You know that mask we wear? The one that we wear because we’re convinced that if people saw into the real us- our thoughts and hidden behaviours, they might be horrified. Maybe it is just me? Today I am choosing to let mine slip a little.
I have realised that a major barrier to being more intentional with my time, more present with my daughter and increasing my prayer time is the amount of time I spend on my phone. Smart phones have allowed some incredible new uses but, for me, it comes with a price tag. I have been forced to admit that I have become addicted to it. I am ashamed of how often I tune out something that my daughter has said or how many supposedly important things remain undone because the time has disappeared into the vortex of meaningless games or social media reading. I find myself growing increasing unable to sit and think, spend a spare moment or even watch TV without a device in my hand. The question is what to do about it. These are some of the steps that I am taking:
- I choose to leave my phone on a table instead of in my pocket. If not in easy reach, I am less likely to fill those moments.
- I have switched off all notifications for social media and email. I find it difficult to ignore them so ignorance is the better option.
- I have installed an App Usage Monitor. There is something confronting about seeing exactly how long I have spent on them each day. As of today, I have also committed to sharing these numbers with a friend each week (gulp!!).
- I have deleted all the games off of the phone.
- I have set up accountability with a friend (it worked for my daily God time, as I discussed yesterday, so should help, right?)
I have read several articles about the damage smart phones are doing in families and to children (hello extra heaps of guilt!) but have rarely seen them written by someone who is working to change this in themselves. I hope that someone out there can get some benefit from the suggestions I am working on. This is an ongoing daily challenge for me. It has been suggested that I give up my smart phone altogether for a simple one. I an not there yet and may never be but my goal is to use my phone for the specific purposes that I have need of and not be consumed by it any longer.
What about you? Do I have any fellow addicts brave enough to step forward? Any suggestions that you have found helpful?