If you were to add it all up, how much time do you spend using your smartphone each day? One study shows that the average person spends four hours per day with their mobile phone! Another study shows that the average person checks their phone nearly 60 times each and every day.
Cell phones…once used for simple phone calls, they have emerged as our lifeline. They entertain us, keep track of our schedules, act as our morning alarm and help us navigate. We may leave the house with mismatched shoes, but we never forget our phones. They play an important role in our lives, but are they keeping us from the direct social interaction that we need? Here are a few tips to ensure your cell phone does not control your life:
Set limitations. Besides using your phone for what it was designed for (making calls), limit yourself to a certain amount of time per day on the extras, such as games and social media apps. Adhere to your limits, and, once your quota has been met, do not keep using it. Rest assured that the candy can still be crushed tomorrow!
Turn the ringer off. If our phone does not notify us that something is going on, we are less likely to pick it up! By simply turning the ringer/vibration off, you can enjoy a nice meal, engage in a distraction-free conversation or help build a block castle with your child.
There is an app for that. If you find it hard to monitor the time spent on your cellular device, download an app. There are apps that can help you reduce the time you spend on your phone and notify people that you’re driving and unavailable to talk or text until you get to your destination. If you cannot find an app that fits your needs, set the alarm on your phone to remind you to put it away!
Put your cell phone away during meals. Make meals a no-cell-phone zone. Your friends and loved ones will appreciate it.
Find other activities you enjoy. Reading the news on your phone, checking your social media accounts and texting friends and family are fun, but try to spend some participating in other activities that don’t involve a screen. Bonus: Find fun activities you can share offline with your friends and family.
Make it fun! Involve your family or friends in some friendly competition. For example, make a rule at dinner that the first to check their phone has to wash dishes or pick up the tab. Be creative! By following these suggestions, you will get to enjoy people around you the old-fashioned way…no cell phones required!