Lock up your Phone, Open your Eyes!

CellphonejailDear Readers,

Back in January, I wrote a blog post asking the question: Are you addicted to technology?

In it, I talked about the last minute laissez-faire (laid back for the non French people) attitude pervasive in our society which leads us to cancel plans last minute.

For the curious, https://jenniferhastonsays.com/2017/01/26/are-you-addicted-to-technology/

Today, I am posing a different question.

What does your technology cost you? How much are you missing out on because you can’t or won’t put your phone down?

Perhaps a silly look you get from your daughter after she falls down the ninth time as she is learning to stand up and find her balance, bonus, she laughed at herself and then crawled over for a hug right after that. You might miss that your husband looked at you with a loving look after you said something because you were looking down at your phone. This has happened to me and to him, and the feeling you get when you realize that you looked lovingly at someone but they didn’t see it, you don’t really get that moment back. How about at a meeting at work, did you ask your coworker about their project, vacation or were you buried in your phone or laptop before the meeting started? (I was guilty of this today, but I am aware of it, so will strive to do better) – That’s all any of us can do.

As parents to a nine month old, alone time is so hard to come by and recently I said, we need to do something to protect it. We have actually instituted a no phone zone (we actually lock up our phones) at the dinner table so we can focus on family time and beginning as we mean to continue since we certainly want to teach her to connect and talk and laugh and play and listen.

I am going to be honest, It’s hard sometimes, and that realization in and of itself is scaring me enough to realize how important it is to share this idea and really work to revolutionize how we are interacting with each other as a culture and do our level best to focus on connecting in real life, not just on social media or via text.

I was having this discussion over dinner last week and again last night and neither of us had our phones out, “all we do is play on our phones and watch (insert your favourite streaming method here)” . I think that many of us are like that, and it’s okay in moderation but when was the last time you did an audit of your “phone use” ?

It might surprise you to learn how much time you spend on your phone. Do you check it 150 times a day? I found that hard to believe and then after doing an audit, I found I check it at least 50 times a day which seems excessive to me.

I can’t tell you what that looks like for you. Perhaps that means one night a week, you don’t use your devices between this hour and this hour, and maybe your goal is to actually be “bored”. There are studies that have pointed to great strides in creativity when someone gives their brain the space to “be bored”

Maybe you have the balance DOWN and don’t need a wake up call. But I know I need to be vigilant about this because it’s way too easy for me to pick up my phone and mindlessly scroll through the internet, I click on articles and say I will read that later. When was the last time you had a night without devices or you and your partner took a walk, yes it’s hot but do it anyway, or get in the car for a drive and look at the nature that surrounds us all that we don’t always appreciate.

When was the last time you had a night without your phone? How about the last time you didn’t watch Netflix? When was the last time you opted to put your phone down and not engage in battle an internet troll? How many times have you said, “one more episode?” and wound up watching three more?

Don’t get me wrong, I have my Facebook scrolling, Netflix intake just like everyone else, but much like my current eating plan of “I want a cookie so I will eat one cookie, in hopes that I will not want the entire package of cookies” I try to limit it, so I am spending more time with the three dimensional people and living and interacting with them and spending less time liking, commenting and digitally connecting.

How about you? What do you think your technology habit is costing you?

Think about it.

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