Jamie’s prescription for getting modern minds right


Fellow author Brian Niemeier has written an article on his blog titled “Jaimie’s Island“.  It’s an interesting read.  Here’s an excerpt.

Boomers left parenting up to TV, and Millennials are leaving parenting up to tablets and phones.

As a result, young adults today have little contact with the highs and lows of the real world. Instead, their lives are defined by screens that act as windows into false realities where nothing really happens. These electronic illusions sap Millennials’ and Zoomers’ motivation by giving them dopamine hits for simulated achievement.

Jaimie’s solution?

Cut the screens cold turkey.

And not just electronic devices. To cure false reality addiction, Jaimie advises his viewers to reset their lives. That means throwing out the iPhone, laptop, tablet, game console, booze, drugs, and TV.

In fact, he suggests picking one room in the house and clearing everything out of it except for a mattress.

This done, our young NEET must commit to following one rule: Don’t do anything that makes you go backwards.

Jaimie wagers that viewers who take these drastic steps will soon get so tired of sitting alone without any stimulation, they’ll venture outside to relieve the tedium.

And that impetus to get up and go will be the first spark of their rekindling motivation.

What will Millennial NEETs find beyond their doorsteps? In time, they will have real-life experiences with real stakes. They’ll meet people, get exercise, and gain experience.

But most important of all, they’ll try new things and fail.

Because failure is a great teacher. And persistence is invincible.

There’s more at the link, including a video of Jaimie talking about his perspective.

Sounds excessive, you say?  Impractical, what with the demands of everyday communication?  I’m not so sure.  I see entire families at restaurants, every head – father, mother and every child – bowed over a smartphone, not communicating with or paying attention to each other at all.  Even when their food arrives, they lay their phones down next to their plates and continue to look at them between every mouthful of food.  Where’s the family life in that?  Is the smartphone a blessing or a curse when it comes to community, to being truly aware of each other?  Can people brought up – if you can call it that – in that fashion ever establish a meaningful relationship with a spouse or partner in their turn – let alone with their children, if they bother to have any?

Jaimie’s ideas offer serious food for thought.  Recommended reading.



  1. I'm not a NEET, or even a Millenial, but I find his advice to clear the screens out challenging, in a good way. That notion of a room with only a mattress in it sounds for all the world like a monastic cell. Having fewer things sounds like a good way to make sure that our things don't own us. As the Good Book makes clear, greed is idolatry.

  2. I’m a boomer who did a lot of outside playing with minimum tv and my kids were raised with mostly Video tape tv as we were not in range of broadcast tv. They had some video games. Some of them became addicted to video games and progressed th playing on their phones as adults. The grand children are mostly addicted to smart phones and pads. I think the only way around that is a CME that takes down all the electronic devices! If that happened parents may have to put many on a suicide watch!

  3. What Charlie said.

    My wife has no games on her smart phone, and doesn't even get emails on the phone. For her, it's a phone. Nothing more.

    I have a couple of word games on my phone which I play in my spare time to help keep my mind sharp. And a digital Sudoku game, for the same reason. Only one or two sessions of each per day. All played only in airplane mode, so I don't get ads. I check a few select email accounts on my phone, but refuse to monitor my work email on my phone.

    We have cable for the internet access, not TV. Well, we do have the minimum in cable TV, as it's part of the package, but we haven't watched network TV for many years.

  4. Principal rule in our house (2 daughters and wife with mobiles) The phones are switched off when coming into the house and the handsets are left on the hallway table, to be picked up only when leaving the house.
    It has worked wonders. Daughters are not phone-addicted, Lady Wife enjoys not having to respond to every inconsequential "beep", and family life carries on, just as it should do.
    I have a mobile phone. It is switched off most of the time. I switch on to see if there's anything urgent requiring my attention, then it's off again.

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