Montgomery Businessman Working to Inspire Others to Take a Tech Time Out

Clay McInnis hopes weekend flip phone usage inspires others to take up the practice

Just about everyone carries a cell phone with them 24-7.

But, a Montgomery businessman says it’s time to curb what he thinks may now be an addiction.

“We need to experience the presence of one another and we need to experience life again,” said Clay McInnis who runs the #ConnectMGM Facebook Group page.

The Montgomery native is on a mission to inspire people to take a tech time out.  Specifically, time away from their cell phones.

“We all see it,” McInnis said. “We go to a restaurant and we see a couple maybe on a first date maybe a married couple and they just don’t talk to each other. They don’t engage with each another because they are in their phones.”

Simple put, McInnis is encouraging everyone to “flip their weekends.” That is put aside your smartphone and use a flip phone instead.

“Very low cost, I think it’s $20 a month,” he said. “You get a flip phone and a number and then you just forward your existing number to that flip phone.”

McInnis was inspired to make the change himself after seeing a documentary about cell phone addiction.

“If you cannot turn your cell phone off for a day without turning it on, then you’re an addict,” said Chason Smitherman, Sr., a local filmmaker/owner of #Grow334 who produced the documentary called “Follow Me @.”

A recent #ConnectMGM Facebook poll finds the majority of Montgomerians would replace smartphones on Saturday and Sunday.

“The only way to experience the disconnect is to actually do it,” said Smitherman.

“We need to learn how to balance and regulate our cell phone usage because our dopamine levels are way out of control,” said McInnis.

McInnis hopes his weekend flip phone idea catches on.

“That’s what my goal is for this year is to just enjoy life more,” he said. “And we can only do that by being present and we’re not really present when we’re on our phones all the time.”

Learn more by visiting “ConnectMGM” on Facebook. You can view the “Follow Me @” documentary on the “Grow334” Facebook page.

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