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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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!
- 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".
- 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?