Over to you: Help me put down my phone?

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to be here now, and part of that is trying to separate a bit more from my phone. But friends, I am finding that ever so, ever so hard to do! Do you have any ideas for how I can disconnect with my iPhone  a bit so I can reconnect with with my real life? Is there are 12-step program?

Let me break down my problem into a few chunks for you so you can see what you think:

  1. I am a stay-at-home mom, and so my phone becomes a sort of lifeline to the rest of the world. Facebook is a way of connecting with other adults, maybe especially adults that are interested in my day-to-day life with the kids, be they other parents in a similar situation, or family members that just like an update on how we're doing and the funny things Espen and Gwen say and do. And I have to admit that I get a little hungry for likes and comments, so I fall into the trap of checking and rechecking to see if there is anything new. Nick and I also text each other a fair amount throughout the day, which I like, because it makes us part of each other's day. 
  2. I use my phone quite a lot to take photos. I like to just document what we're doing, if the kids are doing anything cute or funny, or if there is anything I want to share with Nick. So keeping my phone on hand to snap pictures has been really great. I Instagram quite a lot, both as a way to share pictures of the kids with my mum (which means that I share them to Facebook, because she never uses her Instagram account, which again means lots of likes and comments that I have to check for, and around and around we go!), and as way of getting in a little, dare I say, creativity and artistic expression in my day. 
  3. I am by nature a fiddly person, and like to keep my brain and my fingers occupied with something basically always. Which means that I almost never do one thing at a time. I get restless when I do, even if it's something I actually really enjoy. Getting my phone out and going on Facebook or playing a game or reading an article is like the perfect drug for fidgety folk like me. But can I please learn to do one thing at a time? Has anyone actually done that?
  4. I like to know. Everything. And so if a question or a query comes up (anything at all!) I like to find out about that thing right away. Hello, Smartphone!
  5. I think I might be genuinely addicted to my phone. Not in a cute way, but in basically the worst way. My fingers itch for it if I don't have, and part of my brain is constantly working on how I can get it back. At this very moment I am thinking about putting down the laptop and going to find it "just in case". 
  6. I just got a new iPhone 5S two days ago. It's the gold one. It's beautiful. I unlock it with my fingerprint. Ir rests in my hand just so. But I was conjoined with my 4S in just the same way. If it has an internet connection and fits in my hand, I'm there.
I don't want to cut it out completely. I still want to use it - lots. But I want my phone to be a fantastically practical and useful tool that I use, not something that is so much a part of me that Espen once called my phone my "friend" (the shame!). Not something that I obviously enjoy so much that at 14 months, Gwen is convinced she must get her hands on my phone at all costs. Not something that stops me from listening to and making eye contact with my husband because I'm too busy playing Scrabble. 

So, have you got any ideas? How do you control your cell phone usage? How do you take advantage of the good without letting the bad take advantage of you? Thoughts?

Thank you!


  1. I love your honesty - and I think we can all relate!! It's very rare that Eric doesn't have his phone attached to him. It don't care about my phone so much - I text on it and occasionally pinterest when I'm bored/listen to Ted while I'm cleaning. But I am more addicted to my computer. Which is hard because whenever I walk by, it's like it reaches out to me to just "check my email/facebook/blog updates" really fast... and then I get sucked in, of course. I tried doing the whole I can't get on my computer until 10 am (totally didn't work) or only check it once every couple hours (once again, nada). I even tried cold turkey for a day, and it was somewhat successful... I only checked it twice. But it was veryveryvery hard. So to sum up, I don't have a lot of advice for you.
    Maybe...is there some sort of app that if you've been on your phone for more than 10 minutes, it will turn off automatically, haha??? That could work! :) I don't know... good luck!
    And keep writing, I love your posts and sense of humor!

    1. Before I got a smart phone, it was the lure of the laptop for me too! We keep the laptop plugged in by the couch, so I ended up spending a lot of time plopped on the couch with the computer in my lap. I guess at least with a smartphone addiction, I'm getting more varied surroundings? And I guess that at least with your computer, when you leave the room it's in, you're leaving it behind, which is good. Also, good thinking about the timed app! I will check it out.

  2. I was the same way last year. Always either on my hone or tablet. Until my 10 yr old had to do a report on her favorite activity we do as a family. She showed me a piece of paper that just had one sentence on it. Anything that makes my mom act like I am more important than her phone. It made me feel horrible and also made me realize that the only memories I was giving my 2 kids was of a half there mom who only paid them attention if it was something I could post online. It's taken a lot of time and self control, but now their activities come first, that teaching them to use an actual dictionary or encyclopedia is just as handy as the internet. And we are creating some pretty good memories of their childhood. Now I still sneak into the bathroom to hop online sometimes, and when they go to bed it's mommy time where I get my social networking fix, but it took my child for me to realize that the most important thing going on in the world right now is them :)

    1. Thank you for sharing that! I find it really helpful to hear about other people's experiences, especially from people who've managed to make some of the changes they needed to. Go you!

  3. I think your problem is world wide ...just look at people in a restaurant or anywhere for that matter...everyone is on their phones. Maybe allocating certain times during the day as no phone hours? Good luck
    Blessings, Joanne

    1. It really is the scourge of our generation, isn't it? Which makes me question what I'm teaching my kids to value and prioritize, which just motivates me further.


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