Ashton Kutcher: ‘Being in the Moment is More Valuable Than Capturing the Moment’

‘I don’t want to be available to everyone all the time.’

On the most recent episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with television and film actor, venture capitalist, philanthropist, producer and—the role that matters most to him—father Ashton Kutcher. In a wide-ranging conversation, Huffington and Kutcher spoke about everything from family, social media and privacy to sleeping, time management and what it means to truly relax.

He’s known as an early adopter of new tech (not to mention an early investor in several tech companies), but Kutcher knows how to set boundaries with his devices, and said it’s essential to put limits on your tech use. 

“I don’t want to be available to everyone all the time,” he said. “This is my journey that I'm on, and I want to choose when I'm available. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature is actually really, really wonderful.”

When Huffington asked how he’s able to keep technology from infringing on his life, Kutcher said that the key is viewing technology as a tool to make everyday life more efficient. “When I first started investing I came up with a thesis for investment, and my thesis for investment is that true luxury is being able to afford to take your time.”

That’s an important point in today’s world. We’re living in a time when busyness is king—time is short, attention spans are shorter and an overbooked schedule is something people think they should brag about. Many use technology as a crutch, rather than a tool. And because we’re all scrambling to keep up with our schedules and to-do lists, more thoughtful ways of communicating tend to fall by the wayside.

“A handwritten letter is actually quite romantic and quite luxurious, but it takes more time and more effort,” Kutcher said. “Technology should actually be able to support you in doing the things that you don't necessarily want to be spending time on, and be able to do it more efficiently.”

Kutcher’s personal boundaries include putting his phone away while eating dinner and keeping it out of the bedroom. He said that when he can’t sleep, he tries to write down whatever's on his mind. His boundaries extend to his life beyond the bedroom, too.

“I try to remember that being in the moment is more valuable than capturing the moment,” he said.

To hear the full conversation, click here.

You can also listen to the Thrive Global podcast internationally for free on iTunes and Stitcher. 

Unplug and Recharge, Technology