There are a few moments in time that are permanently etched in your memory. This was one of those times.
Annie and I were at her eye doctor appointment. I was doing my normal thang – using my cell phone, trying to look important, getting so many things done while waiting on that doctor that takes fooooooooooooooorever. Annie was trying to talk with me about something – but I obviously was NOT paying attention. She was nervous – but I had things to do, man.
“Mom, why is your nose always in your cellphone?”
Ya know, I think she’s said something similar to me before. But I wasn’t ready to hear it. But that day – that day – I heard her. And I felt like God had smacked me right upside the head.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
You have these beautiful kids and this wonderful family right in front of you and you cannot get your nose out of your cellphone for 30 seconds?
I knew right then, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I was addicted to my smart phone. I was addicted to social media. I was addicted to cool apps and being able to answer my email from the toilet. I needed a phone detox.
If you have struggled with addiction or know someone who has, you know that it takes some serious dedication to get out of that mess. It takes effort.
How was I going overcome this in a world that is SO dominated by technology??
You don’t just ask your alcoholic friends to have meetings at the bar. Shopaholics shouldn’t do their speed walking at the mall. I knew I needed to take some drastic steps.
If, like me, you’re addicted to your phone, you need to flee the temptation to constantly be on it by taking some steps that seem crazyville. Because Humorous Homemaking is our business, I can’t get rid of my phone. And I’m not suggesting you do that – but I am suggesting some things that help it be easier to not grab your phone every second of the day.
These are the steps that I followed. They’re working for me – and I hope if you find yourself in the same position as me, that they will help you detox too.
Watch this first:
10 Steps to Overcoming Smartphone Addiction
- No More Phones in the Bedroom. I was using my phone as an alarm clock – but that also caused me to check it right before bed and immediately when I got up. Good morning, cellphone! I moved my charger to the kitchen and I got an alarm clock.
- Turn off ALL Notifications. Yes. All of them. I’m talking text notifications, Facebook notifications, Twitter – everything. You name it. I turned them ALL off. Because seeing my screen light up with a notice is something I am not strong enough to ignore.
- Put Your Phone on Silent. I set up custom ringtones for Dad, my sister and Barry. Why them? Because I want to know immediately if they call or text me. All other texts are set to silent (in the settings) with no notifications. But now, I know when I hear crickets, it’s my sister texting and I can answer it. If you, like me, are clueless, here is a tutorial.
- Unsubscribe from EVERYTHING. Yes. Everything. If reading this blog is making you crazy, unsubscribe. Friend, I unsubscribed from every.single.blog and email I could…with the exception of one (Money Saving Mom). Now, my in my inbox are actual EMAILS. Shocking.
- Unfollow like a boss. This is the one that was hardest for me. I was afraid of hurting feelings – but then I realized I am weak and I needed to take this step. I unfollowed every person I don’t REALLY know in real life (well, except Pioneer Woman). Anyone who wasn’t uplifting and encouraging or a friend I could count on when the poop hits the fan, I unfollowed. It was hard – but I did it. And I only use Facebook for work.
- Delete Apps. I don’t really like apps anyway, but I still had a bunch on my phone. I deleted Words with Friends and Voxer, to name a couple. I only kept my “necessities.” Anything that would cause me to be on my phone instead of in the moment; it went away.
- Put Down Your Phone. You know what I’m saying here. Remember in the good ole days we used to take a BOOK to the bathroom? Except now we take our phone and stay in there like we’re taking care of some serious business? No more phones in the potty room.
- Set up Checkpoints. I have certain times of day that I look at my phone. For me, those are while I’m having first breakfast, during lunch, and at night after I put the kids to bed. This doesn’t mean I don’t take care of things during the day for work or if I need to do something specific or speak with someone about a certain thing. It just means I’m not browsing Pinterest or Instagram every 10 minutes.
- Turn Off Your Phone. Pick a certain time each night to be DONE and turn it off. This one I’m still struggling with, but I will get there. My goal is to put my phone on the charger and be done at 9:30 pm.
- Get an Accountability Partner. For me, it’s my husband and my kids. My kids are now allowed to ask me, “Mommy, are you working?” It’s the nudge I need to make sure what I AM doing on my phone is legit work and not browsing the “10 foods you should NEVER eat” on Pinterest.
It’s a process. But, I’m doing better. I feel better. I feel happier. And now, next time Annie and I are at the eye doctor, I won’t be on my phone. Maybe she and I will be doing Mad Libs or wait for it…talking.