My 2015 Phone Resolution
Last month Betsy and I went out to dinner at a nice place in Denver for her birthday. We always splurge a bit on nice birthday dinners rather than exchange gifts.
At the restaurant it was mostly couples and a few smaller groups of people. At one point I looked out over the dining room and saw nothing but faint blue glows from each table. Almost every table had at least one person checking their phone.
I couldn’t make this up: One table was watching a full length movie on their phone during dinner.
Here’s the worse part: I’m not much better.
Like so many people, I’ve become completely attached to my phone. I use it for email, texts, social media, games, news, and a million other small things.
My time priorities are about to change drastically with a new baby and one area I want to improve on big time is my phone use. Rather than make a bunch of tiny resolutions, this year I’m just making this one:
In short, I want to start using it as a tool rather than a distraction.
Here are the few rules that will keep me in line!
Phone Rule #1: Define a No-Phone Time
Every day, Betsy and I are setting aside a set two hour time period where we won’t look at our phones (baby steps!).
Embarrassingly, this will be very hard for me. For us, this time period will be around 6-8pm each day when we are eating, playing with the baby, and doing other activities.
Phone Rule #2: Change Notifications
I actually implemented this a month ago and it has already affected my phone use. I removed all the push notifications from apps and programs. If I want to check email or twitter or something, I have to proactively go into that app and do it.
Rather than being constantly pinged by programs, I now have to choose when I want to check certain things.
Phone Rule #3: No Phones During Meals
This goes for any meal that you’re eating with other people. Betsy and I are decent at this, but I still cheat sometimes. Breakfast will be the hardest for us because we like to read the news on our phones.
Meal time is a great time to chat or connect with people though and there’s really nothing so important that it can’t wait 30 minutes.
Phone Rule #4: No-Phone Buffer Before Bed
Hands down this one will be the hardest for me. Generally, my phone is the last thing I see before bed and the first thing I see when I wake up.
There have been a ton of studies (Time article) that screen time right before sleeping can drastically reduces the quality of your rest. So I’m going to create a short buffer period before bed where I don’t look at my phone.
For me, that will be a 30 minute period before lights out.
If you spend more time on your phone than you would like, take the pledge with me. Smart phones are a great tool and I use mine to death, but too much of a good thing can ruin it.
As with many things, it’s important to admit you have a problem.
I made a little image below that you can share or pin as a reminder!
I’d love to hear what other people think of phone use these days or if you have other resolutions for 2015! Leave a comment!
Happy New Years everybody!
Phone photo from Johan Larsson.