The second I stopped judging people who constantly looking at their phones was the second I got a smart phone for myself.
No matter how much you believe yourself to value truly living, eyes up, hands-free, focusing on your children and all the important people right in front of you, owning a smart phone reveals how susceptible we all are to this unfortunate new culture of constant distraction with technology.
It’s sooooo tempting to whip out that phone at every opportunity, every stoplight or moment of pause, when in reality, an honest assessment of what we do while on our phones shows it’s not as pressing or worthwhile as our actions indicate.
So how do we exercise the self-control to have the life we truly desire?
For me, this meant deleting some “beloved” apps from my phone. This has meant freedom from temptation to waste time, because even when I compulsively pick up my phone, there’s really nothing to hold my interest there. So that compulsion dwindles in my life.
Are you wondering which apps I deleted that helped me so much?
I love Facebook a little too much, but I realized it was not worth the time I was giving it. By deleting the Facebook app, I now only check in a few times per day on my desktop computer at home, which is a much more efficient way to type posts, comments and responses anyway.
Our Facebook Newsfeeds are based on a very smart, advanced and adaptive algorithm. Basically the more often we check Facebook, the more posts we will see throughout the day overall. They Facebook has plenty of content from all your friends, so they could go on showing you more and more all day if only you’d keep checking. The more they show you, the less relevant it will naturally be.
However, if you get on Facebook only once per day, for example, you will see only the most relevant posts to your life.
I know this is unusual, but I literally have zero games on my phone, for me or my children. Why?
It’s not productive. I don’t need to be spending my time that way. End of story.
For my kids
Let me say, I have no problem with parents who let their kids play on their phones at times. I know that makes their lives easier in certain situations. But for me, there are a few key reasons why I avoid this.
- I don’t want to be pestered. I know my kids, and if games are an option, they are going to be asking for them more than I want them playing. I don’t like that constant pestering. My kids don’t even ask because it’s not a possibility.
- To protect my phone. My kids are little, and they will drop it. I know because I let them play games on my ipad at one time and it is no more.
- I want them to develop coping strategies for times when they’re not entertained. And they have. Kids are amazing. Let them be creative. Let them learn to wait. Let the learn to entertain themselves on a car ride. You did it. They can too!
3. Apps to Manage My Blog
For me, as a blogger, I am fascinated by blog stats, blog comments, traffic referrers, and my Facebook page activity (which is a separate Facebook Pages app).
Also, I fear the day when there’s either super inappropriate spam or hate mail put up for everyone to see, so I feel the need to monitor it constantly.
But that’s not healthy, nor a good use of time. So for me, deleting my WordPress and Facebook Pages apps were good ways to impose healthy time-management boundaries.
My time at the park with my kids is not time to check blog comments. They will wait.