|After the movie. Gwen looks a little dazed! I look a bit like a woman fighting a cold, but hey, at least I was there!|
Anyway, spending a three day weekend in the loving arms of my (coughing) family gave me a chance to try putting my phone away a bit more. Partly because we weren't really doing anything interesting enough to Instagram or Facebook about, and partly because I was genuinely making an effort. And I think I am developing some strategies:
- My phone doesn't go anywhere it doesn't belong. Like in the bath tub with me. Or Gwen's room, or the laundry room. It can come with me to movies or plays, restaurants or to meet friends, but generally speaking, it stays in my purse or pocket. So if you and I are spending time together and I get my phone out, please give me a slap!
- This sounds incredibly simple, but was actually a huge realization for me: When I post less on sites like Facebook and Instagram, there are less responses from other people to catch my attention, and so I spend less time going back to check and read and comment back.
- I did this yesterday, and quite liked it. After putting the kids to bed, I plugged my phone into the charger in our bedroom, and then left it there until bedtime. I still ended up pulling out the laptop while we watched some shows, but I also read my book and actually cuddled up to Nick on the couch while we watched Modern Family too.
- Give myself a little bit of a break. Sometimes I'll use my phone for dumb stuff in front of my children and loved ones. It's going to happen. But what I can in those situations is be sure that when they actually need my attention, I show them how important they are to me by putting my phone down and actually listening to what they have to say. Oh man, that's really what's at the heart of this whole thing, isn't it? People and relationships and real-world connections rather than the internet shadow of those that we keep mistaking for the real thing.
So, I'm trying! It's probably going to take a while, and I will keep making mistakes as I go, but I'm hopeful that I'll make some good changes and improvements as I go. Thank you for your kind comments and support! As the tiniest token of my appreciation to those of you who do take the time to leave a comment, I've gone back and responded to comments from the past couple of months.