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Did you know…

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67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

The average user checks their phone about 110 times a day.

(Source, Source)

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How many times a day do I check my phone?  I have no idea… I would love to know. I do know that I spend a scary amount of time on my phone – it’s really the moments I spend on the phone that bother me the most.  Namely – right when I wake up in the morning while in bed and when I’m relaxing on the couch at night.  These are really moments that I should be truly relaxing or focusing on my husband, not checking out on social media.

 

And I certainly don’t bury my face in my phone when I’m on parent duty, but I do pick up my phone to quickly check in… Check those emails, pop in on Facebook, tweet a funny thought.   I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with looking at your phone when you’re hanging out with your kid, especially for quickies, but I do hate that Henry sees me pick it up so frequently. He’s growing up thinking it’s normal to be attached at the hip to an electronic device.  That makes me REALLY sad… for him and for me.

 

So for the last weeks, I’ve really been thinking about cutting the phone cord (well, the proverbial one at least!).  I read an awesome post on No Meat Athlete called “In Defense of Inconvenience” – basically, he had a clunker phone that he traded in for a smartphone before his book tour and then he switched back.  When I read it, I was in awe.  How could he LIVE without a smartphone?!  Especially because his career is in social media, too! But Matt did it – and he was happier as a result.

 

So the Husband and I talked about getting rid of our smartphones.  I kind of got itchy just discussing it.  I had so many objections – How would I check emails?  How would I get directions?  How would I stay on top of work? How would I organize meet-ups with my friends? <—My mom friends use a Facebook group to organize hangouts.

 

I decided that getting rid of the iPhone isn’t really the answer for me.  For now – I simply want to look at my phone less.  A lot less.

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For the next month, I’m…

 

Deleting all my social media apps from my phone so I can’t check in, Facebook, or Tweet except from my desktop computer (exception is Instagram, which you can only post to via mobile and I use partially to promote blog stuff – no long browsing sessions allowed though).

Plugging my phone in on the opposite side of my bedroom so I can’t pick it up first thing in the morning.  Thankfully, I already broke myself of the habit of reading my phone BEFORE I go to sleep (it’s a proven sleep disruptor).

Not bringing my phone into the TV room at night.

Deleting the folder of blogs and websites that I frequent so I can’t easily browse the Internet from my phone.

Leaving my phone in one location throughout the day (on top of the kitchen counter) so I can hear it ring/beep for texts but am less likely to just randomly pick it up.

Wearing a watch daily so I can check the time without turning on my phone.

Generally making an effort to only use my phone for calls, texts, e-mails when traveling, music and NPR (we don’t have a radio), and directions in the car.

 

And to help remind myself to do this, I’m changing the password on my phone.  I think I’ll automatically punch in the old password and thinking, “Oh, I changed the password because I’m trying to limit my phone use,” which will be helpful in keeping these goals at the forefront of my mind.  Once I adjust to the new password, I’ll change it again.

 

I’m hoping that a little phone detox will help me have a healthier relationship with my smart device. My thumbs will surely thank me!

 

How often do you check your phone? Do you think you have a smartphone problem?

{ 60 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 12, 2014, 5:09 pm

    It’s so sad how dependent we’ve become on our phones. I’m the first to admit I need to spend a LOT less time on mine. Thank you for the ideas on how to do that!

    Reply
  • Eileen August 12, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Good job and good luck! Make sure to report back.

    I didn’t get a smart phone until it became clear that people sent email to me that didn’t expect 8-10 hours before I’d read it. I worked in a corporate office who blocked all the email websites, so having a smart phone was the only choice to check email during the day (I never use my corp emails for personal use). My kids were old enough that they participated in after school sports that might be moved/canceled/carpool issues/etc.

    Because I work in front of PC all day (full time IT job), I really don’t use my own PC that often, so using my phone for twitter/instagram/email (I don’t have FB) is the most convenient, but I do try to make an effort to limit its use when I’m actually doing something else.

    I will say that I am so glad mobile phones weren’t around when I had little ones, because I’m not sure I would be able to ignore it.

