As much as I love reading I can also be a nerd when it comes to technology. I love to use my smartphone, iPad, MacBook… until they started taking up all my time!
This isn’t something that only I am dealing with. There have been many articles on “breaking up” with our smartphones. That doesn’t mean it is easy. In our world today everyone, including our employers, want a response NOW. Even when we are NOT working. They know we have a smartphone and can access our email and social media 24/7. Does that mean that because we can, we should? HELL NO!
Last month I started following the advice of many of the articles out there to disconnect from my phone. I wanted my free time, and my days off to be mine again. I didn’t want to answer a phone call or an email when I wasn’t working. I wanted to enjoy my hike or time out on my paddleboard, date night with my husband.
Sure there is a lot of advice out there, tons of apps and ways to create boundaries with your phone. What I found most helpful was to NOT bring my phone with me. I have a fantastic camera for when I need to snap a quick photo. I would rather enjoy my meal then share a photo of it. I want to connect with my family and friends, face to face, not through a screen, when I am spending time with them. I want to enjoy the world through my eyes, and not my cell phone.
It’s important that we understand that we are not beholden to those who we are not in front of. I work remotely, but that doesn’t mean I have to be available 24/7. I have a work schedule, and my co-workers and boss should respect my private time. That doesn’t mean they always will. It’s to easy for them to pick up their cell phone and send a quick email or text message and expect an automatic reply. Just like it easy for us to get on our phones at a dinner table with family and friends and tune them out while on Facebook.
Like Catherine Price said in her article, “If all else fails, consider your own mortality. How many people on their deathbeds do you think are going to say, “I wish I’d spent more time on Facebook”? Keep asking yourself the same question, again and again and again: This is your life. How much of it do you want to spend on your phone?“
Originally published on Medium July 31, 2018