s just very difficult to do, because what happens? When you’re on your phones, the statistic says, we call it kind of the yawn effect. When someone looks at their phone, you’re 50% more likely to look at yours.
[00:33:19] Krista Boan: Oh.
[00:33:20] Joey Odom: And so, we think this yawn effect is true on the opposite side too. We think, you know, when Reese has friends over. When Reese puts her phone away, I think it’s a lot easier for other people to do it too.
[00:33:31] Heath Wilson: Yeah.
[00:33:31] Joey Odom: So, I think …
[00:33:31] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:33:31] Joey Odom: … this yawn effect. And that’s what we’re trying to do is just make it easy when someone … Because the easiest time to- to be in Aro is when somebody else is doing it with you.
[00:33:39] Krista Boan: Totally.
[00:33:39] Joey Odom: And so, it does become this community thing. This thing you do and people really do want that. That’s been one interesting thing is that people really, really do want that. They just don’t know …
[00:33:47] Krista Boan: Oh my gosh.
[00:33:47] Joey Odom: … how to do it, which is why our whole goal is to make it easy.
[00:33:51] Krista Boan: Yeah. Early on, I … It just reminds me of some research we ran across early on in our journey, which was the City of Boston building a playground. And so, what they did in their kind of research project was they asked the children of Boston to help them design the world’s best playground, you know, and they expected … They gave them like, you know, pipe cleaners and all kinds of things and allowed them to kind of build these little models of what they, what they would love in their dream world.
And the number one thing that they found was a common factor between all the kids and their different models that they built was that there would be phone lockers for the parents to put their phones in.
[00:34:25] Heath Wilson: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:25] Joey Odom: It’s amazing.
[00:34:26] Krista Boan: So, I do. I think that, I think we do underestimate our children and what- what they want. Yeah.
[00:34:31] Joey Odom: It’s because they … It’s because and it- it’s interesting that this- this goes back to the- the meaning of the word Aro, but because the kids notice. I- I …
[00:34:39] Krista Boan: Oh, I love that.
[00:34:40] Joey Odom: You know, there’s another, another failure story is as a young dad, when Harrison, when he was, um, when he was three. Probably three years old. We’re reading a bedtime story and it’s one of those where the pen that you hold reads the page for you.
[00:34:52] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:34:52] Joey Odom: And so, I have my arm around Harrison and I’m holding my phone out to the side of me looking at a group text thinking he doesn’t notice.
[00:35:00] Krista Boan: Right, right.
[00:35:01] Joey Odom: And we- we get to a page and he says, “Dad.” I can still hear. He goes, he goes, “Hey dad.” He goes, “This is my favorite page. Let’s do this page, then you can look at your phone again.”
[00:35:08] Heath Wilson: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:09] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:09] Joey Odom: And so, he had already, at three years old, non-judgmentally, he had grown accustomed to the fact that the phone was the focus, and he was the distraction.
[00:35:18] Krista Boan: Wow.
[00:35:19] Joey Odom: And that’s- that’s not a … For me, that’s not okay. That was one …
[00:35:22] Krista Boan: Right.
[00:35:22] Joey Odom: … of those things that resonated, or those that- that reverberates in my mind. And we do have this goal with Aro and I have this personal goal. I know Heath has his goal. Everybody on the team has his goal. I want dads to not have to tell that story.
[00:35:34] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:34] Joey Odom: I want moms to not have to tell that story.
[00:35:37] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:37] Joey Odom: And here’s the great thing. As we’re closer to that life than we think we are.
[00:35:41] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:41] Joey Odom: “Oh, we got this big …” No, no, no, you just need to put your phone down during bedtime, just for a few minutes.
[00:35:46] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:46] Joey Odom: That’s it. And so, that’s … We- we really do believe that this- this small act, and to your point in the City of Boston, this small act can make a huge difference in the lives of kids. We think that books will be written that wouldn’t be written otherwise, because …
[00:36:00] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:36:00] Joey Odom: … we’re being distracted otherwise.
[00:36:02] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:36:02] Joey Odom: So, we think that there’s a … That this small little act, which is extraordinarily difficult, can be made easier. We can rewire our brains to where it’s just easier. It’s just more natural lifestyle to be apart from your phone for just a few minutes.
[00:36:15] Krista Boan: I love that. We’re closer than we think. I can’t believe you just said that. [laughs] That feels so like counter to like some days how I live. like I- I …
[00:36:23] Joey Odom: I know.
