Scenario: I can’t go more than 15 minutes without checking my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram notifications. I post pictures and can’t wait to see how many LIKES or COMMENTS I can get. I love engaging in conversations on social media – so much that I fail to engage in conversations in person… specifically with my family.
Does this sound like you?
Being obsessed with our smartphones is the new norm and most of us don’t even realize how obsessed we truly are. If your spouse and kids are constantly complaining of your phone use, it might be time to scale it back. This can be more difficult than you think, though.
STEP ONE Clean out your social media accounts.
Turn off push notifications, unsubscribe from unwanted email lists, delete apps that you don’t need and remove people you absolutely don’t need to follow. This will help you resist the temptation to obsessively check your phone. Leave the business accounts to certain hours of the day and forget about them the rest of the time.
STEP TWO Stop using smartphones in bed.
There’s nothing like finally being ready for bed after the kids are tucked in. You’ve washed your face and brushed your teeth and you can sink into that warm, plush haven. But you have new notifications (or your spouse does)! Nooooo! Try setting up a charging station outside of the bedroom and invest in a good old fashioned alarm clock.
Visit an online bookstore to buy some new fiction books that allow you to use your imagination and expand your mind so much more than a smartphone can. Using smartphones and Kindles can be overstimulating at bedtime, therefore keeping you awake longer. If fiction books aren’t your thing, try reading about fitness or cooking.
STEP THREE Turn your smartphone to silent.
With Do Not Disturb on the iPhone, you can silence your calls, alerts and notifications that you get while your device is locked. You can also schedule a time or choose who you’ll allow calls from. Try setting aside “X” amount of hours each day to spend with your family and keep your phone silenced.
STEP FOUR Don’t use your smartphone during meals.
Mealtime can be the most common time you sit down to check your emails, texts and social media notifications. Try turning off your phone during dinnertime at home or leaving your phone at home when you go out to dinner.
STEP FIVE Stop taking pictures of everything.
This is a big one for me. I love to take pictures of everything my girls do; which then leads to posting it on social media; which then leads to checking my news feeds; and so on. Resist the urge to take pictures of everything and live in the moment instead of behind the camera. If you are traveling it can be hard to live in the moment while trying to capture every moment on camera. Take a few photos during the beginning of each new activity and put your phone away for the rest of the time.