The Rudest Habit In The World

 

Let’s talk about the rudest habit in the world. If you’re not guilty of this habit, congratulations on either being self-aware or older than 40 (and you can remember life before mobile devices).  But chances are, you’ve seen this behavior before or you were a victim of it and you made a mental observation. Or maybe you were like me and guilty of this behavior, realized you needed to make a change for the benefit of your relationships, and you did.

As a single guy living alone (with my 2 dogs) in Thailand, I eat a majority of my meals at restaurants by myself. This gives me a great excuse for staring at my iPhone the entire time. During the times that I’m on a date or with a friend, I make it a priority to keep cell phone usage to a minimum (with the exception of vlogging … “hey guys” … more on this later).

BeFreeMySheeple Eating Alone
I eat almost every meal alone but never really alone.

What Does It Mean???

If someone is staring at their phones the entire time that they’re on a date or with friends, this can mean a few things, all of which are bad:

-They have run out of things to talk about
-They find whatever is on their screen more interesting or exciting than the person in front of them
-They’re bored with the company

If you’re with a significant other or a group of friends, how is it acceptable to be staring at your phone the entire time? I understand periodically checking your phone, but I’ve been witnessing some next-level rudeness. Check out my man below – he’s straight up playing PUBG Mobile while at dinner with 3 friends. I think the girl sitting across from him is his girlfriend. Or maybe not. It could be just a friend. Maybe the guy next to him is his boyfriend. That stuff doesn’t matter. What does matter is that regardless of what the relationships are at the table, he’s making a very clear statement : what’s happening on my screen is more important and more interesting than anything you people have to say.

As a side-note, games like PUBG require almost 100% focus which means that you can’t even carry a meaningful conversation while playing it. Games like Candy Crush (is this game still relevant?) you can play and have a conversation because it’s relatively mindless (you’re just matching colors). One wrong move in PUBG and you’re dead, just like the relationships with the people you’re eating with.

When It’s OK to Use Your Phone At The Table

First, I strongly recommend always putting your phone on silent mode when at a restaurant. This way, your phone doesn’t make sounds that trigger everyone around you to check their phones thinking it was theirs. This has happened to all of us (“was that your phone or mine?”). And let’s be honest – we’ve all used it as an opportunity to check our phones.

To provide some value from this article, I wanted to put together a list of some scenarios where it’s OK to use your mobile device during meals as well as the total amount of time that should be dedicated to each scenario :

Food photos (1 minute, upon delivery of meal): Exceptions can be made for food photography. We’re at the point where it’s completely acceptable to take a picture of your meal as soon as it comes out. Food porn photos get a free pass. Unless you’re with an actual food blogger, food photos should take 1 minute max. Any more than this and you’re just a bad photographer. Accept it.

BeFreeMySheeple Foodporn
Check out @TheFoodieArticles on IG, I designed her logo.

Food photos inception (1 minute): Taking pictures of your friends taking pictures of their food.

BeFreeMySheeple Foodporn
Ploy taking some foodporn pics

Work e-mails (10 seconds, every 15 minutes + time to respond): Expecting urgent work e-mails are also OK. We live in a world of digital nomads where urgent e-mails could be expected at all sorts of ridiculous hours. It doesn’t take much time to check for new e-mails so I give this task 10 seconds every 15 minutes. 

Confirming plans (20 seconds, every 20 minutes): If you’re socially active like I used to be in New York City and Los Angeles, then you might be operating on a tight schedule which means you need to check your phone to see if your next appointment is on-time or running late. If they’re running late then you get to spend more time where you’re at. Winning!

BeFreeMySheeple Tinder Profile
Tinder was lit in New York City and Los Angeles

Vlogging (average length of vlog + 50% time): If vlogging is one of your sources of income or you’re trying to make it a source of income, then you can vlog (within reason). My vlogs are usually 1-2 minutes long so I only need 3 minutes of footage before edits (2 minutes + 50% = 3 minutes). If your vlogs are 10 minutes, then you would be given 15 minutes (but if your vlogs are this long, then you should either ask permission before the meal, or this behavior is already expected of you).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Do you think my dogs will like spring rolls? Find out in this video!!! * #befreemysheeple #papisinvasian3 #springrolls #dogs

A post shared by BeFreeMySheeple 🐑 (@befreemysheeple) on

(thanks to Cassie for suggesting the next 2)

Fact-checking (30 seconds, per fact check): Sometimes you’re having a debate or you’re referencing something and nobody knows the actual answer. A quick fact check or google search is acceptable. Our phones are sources of infinite knowledge so we can refer to it in times of need. 

Relevant imagery (30 seconds, per image): Sometimes you’re talking about a meal you had, a place you went, or a person you dated. Pulling our your phone to complement the conversation with imagery is totally acceptable. It’s much easier to show a picture of Jim or Shirley than it is to describe them.

Family emergency (10 seconds, every 5 minutes): If you’re aware of a family member or close friend having a health problem, then you unfortunately might be expecting an emergency phone call or text. You get a free pass to check your phone as often as needed but I think 5 minutes is a reasonable increment. In this case, it’s also recommended to keep your sound on.

