I like to talk about tackling bad food habits as if they are actually addictions – because in some cases, I think they really are. But today, I’d like to bring your attention to another kind of addiction that is sweeping the nation – at warp speed.
You just went to your phone to find out the name of the latest drug, didn’t you? Actually, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. These days, we all seem to be addicted to our smartphones. But it’s no wonder we’re so hooked. We carry around tiny little portals to the world; how could we not use them? It’s like having the answers to all your questions right there in your pocket; just a few clicks away. In a debate with your friends over the year Starship released “We Built This City?” Well, there’s no need to guess. The answer can be yours in an instant. But at what cost? Are we spending too much time plugged in and not enough time cultivating real relationships? Probably.
But after making such a great case for how useful these devices are, I couldn’t (in good conscience) advise you to toss them altogether. Still, we can probably all benefit from a little less “plugged in” time. Here are a few tips for making it happen:
- Pay attention: When do you feel compelled to check your phone, and what are you feeling when you do? Is it when you’re bored or anxious? If you’re just checking your phone to fill a void, maybe you should cut back on the habit.
- Don’t let it own you: When your phone beeps, do you stop whatever you’re doing and check it? If you can’t finish your sentence before checking, you might have a problem.
- Set phone-free zones: When you’re hangin’ with the kids or out with your buddies, get in the habit of silencing your phone. You’ll find that you’ll enjoy the time spent much more than if you were constantly distracted. Two obvious exceptions are if you’re waiting for an important call or if you’re the only emergency contact for your kids. But otherwise, you should be able to unplug for an hour. The world can wait.