As I write this, my boys are peacefully napping. It is one of the few moments of quiet and solace I find during the day. Today on Facebook, a friend posted up this link: For the Children’s Sake, Put Down the smartphone. I thought to myself, what a fitting topic to write about! It’s something I have been personally trying to work on as a mom, wife, and friend – to put my phone DOWN. It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But for me, it isn’t as simple as it seems. My phone is constantly buzzing. From group texts, to messages from my mom, friends, and just about anyone. When it is not vibrating from a text, there are alerts that show up on the screen: Instagram likes, Facebook notifications, someone pinned my pin, a comment was made from WordPress. There have been times where I have gotten rid of the notifications, but I persisted to check out the apps. The problem was brought to my attention when my husband complained, “You’re phone went off again! You have 24 text messages! It’s like you’re a celebrity!” he would gripe, less than amused.
Could I blame him though? Time that I was supposed to be spending with him, was being stolen away by my phone. I was willingly giving my time away, saying, “Babe, I have to answer this…it’s the girls from work..they’re asking a question..” and he would roll his eyes. Husband vs. phone. Who will win? Soon I realized it was starting to become a real problem. When I was spending time with my boys, it would be similar. Here’s how it would go down:
- Snap picture of the boys. Post on Instragram/Facebook. After all, I would justify to myself, people want to see these updates! (Because of course, everyone wants their newsfeed to be blown up by 382001 pictures of babies a day right? Not really. lol)
- Check WordPress. Gotta be in tune to my fellow bloggers. A like there, a comment here, a stat check now and again.
- I wonder what everyone’s doing? Let me check FB.
- But wait, what deals are out today? Let me check out my coupon apps.
And so forth, and so on. It was a pretty nasty habit. It was starting to get in the way of my family time. I have been trying to make a conscious effort to turn my phone OFF, when I am with my family. This works for me because we recently added a land line to our home, so anyone who needs to reach us can just call the land line. If we are out and about, my husband will keep his phone on because he has an old school phone that can’t even contain apps..so the temptation isn’t there. This is something that I have been trying to work on personally. This may not be a struggle for everyone else out there and everyone’s life is not the same. Some have sick family members or need to keep the phone on for whatever reason and that’s what works for you..but for me, I found that it was more to update this, tag this person or that person, or post a status and it would almost be consuming. I don’t want to miss out on precious moments with my family because of a stupid phone. I’m trying to be more PRESENT for my family and friends. I personally get annoyed when I am trying to spend time with someone and they can’t get off their phone. I find it incredibly rude. I don’t want to be “that” person. These moments of babyhood will pass my by quicker than I can blink my eye…I want to cherish every single moment. This doesn’t mean I can’t snap pictures…but I am doing my best to designate the right times for being connected to the world. Here is some of what I’ve been trying to do and want to implement:
- If I feel the need or want to update/check posts/blog…do it during naptime.
- Designate specific times for doing what I need to social media wise – the boys go down for the night at 8, so 8-9, 8-10..anything along those lines.
- Turning my phone off, particularly when I get home from work, from about 4-8.
- Let people know that I will have my phone off at particular times, so that they don’t feel ignored. I don’t give my landline to many people, only my mom, best friend, and husband’s mom know.
For me this is really important because if I do not set up boundaries for myself and for others to respect, it will cost me time with my family. That’s the most precious thing to me and I want to cherish every moment.
Do share! How do you balance it all? Are you attached to your smart phone often or do you find it easy to disconnect from it all?