Over the past 6 weeks a few events have happened in my life that has really made me re-evaluate how much I use my iPhone. I won’t hash those events out here because that’s not the purpose of this post, but let’s just say I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t been treating the same people who love me the most with the respect and attention that they deserve. Life lessons are hard and despite how heartbreaking they are, they are meant to be learned. I ‘m thankful though for learning the lessons I have.
These recent lessons have forced me to break up with my iPhone.
I totally admit that I was a SmartPhone addict, but apparently I ‘m not the only one. According to this article I found on Yahoo! Shine the average person checks their phone every 6.5 minutes!! That’s over 150 times a day! What the article doesn’t say is how long the average person spends each day staring at their phone screen (instead of the life around them) and what can be accomplished if that time was used better.
I know that I was seriously missing out because over the past few weeks I’ve accomplished some things that I know I would not have been able to if I was still staring at my phone. I’ve managed to:
- Eat healthier because I’ve had more time to buy groceries and to prepare my meals.
- Get more sleep (and better quality sleep).
- Spend more time playing with my daughters (I’ve learned that they can totally kick my butt at “Go Fish”, “War” and “Uno”).
- Reorganize a few rooms in the house, and my linen closet – I no longer have to open and close the linen closet door quickly for fear of a massive pile of crumpled towels falling on my head!
- Watch a whole movie!! I watched “Water for Elephants” last weekend – a movie that I’ve wanted to watch for a long time because I had read the book.
- Spend more time with my husband – we’ve gone on a few dates, and have begun watching the TV series “Arrested Development” on NetFlix together.
Now my phone and I didn ‘t have a drastic breakup, ie: It didn ‘t get broken or stolen. That probably would have been WAY easier. Instead my break up has happened slowly ” and here’s the steps I’ve taken to wean myself away:
First I turned off most of the notifications from the notification center.
My phone is no longer beeping and buzzing and going crazy from random notifications and the only time it makes a sound is when someone is calling me or texting me. I don’t text people very much on my phone ” just a few close IRL friends and my husband ” so I’ve left this feature on. However, all the rest of my social media apps needed to be turned off because they were so distracting. You know how it is: So and so just posted in such and such group on Facebook. So and so just liked your picture on Instagram. So and so just followed you on Twitter. So and so just commented on your blog post. The notifications were driving me batty and luring me to Ã…”Slide to Open Ã‚Â all the time. Now, when I click the Ã…”Home Ã‚Â button on my iphone all I see is the cute picture of my daughters, and the time. You seriously would not believe how much that first step has reduced my stress and anxiety.
Second, I disabled most of the email accounts I had on my phone.
I have different email accounts for everything. I have a generic one that I use for friends and family, and the kids sports. I have one for each of my businesses (Borden Lane Solutions and Women’s Tri Gear), and I have two more for each of my blogs. That’s FIVE email addresses! Things were getting buried on my phone ” the notification would come that I got an email from one of my daughter’s coaches, I would read the email, then scroll through and read the 10 other Ã…”urgent Ã‚Â emails that came in, then put my phone away and forget to respond to the coach. This was also happening with blogging campaigns and opportunities. So I disabled all the emails except for the email address I use to communicate with the kids coaches. The notifications for that email address are also turned off ” so I ‘m not lured to my phone with those anymore. I’ve learned that 99% of my emails don’t need an immediate response and can wait for after the kids go to bed. I now read (and respond to) all of these emails on my laptop at 9 pm.
Third, I deleted distracting apps.
LinkedIn? Who cares who changed jobs recently. Pinterest? Why do I need to see the recipes and workouts that my friends are pinning whenever I find myself with three minutes of down time? WordPress? I don’t really need to check my blog stats 10 times a day. FaceBook Messenger? Those conversations can wait.
Fourth, I started wearing a watch.
Yep ” they still make watches. Now when I want to know what time it is, I slide the cuff of my shirt up and flick my wrist. I’ve also set the alarm on my watch to wake me up in the morning! No more sleeping next to my phone because it doubles as an alarm clock. Did you know I was waking up to check the time, then getting sucked into my phone for well over an hour in the middle of the night by all of the notifications that were displayed on the homescreen?! Yikes!
I know it seems sad that I had to do this, but now I feel so free! And thankfully I wasn’t nearly as heartbroken as this guy:
– Do you have a smartphone?
– How much do you use your smartphone?
– Have you ever had to re-evaluate your relationship with your phone?