Do you reach for your phone within 30 minutes of waking up? Do you sleep with your phone? Are you constantly picking up your phone just to check for new messages? Do you need to break up with your phone? These are some of the questions I was asked last Thursday when I joined the Cool Mom Picks’ Facebook book club to discuss the book, How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price.
In full disclosure, I have not read this book, which wasn't required to participate (that’s what is great about their book club meetings. Just show up even if you didn't read! Busy moms rejoice!). I learned lots of great tips, so here were my takeaways from the book club:
-“What do you want to pay attention to?” is a question you should ask yourself each day to prioritize your attention. Consider having this as your lock screen.
-Our phones are designed to addict us and keep us coming back to them as they are engineered to give our brains dopamine hits. Then, when our brain hears the ding of a new message, it wants to recreate the experience. Apps are built without cues to tell us to stop just like how they keep you away from cues to stop when you are playing Blackjack in Vegas.
Here are some ways we (and our kids) can rein in our addictions:
- Download a tracking app to track your time on your phone.
- Be more mindful about your phone. Pay attention to how you feel when you are on your phone & when you tend to pick it up.
- Put a rubber band around your phone.
- Anytime you are about to comment on social media or send a text, ask if it needs to be said. Ask yourself, “what else could I be doing?”
- Delete social apps from your phone.
- Write down on paper: If I had more time, I would______________.
- Get physical. Go on a walk / run / hike without your phone.
If you want to listen to Liz Gumbinner from Cool Mom Picks’ thought on the book, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/CoolMomPicks/videos/428595917742203/
It’s important to note that this is a universal struggle for all of us, so know that you are not alone if you or yours love your phone a little too much. Here’s to a healthier relationship with our phones!