As crazy as it sounds I think I’m actually addicted to my cell phone! As I was pondering this thought my first instinct was to deny that I had a problem but as I paid more attention to my cell phone habits I realized I was paying more attention to my phone than I was to other areas of my life; kids, family, friends, etc.
I found I was checking my phone for texts, facebook messages, emails or instant messages multiple times an hour and the people I care about told me to put my phone down more times than I could keep track of. Then it hit me… I have a problem!
The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem, right? So now that I’ve admitted it, I’m putting myself through my own cell phone rehab.
Through research on my own I find I’m not alone in my addiction, more & more people these days are addicted to their phones; so how do we solve this problem? I have tried to cut down my “phone checks” to a couple times an hour instead of a couple times every 10 minutes. While this can be difficult at times, it is manageable. I have also assigned different ringtones to different people in my contact list, for example, when my kids text or call they have a distinct ringtone of their own so I know its them and I know it’s an important call, the other texts or email messages I wait and check during my scheduled “phone check” times.
I also made the car a cell phone free zone; this means no cell phone use in the car period! This includes answering calls, texting or anything cell phone related. I have pulled over and actually gotten out of the car a couple times to make a call which is time consuming so it definitely deters me from frequent use. My other cell phone free zones are my bedroom, kid’s rooms and kitchen table. You would think these areas were already a given but at one point it felt like my phone was glued to my hand so these cell phone rules for myself are definitely helping to create a change. While having a cell phone is important, especially in case of an emergency, the point of a cell phone is to be able to stay in contact with others at any given moment; they were not designed to fully consume our lives.
Over the past few months I have definitely noticed a change; I am more active, spend more quality time with my kids and feel less weighed down by the need to constantly check the cell phone. While I’m still addicted more than I care to admit I have definitely cut back and am glad I did; quality time with family and friends is much more valuable than quality time with my phone.
Take the challenge, put your phone down more often and notice the change in your life as well.