If there’s one thing my husband bitches about to his friends, it's me constantly asking him to put his phone down. I’m pretty sure this is the only thing he would complain about, as well…
This is our uphill battle and has been for many months. However, I admit I’m no saint either. In a world where we can connect 24/7, it’s so hard to put down your phone. UGGGH, like so hard.
I just need to read this blog post before I go to bed. Did you see that video of dogs hugging babies? It’s sooooooo cute. Oh look a work email, I have to reply to this at 9:54 pm. Just. 1. More. Pin. and then I’m done on Pinterest.
No, no you don’t need to do any of these things. It can totally wait. I’m sure you’re not missing out on life if you skip on any of these things.
To magnify your phone addiction, have kids. Or become a stepmom like I did. Kids have this magical capability of pointing out your addict behaviours. They see every darn thing and say it as it is. Thanks for not sugar coating it guys.
But if they see everything, this also means they’ll grow up thinking it’s normal. Hence, them turning into teenagers or adults staring at their phones 24/7 which can turn into some pretty discourteous interactions. Or they might just walk into a post, face first, while staring at their screen. Soooo humiliating and very, very funny.
Over the months I've found a few ways to step back and detox from constantly checking my phone. I'm not perfect, I try, I fail, I try again. Over time it has become easier and easier.
Personally, I would much rather listen to the kid's stories than scroll through another '60+ parenting memes to get you through the day' type post. I know, I know, those memes can be pretty funny! But so can the random musings of your child's stories.
1. At the dinner table or any other meals
Sitting down for dinner is a very important part of our day and there’s nothing like sitting down for half an hour to catch up on everyone’s day. If the phone rings, so be it, because this is not the time to answer the phone. Neither is Googling some random fact to prove your point during a semi-heated discussion, or to pull up a video just for fun.
2. Before the kids go to school
Everything on your phone can wait. Yes, everything. If there is an emergency, the people who matter know how to contact us. Spend the hour before school with the kids, nagging them about getting ready, brushing their teeth and cleaning their rooms. Once they are out the door you can look at your phone.
3. The bathroom
Waaayyy easier said than done...
How many hours do you waste in the bathroom? Be honest with yourself. Making mental time notes when you enter and exit the bathroom with and without a phone is an eye-opener. a LOT of my time goes to waste in the bathroom with a phone.
4. The bedroom
Cell phones have been banned from our bedroom. I LOVE it! It transformed the bedroom into our space again, where we actually talk to each other instead of the random stranger on Instagram, Facebook or an online forum.
5. During work
This has been life changing for me! My phone doesn’t just go on silent when I’m working. If it’s within arm’s reach I still catch myself checking it more often than I like too. So now I plug my phone into our refurbished 60’s stereo set half way across the room and have music playing. Not a single notification gets heard. Nada.
I’m pretty sure my productivity has tripled. It also helps to close my email or any other distractions. For a while I used the app StayFocused to stay off Facebook and any other social media. StayFocused sets a daily time limit for every social media platform before it blocks you for the day. Now I barely go on Facebook unless it has to do with the blog.
6. When visiting friends
This gets me the most, I hate it when phones are pulled out during visits. But then again, I’m sure I’ve done it myself from time to time. I’m more conscious about it now but this still needs some fine tuning.
Maybe, we can just skip the visits altogether and text each other for an hour while sipping our wine?
7. When hanging out with the kids
This tops all others. There is only so much time left with my stepchildren and kids grow up way too fast. My stepchildren are the main reason why I’m saying NO to household chores just to spend more time with them before they're too old and would rather hang out with friends.
There must be so many more ways to detox from using our cell phones. Share your tips in the comments below!