Smart phones are such wonderful resources. One device can give directions, take pictures, provide a musical pick-me-up, send an email, give a reminder to do something, tell the weather, provide coupons (love the RetailMeNot app), purchase items on Amazon, and surf the world wide web. Oh…and make a phone call. So often Greg and I have commented that our smart phones have saved the day in more ways than one.
While they are lifesavers most of the time, smart phones seem to also provide a lot of distraction from daily life. It is wonderful to connect with friends on Instagram and Facebook, but I’m sure that soaking in every.single.second of this toddler phase of Caroline’s life is what I’ll remember more than FB and Instagram when I’m walking down memory lane. Sometimes I catch myself instinctively checking social media during the day while Caroline is playing. Yes, it is a little bit of a mental break to peruse the latest Instagram pics, but I’d rather be building a tower with Caroline or watching her sort her shapes.
Before challenging myself to unplug for a day or two, I thought I would track just how many times I reached for my phone for a purpose other than to make a call/text. Yikes! I have to be honest, I had a little of Sara Bareilles’ “…honestly I wanna see you be brave…” ringing in my ears as I took on this challenge for the day.
So, here’s how I did: Between 8am-8pm, I checked my phone 16 times for reasons other than texting or making a phone call. I tried to keep my tallying as organic as possible and not let my tallying curb my phone usage. Was I surprised at the number? Yep, I thought it was a little high, especially because the math comes out to me checking my phone roughly once an hour. As I’m sitting here at the end of the day with Caroline asleep, it is a little frustrating to know that I could have used those few minutes each hour to do something more productive: cross an item off my to do list, cuddle up with Emmet, read a book with Caroline, clean out a closet, and so many more things.
Sigh…Well, let’s move forward. Now I have a baseline and a motivation to put down my phone! Instead of unrealistically telling myself to not look at my phone at all during the day, I’m going to focus on allowing myself to have phone time while C is napping and asleep for the night. We all need a little break during the day and definitely in the evening, so having this set phone time will still allow me to decompress and stay connected with friends.
All right, now I’m throwing this out to you dear readers! No one needs to know how many times you check your phone each day, but I challenge you to keep a tally one day so you can have a baseline number. Maybe you already have a good balance with your phone or maybe you are inseparable. Just give it some thought!