So there I was, going on about my business cooking dinner, when my 3-year-old walks in with her big blue eyes and a very proud smile on her face. “Here, mommy! I brought you your phone!” she says. And my heart broke a little.
I mean, no one wants to be that mom, do they? The kind of mom whose phone is a permanent accessory. The kind of mom whose kid doesn’t recognize her without her phone in her hands. The kind of mom whose kid thinks the way to her heart is to present her with her cell phone.
And looking back, I don’t think I was as bad as that, but I was on the path. And I could see I needed to make some changes.
I see it everywhere, too. At gymnastics with the girls, 90% of the parents are staring at a digital device instead of watching their children master the cartwheel – or, God forbid, talking to the other parents. On the rare occasion we go out to eat at a restaurant, it’s inevitable I’ll spy several people looking at their phones instead of enjoying the company of the people in front of them. And there’s always the parents at the park who can’t even push their kids on the swings without their phone in one hand.
We live in the digital world. We are connected to each other and information at all times. And it can be so tempting to not want to miss a thing. But the truth is: we ARE missing things when we are staring at our electronic devices. We are missing LIFE.
But the good news is that it’s not a permanent condition. In fact – you have a choice in the matter. Every time you pick up your phone, you are making a choice. And every time you ignore the little buzzes and dings letting you know someone has commented on your Facebook post or sent you a text, you are making a choice.
Changing your behavior can be really tough. It takes a great deal of intention and mindfulness. But how do you know if you even need to change?
10 Signs You Need a Digital Detox
1. You check your phone first thing in the morning.
2. You can’t get through a television show without checking your email, text messages, or social media.
3. You keep your phone with you during meals.
4. You often look at your phone during conversations with others.
5. You feel annoyed or lost when you forget your phone at home.
6. You get antsy while waiting in line without your phone.
7. Your loved ones notice when you don’t have your phone in your hands.
8. You can’t enjoy memory-making moments without posting about them on social media.
9. You can’t complete work tasks or housework without checking your email, text messages, or social media.
10. You check your email, text messages, or social media last thing before going to sleep.
You might be cringing a little at recognizing yourself in a few of these. But you can choose, right now, to change. And you will be amazed at the unexpected benefits of a digital detox. You’ll sleep better, have better concentration throughout the day, and feel less busy. And of course, you’re relationships will be better for it.