Phone usage has been a hot topic since…..well, since phones came out. Studies and scares about phone radiation are always talked about and campaigns against texting and driving produce thought-provoking, heart-wrenching television ads. Not to mention all of the studies about how your phone is the most disgustingly nasty germ infested electronic you own. I see my phone as a necessary “evil.” I need it to call my mom, and it’s required for work, but sometimes I find myself unnecessarily using it (like adding simple numbers...what?!) and giving it time I will never get back. There have been moments I’ve wanted to throw my phone out of the window. Let me explain:
One thing that really hit me was realizing that I hardly know anyone’s phone number by heart anymore. In school, I remember memorizing my best friend’s number (I still have it memorized to this day!), but I don’t remember the last time I had to actually punch in a number.
I also rely on my phone too much to remind me of things. While this is fantastic, and I would have had to write it down anyway, I can’t help but feel that my brain is shrinking (okay, it's probably not...) when I don’t want to remember a simple task or take the time to write down a particularly great quote I want to remember.
The last thing: simple math. I’ve recently started being more intentional about NOT using my calculator app to figure out simple discounts in the store. I make my students figure out 20% of a number all the time, so I figured I should start practicing what I teach! Besides, that way when they ask when they will ever use it in real life, I could reply, “Well, I just did it Tuesday when I needed to figure out the tip for my hairdresser!” That’s logical, right?
Limit your mindless scrolling
Endless scroll through Instagram or Facebook can be an addictive, dangerous trap! Set a timer if you must, or limit your social media usage to a desktop version. It is amazing how much time goes by when you decide to scroll through social media on a phone.
Take advantage of do not disturb
There are these fantastic settings most phones have: a do not disturb and airplane mode option! Take advantage of it during quiet moments, driving moments, or if you’re like me, use airplane mode before sleeping or taking a nap.
Do not let your phone be the first thing you check when you wake up
Start your day right. Phone notifications can be a stressful thing! If the first thing you see are you unread messages and emails, your mind will go right to those tasks rather than making sure your morning is quiet and sacred. I like to think of it this way: I want to read God’s Word before I read any of man’s word.
Don’t let your phone be the last thing you look at before you sleep
Be strict with when you end your phone time. Put your phone away at least an hour before you go to sleep. This will allow you to unwind, relax, and maybe even get to that stack of books on your nightside table. Maybe have a quality pillow talk session with your spouse. Pray and connect with your loved ones before sleeping, not your phone.
Create a phone-free zone
When I was in college, I made my dorm room an English-free zone. My roommate and I were only allowed to converse in German. It was good for me. Having a phone-free zone has been good for me too. For me, it’s my bedroom. It took a LOT of convincing my husband (mostly because he uses his phone as that alarm clock), but we finally did it, and I am SO GLAD we did. You can read more about our experience here.
What sort of ways do you make sure you are using your phone intentionally?