So that’s it. Those are the only times that it’s acceptable to be on your phone during a meal at a restaurant. It should be no more than a few minutes total. If the average meal is 60 minutes and you’ve had every reason to check your phone listed above, here’s how it breaks down:

Food photos + inception: 60 seconds
Check work e-mails: 30 seconds
Confirming plans: 40 seconds
Vlogging: 180 seconds
Fact-checking: 30 seconds
Relevant imagery: 30 seconds
Family emergency: 110 seconds
TOTAL TIME: 480 seconds = 8 minutes
8 minutes / 60 minutes = 13.33%

That’s it. No more than 13.33% of your meal with friends or significant others should be spent on your phone, and this is if you’re into foodporn, you’re expecting urgent work e-mails, you’re confirming plans, you’re a vlogger AND there’s a family emergency.

What You Can Do To Stop It

I think that us as individuals have a responsibility to address this situation head on. A few approaches that I thought of are:

Verbal Communication (confrontational approach): Clear your throat in an aggressive manner and talk to the mobile device addict while they’re in the act with a stern, but polite tone. Ask them if they know how it’s making you feel. “Ahem – Jim/Shirley, are you aware of how you’re making me feel right now?”

Digital Communication (passive aggressive approach): If you don’t like conflict, then send them a text message while you’re sitting across from them. If you want to be even more passive aggressive, send them an e-mail with the subject “Hey, R U OK?” or “We Need To Talk.” Nobody likes conversations that begin with “we need to talk.”

Airdrop (funny approach): If they have an iPhone and their Airdrop is on, take a picture of them while they’re staring at their phone instead of talking to you and Airdrop them the photo. Not only will this get your point across, but it will interrupt whatever is happening on their screen. Bonus points if they’re playing PUBG and your Airdrop pop-up alert causes them to die. Headshot!

Do Nothing (worthless approach): Or you can do nothing and just stare at your phone too. Cool friendship bro!

Checking Instagram feed can wait. Checking Facebook newsfeed can wait. Checking TikTok can wait. Checking Bumble can wait.  And you know what definitely can wait? Fucking PUBG. 

***

Do you know someone that’s guilty of this behavior? How have you handled it? Leave a comment or you can e-mail meadam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

 

Dear Married People, A Word of Advice

 

Dear married people – a word of advice.

(Based on a recent experience I had).

befreemysheeple dating advice

If you’re in a bar and you’re not wearing an engagement or wedding ring and you’re talking to a guy for 10 minutes and you tell him “I’m waiting for my family” and then you exchange social media, the guy you’re talking to assumes that you’re waiting for parents or cousins or grandparents and that you’re single. And then when the sole family member shows up and it’s the husband (“oh this is my husband”) you just caught everyone off-guard including yourself and now everyone’s uncomfortable :

(1) the husband’s pissed you’re talking to a younger man who happens to be a muscular Latino possibly named Carlos or Francisco with 2 unfairly cute dogs
(2) the wife is uncomfortable because she got got
(3) and I’m confused because you just went from single to married real quick).

This could have all been prevented if you substituted “I’m waiting for my family” with “I’m waiting for my husband.”

(I would rather be single and deal with this than get married and my wife making me deal with that)

Some Social Media Reactions From Women

  • @simply_livvie: “Shady shady. Meanwhile I’m always telling guys I’m waiting for my husband. And I ain’t married lol” 
  • “Haha wtf who says that? Even if I were waiting for my sister I’d say “sister.” Calling 1 individual person “my family” is weird in itself. At least she didn’t say “someone” or “a friend.” Haha”
  • @nikinikz: That’s scandalous. Who says that they’re waiting for their family and it’s their spouse !?? Hahahahahahaha! #busted
  • “Who say I’m waiting for my family?!?! She’s asking for trouble”
  • @abbiesmith233: “Damn when I was married if a guy even looked in my direction I’d tell him to eat shit and die.”

***

Did you find this advice useful? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

 

For many people, fitness means keeping a strict diet and workout routine. But as Guest Correspondent Bear Williams discusses today, it’s important to build a level of flexibility into your routine. If you’re overly committed to your plan and you haven’t incorporated room for changes, you might end up feeling frustrated. Instead, it’s better to be open-minded and free.

As many of you remember, Bear was stranded on the Thai island of Koh Phangan during Storm Pabuk. He was forced into incorporating flexibility into his diet and fitness routine. Below he shares some inspiration on how to stay on your game even after being knocked off your game.

The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple

“With my target being only to explore and adapt, the last two months of maintaining and improving a healthy lifestyle built specifically for me, have been interesting and wildly challenging.

I spent the month of December on an island. I was unable to eat many of my staple foods, and could not cook for myself (something I will remedy immediately if I return to same or similar situation). Training was light the entire month.

