Monday, May 16, 2016

Where is your phone right now?

When I am work, I carry my mobile phone with me from meeting to meeting. I do not want to do this, but should I get a call from my son's school, I want to be able to answer it. I try to keep it on silent, so it will not ding during meetings, and I try to remember to turn the volume back on at the end of the day in case my husband calls while I am driving home from work. (I am not always successful at remembering either of those things - sorry, Honey!)

When I am at home, my phone generally stays near my purse, and I will check it a few times a day, always returning it to my purse so I do not have to search for it throughout the house. This is how I try to stay off my phone for the majority of the day.

More and more of us - teens and parents alike - report that we have an addiction to our phones. More than half of teens and around 28% of parents report feeling the need to always be on their phone or have it nearby to immediately answer incoming messages. That's too many of us responding to a little device at all hours of the day and night.

But breaking an addiction - any addiction - isn't easy. Digital detox experts (yes, that is a thing now) do offer some tips to help:
  • Have no phone zones - like the dinner table or during family time activities.
  • Schedule your social media time to a few times per week, so you won't needlessly post information and learn to streamline your time online.
  • Tell friends and family that you are cutting back, so they will know not to get an immediate response from you.
  • Give all your devices a curfew.
The point is to take baby steps and not to try and quit all at once. As parents, we are the ones who have to set the rules and then follow them as well, giving our children the boundaries they need for their own lives.

What rules do you have in place around smartphone use in your home? Tell me in the comments.

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