`It’s fair to say mobile phones have muscled their way into many of our lives, communities, businesses and homes. But have they also eased their way into our hearts and minds?
With all that’s going on globally right now, digital devices in many homes are at full blast. Mobile phones are the main feature of today’s post since they’re one gadget that’s almost guaranteed to be with us when we leave the house, and they’re the compact digital device of choice many people use while on-the-go (whether walking, driving or flying.)
While ‘smart’ phones are handy for so many things (like staying in touch in real time with close ones, finding a venue or researching something when you’re on-the-go), and convenient in a lot of circumstances (like making an urgent call or serving as a handheld light), there is a downside to giving them the upper hand in our day-to-day lives.
Editing your settings can be challenging at first. When you limit your phone-time you might find that you’re not sure what to do in those quiet pockets that you would’ve otherwise been tapping or scrolling away in. That’s alright. Be patient.
Whether it’s feeling jittery or irritable when that gadget needs charging, or freaking out when you can’t find your phone for even just a few moments, there are hefty handfuls of (researched and proven) indicators revealing the ups and downs of our newfound relationship with mobile phones.
By the way, who would’ve thought anyone could or would have any kind of emotional or physical attachment to a phone; one so serious that it could actually affect mental health, good use of time and involve obsession and separation anxiety. It would almost seem laughable if it weren’t so real, affecting so many teens (especially) in digitally dominant places.
When we’re born, the cord is cut so we can receive nourishment on our own, yet these days we often choose another kind of cord – the charger.
A little note so you know I’m no expert on the phone-free life because a) I’m typing this post on my phone b) once ran this blog from the phone for a whole year and c) have purposely sit in a cafe close to the plug outlet to write and publish in real time. I’ve also gone through weeks where my daily screen time is barely 15mins. even when managing different social media accounts; weekends it’s much less.
Today’s message is more about self-evaluation and moderation than elimination.
You weren’t designed to be constantly plugged in; we are designed to be present.
Let’s take a moment to honestly assess how we use our (gifted) time in terms of our phones and how attached/dependent or not we are on them.
We charge our phones but our phones can also demand a lot of our time and energy.
What would you be doing with your time without a phone in hand?
One less random scroll is one more purposeful word towards your upcoming book. One less idle click could mean one happy step into your garden.
If you like, try categorizing your replies to the following 5 (gentle) questions as either ‘Healthy‘ or ‘Time For A Tweak,’ so there’s some clarity and an action plan after going through them. Kick it up a notch and see how the ratio looks and feels to you.
- How long after waking up do I pick up my phone? Why?
- What’s the nature of the first sites or apps I go to and feed my mind?
- About how many minutes go by before I look at my phone?
- Do I check social media constantly or scroll randomly while working?
- Is this my phone or am I its person?
And just because – here are 2 more:
- Is my phone sometimes annoying? (If so, be specific.)
- What can I – what am I willing to do better to be more present in real life?
P.S: I’ve been using my laptop from about halfway into this post. Took a little break to write points in my notebook in between and am giving my thumbs and neck a rest, which is something we all could do with every now and then.
Care to share your phone-use prompt results? Healthy phone-management or Time For A Tweak? This isn’t a competition; I’m asking myself the same questions.