5 Painless Ways to Breakup with Your iPhone
Posted July 6, 2015 by Prairie Wife - 3 comments
We’ve all been there before…you’re sitting on the couch spending some quality time with your kids and then suddenly your iPhone starts demanding your attention, beeping and chirping and lighting up. You plan to just check it for a minute but soon you find yourself lost in the world of social media. Facebook posts, Tweets from your favorite celebrities and Pinterest quickly suck your attention away from your kids.
It’s morning and your alarm goes off telling you that it’s time to start your day. You grab your iPhone to turn it off and notice the little red circle in the corner of the Facebook App, plus you need to check the weather to see what to wear for the day…soon you’re running 15 minutes late and rushing around like a madwoman trying to get the kids ready for school!
Your looking great and ready for a girls night out so you take a minute to show how fab you look and take a selfie. As the night goes on you can’t help but sneak an occasional peak to see what everyone else thinks about your look. You miss the end of your friend’s story as you get caught up in responding to all the “you look beautiful” comments.
If it was a real boyfriend doing all the things listed above you’d break up with him in a second. Taking time from your kids, making you late, interrupting time with your girlfriends…all of that would be unacceptable from a person. For some reason though we’ve all allowed it from technology.
This week I decided to breakup with my iPhone and limit its ability to interrupt my life. Please don’t think I’m being preachy. I love my iPhone and they way it allows me to connect to others, and the ease of using it for a multitude of tasks. I just noticed that I was spending way to much time looking down at my iPhone, and not up at what was going on in front of me. For a week I kept track of what I was doing every time I picked up my phone, how much time I spent on it (good and bad), and the negative impacts it had on my schedule and quality time with my kids.
Now let me clarify that I’m not getting ride of my phone (nor do I think technology is evil), I don’t think that’s necessary…but a little breathing room will be good for me. I’m breaking up with my iPhone but we’re still going to stay friends!
1. Turn off your push notifications. I quickly found out that most of my problem was a result of phone ADHD. I would pick up the phone to make a call or answer a text and see that I had 3 notifications on Facebook, or 9 new notifications on Pinterest. Or I would see my phone screen light up out of the corner of my eye, and I’d click the apps to “quickly check” and end up spending 10 minutes on my phone. Half the time I even forgot what my original intention was, which brings me to the next one…
2. Use your phone with intention. If you are going to check Facebook, check Facebook. Don’t start bouncing back and forth between all your social media apps. If you need to text someone, text them and then set your phone aside. Don’t text them and then check your FitBit steps, and then your Twitter account etc.
3. Set a timer, or at least be aware of the time you spend on your phone. Most of us use our phones rather than a computer. This means we use it to answer emails, shop online, stay in touch with family and friends and check social media. I even use it to pay bills! To sit and spend more than 20 minutes on my phone happens more often then I’d care to admit. If I’m spending it being productive it’s no big deal but, too often I find that I get sucked into watching a hilarious Jim Gaffigan video or browsing for a new jacket. I’ve started to set a timer on my phone, or just glance at the clock occasionally, to make sure I’m not suddenly sitting in the same spot for 30 minutes!
4. Make phone rules and stick with them. In our house (and family) we have certain times when phones are just not allowed. During meal times we keep our phones on silence and on the counter face down, we have the same rules for dates, when company is over, and we set our phones to do-not-disturb mode every night at 9:30. I’ve added a few more “no phone” times now that I’ve paid more attention to my use. When I am outside with the kids, watching TV as a family, and during our summer reading and home school time I keep my phone on me so I can take pictures but I keep it on silent. I also realized that I am often using my phone when I nurse LittleMissH, which should be a great bonding time for us. So for both her nap times during the day (morning and afternoon) and her final bedtime nursing I’ve declared it a “no phone” time.
5. Try hard to only use one kind of technology at a time. Some readers may be rolling their eyes but seriously how many of us are on the phone while the TV is on as well? When I’m working on the computer and waiting for a page to download I’ll often grab my phone to check it…and I know I’m not the only one! Now I’m making a conscious effort to keep focused on one type of technology at a time. If the show I’m watching is so uninteresting that I find myself reaching for my phone more than once (and not to tweet or text a friend about how great the show is) I’ve started to delete it!
Do you feel like you need to breakup with your iPhone? How do you keep technology from taking over your life?