[00:36:23] Krista Boan: I just wanna like hide in my like spiral with my digital world and throw up my hands and say, “I can’t. You know, I’m not going to win …”
[00:36:31] Joey Odom: Yeah.
[00:36:31] Krista Boan: “… this battle.” But man, to think that it’s closer than I think is just … Man, I’m just so excited. I- I feel like I’m ready for help and …
[00:36:40] Joey Odom: [laughs]
[00:36:40] Krista Boan: … I know our listeners are ready for help. I know they’re tired of fighting battles. They’re tired of the friction, tired of trying to convince their kids that there’s more to life than the digital world. And- and I love that you guys have created something that I was gonna say becomes the bad guy so that the parents don’t have to be.
[00:36:58] Joey Odom: Yeah.
[00:36:58] Krista Boan: But I- I actually don’t think Aro I would ever call the bad guy. It’s more like a- a friend, right? That says, “Hey, let me hold your phone for you.” Right?
[00:37:07] Joey Odom: Oh, I love you said that.
[00:37:08] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:37:08] Joey Odom: Oh, you just, you just nailed it.
[00:37:11] Krista Boan: Oh, no.
[00:37:11] Joey Odom: That’s exac- … No, that’s perfect. That’s … Because that’s what it is. “Oh, hey, hey. Um, hey, Boan family, I see- I see you’re about to have family dinner.” If- if Aro could talk, it would say that it’s a … “Hey, Krista, I see you guys are about to have dinner. Let me- let me hold your phone while you guys have dinner. Hey, you need to get some stuff done. Let me hold your phone for just a few minutes. Hey, you and your husband wanna have, you wanna have a glass of wine, let- let me hold your phone while you do that.”
[00:37:18] Krista Boan: Oh my gosh, I love it.
[00:37:18] Joey Odom: And if you wanna talk, it really would be with this beautiful invitation to let me hold that …
[00:37:35] Heath Wilson: Mm-hmm.
[00:37:35] Joey Odom: … right now for just a few minutes. We’re not talking about digital detoxes. We’re not talking about weekends off. You can do that. We’re just talking about just a few minutes. Let me hold that phone while you do that other thing that’s more important.
[00:37:44] Krista Boan: It’s beautiful, right?
[00:37:45] Heath Wilson: Yeah.
[00:37:46] Krista Boan: It’s so cool. I can’t … I’m just so excited, I can’t … [laughs] The Boan family cannot wait for our Aro to come. I’ve already started clearing counter space, which is no small task. So …
[00:37:46] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:37:46] Joey Odom: [laughs]
[00:37:46] Krista Boan: … tell me, when can I have my Aro friend come to live …
[00:38:04] Joey Odom: [laughs]
[00:38:04] Krista Boan: … in my home to hold my phone for me?
[00:38:07] Heath Wilson: Well, we’ve been working Aro for three years, and we are really, really close. We’re launching, uh, the website in early May and will start taking pre orders for late fall delivery.
[00:38:19] Krista Boan: Late fall?
[00:38:20] Heath Wilson: Late fall.
[00:38:21] Krista Boan: So- so I can get on the list now?
[00:38:22] Heath Wilson: You can.
[00:38:23] Joey Odom: Absolutely.
[00:38:24] Krista Boan: Awesome. And …
[00:38:24] Joey Odom: Top of the list for you. Top of the list for you, of course.
[00:38:27] Krista Boan: [laughs] Good. That’s right. That’s good. So, um, just order through the website, right?
[00:38:31] Heath Wilson: It’s goaro.com. G-O-A-R-O dot com.
[00:38:35] Krista Boan: Perfect. Thank you guys. Thanks for all the work you’ve done to develop, and dream, and create, and I just can’t wait to cheer for you and for the families out there who get good to have …
[00:38:47] Heath Wilson: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:47] Krista Boan: … that hope and that help so that they can live life and are uninterrupted a little bit more. I’d love to do my rapid fire with you guys. Would you be up for that?
[00:38:56] Heath Wilson: Let’s do it.
[00:38:56] Krista Boan: Yay. Okay. So, the first time I’m gonna say. Heath, what was your favorite piece of old school technology, the kind that you have to explain to your kids because they’ve never seen it before?
[00:39:07] Heath Wilson: Well, I’m in the market currently for a record player.
[00:39:10] Krista Boan: Oh.
