My name is Ashley and I am a nomophobiac. In other words, I’m addicted to my phone. Seriously, I rack up way too much screen time in the average day.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
What don’t we do on our phones nowadays? We listen to music or podcasts, we do our work, we check emails and social media, we watch TV, we read, we set reminders, we text, we shop. We seldom use them to make actual phone calls, but other than that you can completely run your life from your phone.
I mean, I’m not exactly writing this blog post on a slate.
I know that being on my phone before bed makes it harder for me to go to sleep. And I’m not proud of the fact that our daughter brings us our phones if she sees them sitting on the counter like we’ve forgotten an organ. Or how I scroll Facebook or Instagram every time I have a free minute to myself.
This obsession is ridiculous. Some days I would like to stop using social media and go back to using my old Nokia phone, but that is just not practical.
I’ve done digital detoxes and fasts before, and love those breaks, but I get sucked back into old habits so quickly.
Promises to stay off of Facebook or put away my phone on Sundays has never worked well long-term either.
Tom Ziglar says, “The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits,” and I have found that to be true.
So what good habits can you and I start to replace the bad habit of being on our phones 24/7?
These are the ones I’m committing to for the next month:
- Read paper books and magazines.
Instead of reading Kindle books and digital magazines, I can start working on the enormous stack of non-fiction books I own but haven’t read. Or I can go to the library, find some great fiction books to read and have some time to myself.
- Listen to music and podcasts with wireless headphones.
I know I would still be “plugged in,” but at least I wouldn’t be carrying my phone around. And with two loud little kids, headphones or earplugs save my sanity at times.
- Make TV a real treat.
Sometimes I turn the TV on but not pay attention to it, or I’ll watch a show on Netflix that is ok but not great. It would be a much better treat if I picked a show I love, put it on the biggest TV in the house, made some popcorn and gave it 100% of my attention.
- Write a list of quick, fun activities I can do instead of being on my phone.
When I want to do something mindless, I’ll check out my list of ideas like swinging on the back porch, listening to my favorite playlist, organizing a drawer, thumbing through a cookbook or coloring.
- Schedule screen time and make it an event.
I honestly believe if I scheduled specific times to shop online, respond to emails or reply to texts, I would get so much more accomplished. Plus, if I lit a sweet-smelling candle and played soft music in the background, it might actually be enjoyable.
- Make social media work for me.
I have seen a huge difference in my social media enjoyment simply by unfollowing so. many. people. Now when I get on Facebook or Instagram, it is truly life-giving.
- Maximize use of Google Home.
Google Home and similar devices can play music and podcasts, add items to my shopping list and set reminders. I can do so much without ever touching a screen.
If you have other ideas, please share. How do you keep your phone from taking over your life?