By Judy Brown
February is a month for love and friendship and special valentines!
During this month of celebrating special relationships, perhaps we should explore one in particular......
Do you have a significant relationship with your phone? Most of us do. They say it triggers the same center in your brain that addictions do. Yikes.
Have you had conversations with friends and coworkers and you know they are not listening? Does your phone pull you? Does the barrage of calls, texts, tweets, and emails
leave you in a constant state of distraction?
Do you feel half present, never fully engaged? Are you feeling dizzy with overwhelm?
At work, do you feel like you are a broken record and have to repeat yourself because your message didn’t go through the first time? Have you slammed on your brakes because someone was looking at their phone while driving? Have you skirted around someone on the sidewalk because they were looking down at their phone? Have your emails gotten so overwhelming in volume that you are more and more neglectful every day. Are you missing important communication?
We are all guilty as charged. More forgetful lately? Guilty as charged. More and more people are advocating for a break up or re-evaluation of this relationship. And I do too.
This relationship begins to affect our human relationships. THAT is the important take away. Life passes us by. There are smells and tastes and people and views and adventures and experiences waiting for us. Don’t let your love affair with your phone interfere. All relationships require focus and attention. And they can be exhausting.
We are a tired society. Constant stimulation from our technology contributes to our stress and overload. I am beginning to wonder….is being tired the new norm? I hope
not! But, I bet you know all this. And perhaps you don’t even have time to read this article!
Some say there is a war going on ....a war on capturing our attention. We need solutions and new boundaries.
Here are some suggestions for boundary setting with your phone:
1. No need to sleep with this partner. Turn your phone off and
charge it in another room.
2. No phones at meals. Just find a basket or a drawer. Everyone put
their electronics away. Eat, breathe and enjoy.
3. Go about your day without your phone “on” you. Put it in your purse, backpack,
or desk drawer. Look around at the world in front of you instead. Breathe in your surroundings.
4. Take note of how many times you reach for your phone. We do it out of habit.
Habits can be changed, with intention
5. Make a phone check-in schedule. This will reduce idle surfing and give you more
time in the day.
6. Take vacations without your phone on. Only use for emergencies and the very
occasional checking in.
7. List 10 of your favorite activities. Do more of these. Schedule them. Replace some
of your screen time. Go outside more. Tap in to your creative self
8. Engage in the community more. Find Meetups you resonate with or other social gatherings. Have coffee and catch up with friends.
9. Start small. Even if you choose one of these options it is a step in the right direction.
If anything, become aware of your attachment.
I don’t know that a total break up is necessary.
So, I merely suggest implementing new boundaries with your phone friend. After all, our phones are super handy (handy to read Live Love and Eat Magazine!). They just don’t need to be our primary relationship in life.
Free yourself. Find time for humans and real experiences. Find time for the valentines in your life! The world is literally in our hands now, but it doesn’t need to control us.
Search for happiness and peace in less electronic stimulation....
Can we do it? I think so!