[00:39:12] Heath Wilson: And partly because I like the vintage look, but partly because I think it will teach me to be more patient. You know, throw a record on and let it go from beginning song to end.
[00:39:21] Krista Boan: My goodness.
[00:39:21] Heath Wilson: Not skipping through to the fully ones I know.
[00:39:23] Krista Boan: Yeah. Yeah, get the full, the full effect of the album. [laughs] I love that.
[00:39:29] Heath Wilson: Exactly.
[00:39:30] Krista Boan: How about …
[00:39:30] Heath Wilson: If- if album is even a word anymore. I’m not sure, but yes.
[00:39:32] Krista Boan: Oh, maybe not, actually.
[00:39:33] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:39:34] Krista Boan: Okay. [laughs] How about you, Joey?
[00:39:37] Joey Odom: Uh, I gotta go with the original Nintendo. That was, um …
[00:39:40] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:39:40] Joey Odom: And- and- and the real thing I have to explain to my kids is when they ask, “So people like this?” Like this wa- this was some- … This was fun and I- I remember taking that first castle on Super Mario Brothers and it was- it was about peak …
[00:39:54] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:39:54] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:39:54] Joey Odom: … moment for me. And- and …
[00:39:55] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:39:55] Joey Odom: … then realizing that she was in another castle was- was devastating.
[00:40:00] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:40:00] Joey Odom: But, um, but that’s- that’s what I have to explain to the kids is, um, the Nintendo. That’s my favorite piece of, uh, of old school technology and- and explain to them why it was actually fun.
[00:40:10] Krista Boan: I love it. That’s so fun. Okay. Heath, being a parent in 2022 is, fill in the blank.
[00:40:19] Heath Wilson: Fun, tough, everywhere in between, amazing.
[00:40:24] Krista Boan: Yeah. Good. Joey?
[00:40:27] Joey Odom: I would say it- it-, being a parent in 2022 requires more than I expected.
[00:40:31] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:31] Joey Odom: It- it requires a full … And I can go, we could have a whole nother podcast …
[00:40:36] Heath Wilson: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:36] Joey Odom: … on the- the level of notice it requires us going back to Aro.
[00:40:40] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:40] Joey Odom: It just requires so much noticing for- of this-, the big things, the small things, everything in between. Um, so it- it-, I would say it requires a lot more than I- than I expected.
[00:40:51] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm. So good. Heath, what’s your favorite app? [laughs]
[00:40:56] Joey Odom: I like the Starbucks app.
[00:40:58] Krista Boan: Yeah. How about Joey?
[00:40:59] Joey Odom: Um, mine. Uh, I … I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I use it a bunch is the, uh, the match tennis app. My son plays- plays a bunch of tennis, so I’m on there it seems like more- more than I should be, but, um, I’m on there a bunch. So, I would put that at- at the top for me.
[00:41:14] Krista Boan: That’s awesome.
[00:41:14] Heath Wilson: Joey and I both have WHOOPs as well and we- where we [inaudible 00:41:17].
[00:41:17] Joey Odom: Yeah, we [inaudible 00:41:18] WHOOPs.
[00:41:18] Krista Boan: All right, I’m sorry.
[00:41:19] Heath Wilson: That’s a great app.
[00:41:20] Krista Boan: I do not know what WHOOP is. You’re gonna have to tell us.
[00:41:21] Heath Wilson: WHOOP, W-H-O-O-P.
[00:41:24] Krista Boan: Okay.
[00:41:24] Heath Wilson: It’s a …
[00:41:25] Krista Boan: Say more. [laughs]
[00:41:26] Heath Wilson: Heart rate tracking.
[00:41:27] Joey Odom: Fitness tracking app.
[00:41:29] Krista Boan: Oh my goodness.
[00:41:29] Joey Odom: You know, we’ve actually … We- we love that they have such a great interface. That’s one way when we’ve … You know, reporting data, we look at how WHOOP reports data. So, um …
[00:41:37] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:41:37] Joey Odom: So, accessibly. And that’s- that’s a lot of the inspiration with the Aro app is let’s deliver this, you know, kind of these metrics in- in a really, really glanceable not scrollable way.
[00:41:47] Krista Boan: I love that.
[00:41:48] Joey Odom: Um, so we like how- how WHOOP delivers that, delivers that info.