While on the island, I made lesser evil food choices and used carbonated sugar beverages often to fill gaps in calories needed for energy. In hindsight, I was a carb-burning monster and actually got leaner drinking 3-5 Coca Cola a day. I think the healthier option for me and more conducive to island-living will be a ketogenic + low fruit approach. The sugar withdrawal from soda was fucking terrible.

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life 2

While leaving the island and returning to Bangkok, my girl and I both got sick with a bad sinus infection and cough. Mine due to lack of sleep, bad food, minor stress, and possibly made worse by the Bangkok pollution.

I opted not to take antibiotics, and use Advil and nasal decongestant, along with lowering my total target food volume by 30%. While sick, I cooked all my food, mostly different soups with pork, beef, egg, shrimp, vegetables, and rice. Heavy amounts of turmeric, ginger, lemon/lime, honey, and water were consumed everyday.

Training was reduced to 1-2 days per week in preference of bed rest and sleep. My work schedule was maintained.

I lost about 5-6 kg when normally I would be growing slowly. This is a bummer, but I was able to weather 8 weeks filled with the inconsistencies of island life and beat an awful and debilitating cold while still keeping my body together.

…having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Anyway, the point I want to make is that having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Sure. I have a “goal” and it’s to build muscle. I just don’t think about it every moment because it’s set on a 5 year timeline.

I focus on everyday habits and the understanding that life is unpredictable. Many times the path to a goal requires going backwards methodically, and never giving up.”

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life
Perfectly balanced as all things should be.

 

How do you handle changes to your workout routine or diet?  Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

My First Time Trying A Fish Spa Pedicure in Thailand (SO WEIRD)

I only did 15 minutes because like the fish, I was hungry. Ironically, I ate a mango catfish salad afterwards. Fish eat human, human eat fish. The circle of life.

Hey guys! Have you ever tried a fish spa pedicure? Read about my first time trying a fish spa pedicure in Thailand.

I’m a huge fan of pedicures and spa treatments. It’s the ultimate me-time. If you’re a gentleman and you haven’t gotten a pedicure before,  DO IT. It’s one of the most relaxing, cleansing experiences. And trust me – nobody wants to see some crusty ass feet.  I also love spas and massages so much that it’s partially why I moved to Thailand … 1-hour massages here are only 200 baht (roughly $6 USD).

When I hear the word “spa” I think of a relaxing, serene experience surrounded by candles and lemongrass or lavender aromas. I do not think of tiny little fish nibbling at dead skin cells, bacteria and fungus. But that’s exactly what a fish spa pedicure is.

I don’t know what compelled me try it today. After all, I have seen fish spa pedicures offered around the world from Mexico to the Caribbean but I’ve always politely declined the opportunity.

Perhaps it was because I remember reading an article that went viral about a woman who got a fish spa pedicure, and then her toenails fell off a few months later. Allegedly, this was caused by “onychomadesis, a condition that causes the nails to separate from the skin of your fingers or toes and ultimately fall off.” Sounds pretty gross but YOLO! One reason this happens is because many establishments do not properly clean the fish tanks. This potentially exposes you to contagious bacteria that other customers may have had. I confirmed with the owner that she regularly cleans her fish tanks daily.

Hua hin Thailand fish spa owner
Aora, the wonderful owner of the Hua Hin Fish Spa.

I was anxious about putting my feet in the water because I had no idea what hundreds of nibbling fish would feel like. But it’s exactly what you’d think it would feel like : an army of tiny creatures deliberately and delicately biting your skin. The closest sensation I could compare it to would be a ticklish vibration. After a few minutes, your body adapts.

These fish, called Garra Rufa (“doctor fish”) do not have teeth so they can’t bite you, just nibble at the dead skin cells that you don’t want anyway. The owner told me that 30 minutes is the recommended time for a full treatment. I only did 15 minutes because like the fish, I was hungry. Ironically, I ate a mango catfish salad afterwards. Fish eat human, human eat fish. The circle of life.

I was shocked at how quickly the fishies attacked my dying skin cells. Like moths to a flame, they quickly encapsulated and ensnared my entire leg. My leg was like smokeshow walking into a bar at 2am.

It’s been a few hours since my fish spa pedicure and my feet feel super smooth. And yes I still have all of my toenails.

Overall it was a great experience and I would totally do it again.

Watch the video below to see the full experience!

Would you try a fish spa pedicure? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

If you’d like to check out the spa I visited, you can visit BangkokDrFishSpa99.com

Be Free My Sheeple!

@BearWilliams Survives Storm Pabuk in Koh Phangan, Thailand

 

One of the best parts about not having a 9-5 job is being wherever you want to be in the world. And sometimes that means being caught on a tiny, isolated island while a massive tropical storm is coming.

This week, Thailand was hit by Tropical Storm Pabuk. BeFreeMySheeple Correspondent Bear Williams was on the scene in Koh Phangan during the storm. You might recognize him from PUBG’s latest commercial. Not only does he act like a tough guy on TV, but he actually is a tough guy too.

Were you caught in Storm Pabuk too? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Also follow guest correspondent @bearwilliams.

Be Free My Sheeple!