Why I Put Down My Smartphone (Gulp!)

Hello, my name is Krista.

I was an addict.

No, seriously. I have to admit right out of the gate that I was addicted to being connected 24 hours a day. I had a smart phone before they were cool. I was using apps before most people even knew what they were. I had (insert stutter) a Blackberry when everyone else was still using flip phones. I. Was. Addicted.

I was addicted to being able to communicate with clients from anywhere at any time. I was addicted and relied on my phone for everything from weather to contraction timers to my daily calender. Then one day I it hit me. How much time was I actually spending hovering over, holding and staring at my phone? I went into my phone to see how many hours I had used it and then figured out the number of days I had owned the phone, divided it out and proceeded to shut myself in the bathroom and cry.

As the mother of three young boys the number scared me. Where were they during all of that time? What did I miss? Why did I give so much time to my phone, Twitter and Facebook notifications, Pinterest and more?

I was addicted.

If you think about it, it’s chemical. My friends live in my phone. As do my clients, potential clients and some lady in Seattle that I don’t know. Whenever a Twitter, Facebook, Text or email notification broke the silence I was instantly digging for my phone. Then I decided I wasn’t any more. It wasn’t because I had information overload or was tired of hearing the constant beep, beep, beep of notifications. It was because I could think of 400 things that I wanted to do with my kids. The basket of laundry that required two hands. Blog posts like this that seemingly never got finished. As I watched my 2-year-old turn 3 and my 4-year-old turn 5 I realized that I didn’t want to be THAT mom … the one standing at the park completely immersed in my phone… the one who posted on Facebook like 27 times a day. I wanted to be present. I made myself present.

I still use my phone as a resource, a tool and a way to connect, but I have learned to live in the moment. I won’t read my kids a book with the phone sitting beside me. I leave the phone in the car when we are out as a family. I mute the phone while I get the older two kiddos ready for school and after 8pm. I require all devices be muted or off during meals. I don’t run to my phone the minute it beeps with a notification (this one was hard). That notification will be there when I get around to it.

In the end, I put down my smartphone because I wanted to live in the present. Notifications and 24 hour connectivity suddenly seemed completely unimportant.

So I must ask if you have put down your smartphone (or have I gone mad). Do you have rules for yourself and your smartphone?

 

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Krista is a freelance social media manager, wife and mom of three boys living in Central Ohio. She blogs about her adventures on www.KristaConway.com

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