[00:41:51] Krista Boan: Awesome. That’s awesome. What is your favorite trick to keep your tech in check? [laughs]
[00:41:59] Heath Wilson: I mean, at this point, it’s Aro. Like we- …
[00:42:00] Krista Boan: I mean, I feel like I’m setting you up for that. [laughs]
[00:42:01] Heath Wilson: Yeah. No, I mean … I don’t know. I’ve had … I probably had five or six different prototypes now. And I …
[00:42:08] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:42:08] Heath Wilson: It’s funny. I’ve- I’ve had the oldest version of it for the last three or four months, um, and it works just good as the- the prettier version. It’s just not- not nearly attractive, but yeah, no, that’s- that’s it at this point. That- that is the place where I put my phone.
[00:42:22] Krista Boan: I love it. Joey?
[00:42:23] Joey Odom: Yeah. Yeah, I- I would say that and, um, for sure and- and also, and this is- this is a real story, Krista. I had, we had a, uh … A few weeks ago, with, uh, with one of my kids, I got to this point where with technology, I think I don’t know what to do in this situation. And- and this is no lie, I went to westartnow.org, and I …
[00:42:43] Krista Boan: Nice.
[00:42:43] Joey Odom: … looked and I said, “Okay, where’s my an- …” And I found my answer and it was wonderful. And so, it’s, um …
[00:42:48] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:49] Joey Odom: You know, Aro is a great place to put your phone away. And then we have other great people like you who are addressing this in other ways that are really, really practical. So, I- I would say, uh, I would say between- between Aro and westart- westartnow.org, I think I’m pretty well covered.
[00:43:02] Krista Boan: That’s awesome. I appreciate that. Um, the Internet breaks down for 24 hours, or Aro takes over your world for 24 hours. [laughs] What are you gonna do to unplug? What’s your favorite thing to do?
[00:43:18] Heath Wilson: I think I would go for a trail run …
[00:43:20] Krista Boan: Nice.
[00:43:21] Heath Wilson: … because it reminds me of home.
[00:43:24] Krista Boan: Mm-hmm.
[00:43:24] Heath Wilson: And I probably read more.
[00:43:28] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:43:29] Joey Odom: Which by the way, everybody, even almost- almost 100%, when you ask pe- … We’ve done surveys on this.
[00:43:36] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:43:36] Joey Odom: They say, if you could do, if you could spend less time on your phone, what would you, what would you do? Almost 100 people, 100% of people say reading.
[00:43:42] Heath Wilson: Yeah.
[00:43:42] Joey Odom: It’s really so true. I- I think I’d answered the same way. I- I’d read. I’d sit and write. Jump on the trampoline with kids. Um …
[00:43:49] Krista Boan: Yeah.
[00:43:49] Joey Odom: So, I think, uh, you know, all the, all the stuff that, uh, obviously …
[00:43:53] Heath Wilson: You go on a hike. Joey loves to hike.
[00:43:54] Joey Odom: Oh, of course. Yeah, of course, I would go probably fly fishing or …
[00:43:57] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:43:57] Joey Odom: … you know, something. Maybe work on, work on an engine or something.
[00:44:01] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:44:02] Krista Boan: [laughs] I love it.
[00:44:02] Joey Odom: Um, no, that’s … No, none of that. None of that matches me.
[00:44:05] Krista Boan: Oh, man.
[00:44:06] Joey Odom: I would really write, jump on the trampoline.
[00:44:08] Krista Boan: I love that. I love that. So good.
[00:44:10] Joey Odom: With my kids. I wouldn’t just jump on the trampoline by myself.
[00:44:12] Heath Wilson: [laughs]
[00:44:12] Krista Boan: Oh, okay. Well, [inaudible 00:44:14].
[00:44:13] Joey Odom: I’m six foot five. Jumping by myself in the trampoline, the neighbors would think …
[00:44:14] Krista Boan: [laughs]
[00:44:16] Joey Odom: … something weird is going on.
[00:44:18] Krista Boan: I love it. Oh man, weren’t Keith and Joey awesome? Our team at Screen Sanity just less them. We’re so grateful for the work they were doing. We need resources like Aro to help us to offer, to hold our phones for us while we go on doing [laughs] the things that matter most to us. But that’s not all we need, we need each other. We need to keep having these honest and brave conversations about what look like to bring Screen Sanity to your community by grabbing a copy of the Screen Sanity Group Study. Once you have your copy, all you have to do is invite people to get together, push play on the videos and ask the questions we provide. Until next time, screens are small but life is big, so keep looking up.