Five Days Without My Smart Phone

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that last Thursday I embarked on my road to recovery from Mommy’s Distracted Disorder.  My plan was to stop using the “smart” features of my cell phone.  To be less distracted and to be more aware of the world going on around me.  I still planned to use the phone for talking and occasional texts, but no more facebooking, email checking, or web surfing on the go for me.  My hiatus so far has lasted five days and here’s what I’ve learned:

1.  When I’m not on my phone I hardly ever say “In a minute” to my kids.

2.  The world does not come to a complete standstill when I don’t return my emails within the hour that they were delivered to my inbox.

3.  It’s okay that I don’t know the facebook statuses of my friends at all times.  If one of them has an emergency status update, they’ll text me or call me if I really need to know about it.

4. Engaging with the people around me is much more rewarding than typing an email on a mini-QWERTY keyboard.

5.  I’m a lot more likely to notice that my potty training toddler actually needs to go to the potty when I’m not looking at my smart phone!

6.  Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, children are playing, people are laughing, and some are even crying.  When my head is in my phone, it’s not at all paying attention to what’s going on in the world around me.  But when my phone is put away, I do a much better job of  taking part in life.

7.  I look at my phone a lot more during the day than I really need to.  Sort of like when I counted calories for the first time and realized that I was consuming a lot more than I thought (or even needed)!

8.  Sitting down at the computer or opening up my ipad a few times a day is a lot less time consuming and distracting than keeping up with my emails throughout the day on my phone.  Who knew?

9.  Many more people than I realized walk through life with their head buried in their cell phone.  I only became more aware of this phenomenon once I got my head out of mine, but it’s astounding to see.  Spend a few hours around your town counting how many people are plugged into their phones, and you’ll be as shocked as I was.

10.  My children deserve my undivided attention.  When I’m multi-tasking my day away with my smart phone in hand then I’m more than likely not giving any measurable attention to them!  And that’s the most valuable lesson I’ve learned.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can become less distracted and more focused in your parenting, join the Focused Moms Challenge.

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About Dr. Polly Dunn

Child clinical psychologist, wife, and mom of four blogging about her 'Perfectly Imperfect' parenting solutions.

Comments

  1. I am visiting from Top Ten Tuesday. This was a good reminder to live “real” life as well as life online. I don’t have a smart phone, but we do have a computer and an iPad.

    Blessings
    Honey

  2. You make me feel very good about having a GoPhone, although I check my email too much still. It is amazing to me to see parents at the park with their kids tapping away on their phones.

  3. Found you after you posted on SITS.
    Love this post. I need to “lose” my own phone for a few days. Since my daughter keeps playing with it, it shouldn’t be hard!

  4. Wow, that is awesome! I agree, about how our phones can become very consuming. Good for you!

    Thanks for your comment too! 31DBBB

  5. Hello Polly
    Visiting from SITS – great you are cutting back
    I used to wear a beeper and have to be in touch all the time. I have enjoyed the freedom of not being hooked up EXCEPT when at a conference and everyone is twittering and winning prizes.

    The every day stuff seems more enjoyable when I get up and out and away from the computer. I tweet from a computer and not a phone.

    Eileen
    twitter http://twitter.com/eileenludwig

  6. I love this post and I wish more people would try to lose their smart phone for 5 days. I think that your comment on item 8 is right on – I find that if I need to check my mail on my phone, it takes soo much longer. I try to only check it if I am waiting for a particular alert or email. Then It goes much faster to read through everything on my laptop or iPad.

  7. I don’t have a smartphone yet but I will be getting one soon. I know I will have to watch myself with it. Such a temptation to be constantly connected and to “just check real quick.”

  8. Good for you! I’m halfway addicted to mine too. Working on i.

  9. Great comments! It’s so important for all of us to be mindful of our use of technology. Five days without my smart phone really made me aware of how much I relied on it (and really didn’t need to be!). Now, I’m back to using it in moderation! LOL!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the one thing that distracts you the most when you’re parenting?  For me, it’s my smart phone.  No doubt.  The laptop is a close second.  What about you?  It could be your dvr, your ipad, [...]

  2. [...] smart phone is my biggest distraction.  I used to have my email and Facebook accounts as short-cuts on my [...]

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