    Reply
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles August 12, 2014, 5:22 pm

    It’s kind of amazing how these phones have taken over the world and our lives in the last few years. I just realized from reading your post that I didn’t have an iPhone or a smart phone when my son was little (he is now ten). I can’t even imagine how distracting it would have been to watch him as a toddler and have my phone going off the way it does now. I try to unplug as much as possible now and may even do a bit more!

    Reply
  • Shannon August 12, 2014, 5:29 pm

    This is great! I have been going through this same dilemma the past week. The church group I am involved in is going through a 7 week study where we are fasting from 7 different areas – food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. This week was media! I went with a similar strategy as you described – I deleted all my social media apps, I stopped following blogs that I thought were just time-wasters on my Feedly, and I intentionally replaced the time I would be doing those activities with reading the news and reading actual books, and writing on my own blog a lot more. I really focused on not just the quantity of the media I was consuming but the quality.

    Keep us updated with how it goes! It really is challenging to not check my phone. It has become such a constant habit. Wearing a watch is a great idea too. It is weird how quickly the habit starts too. I didn’t get a smartphone until April of last year and had a clunky phone still when most had smartphones. As soon as I got one though, I was in the same boat as all the others – checking it all the time and always just ‘quickly’ browsing Facebook and Instagram.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 12, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Is this 7 week study based on a book? I heard about a book that was similar to this – a family did it for half a year I think, one habit a month.

      Reply
      • Shannon August 12, 2014, 5:46 pm

        Yes, it is called the 7 Experiment by Jen Hatmaker. The workbook is 7 weeks but the author did it for 7 months. She also published a book called ’7′ which is basically a journal of her experiment. The author uses a lot of humor and easy to relate to. It has been a great experience.

        Reply
  • Jen August 12, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Such a timely post for me! My husband and I had our first child May 7 and many times I have thought “she’s surrounded by electronics and will never know that life was any different.” At night when I breastfeed in the bedroom I’m usually checking blogs and facebook while my husband is next to me playing Scrabble. She’s surrounded by the glow of iphones.

    But…she’s young, I stay at home & run my business from home, and sometimes the phone feels like my only lifeline, ya know? So I think for now I’m okay with using it as much as I do, though I think I’ll have to cut down on it in a big way in the future. Also–I don’t have a password on my phone at all, and putting one on would/will definitely help me cut down on checking it so much!

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 12, 2014, 5:40 pm

      I used to feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO guilty that when I gave Henry his nighttime bottles, I would read my phone. I was like, Shouldn’t I be staring deeply into his eyes the entire time??? My mom told me that she used to read a book while she fed me. Hah. I felt so much better afterwards. Nursing can be so incredibly boring, so I get it. I do think Henry is getting to the age where I should be paying attention more… I always say I want him to grow up to be the kind of person who doesn’t need to be constantly entertained and can just sit and hang out in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, but I’M not that kind of person! Need to model the behavior.

      Reply
      • Jen August 13, 2014, 8:08 am

        The ultimate irony: I read your reply at 3:30 in the morning, on my iphone, while feeding le bebe. Ha!

        Reply
  • Lindsay J @ JensonCrew August 12, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Thank you for this post. I have two toddlers and they know a phone all too well. I was frustrated with myself how much I was on the phone to “gather information” and be available to everyone.

    Lucky for me, me job location changed and the building I am in has no cellphone reception. So many coworkers are complaining, but I took it as a way to cut the habit. Now that I have to rely on my desk phone and email, my family and friends have learned a new way and times to contact me. They don’t expect an instant reply anymore.

    Cutting the phone habit has already made my life happier. Because I have set the tone that I am not “convenient” I don’t feel the need to be available 24/7.

    Reply
  • Kim August 12, 2014, 5:49 pm

    I LOVE this idea. I am the worst when it comes to putting down my phone! I keep it by my side 24/7. And it’s not like I’m that important of a person, I think that I have gotten into the habit of playing with my phone whenever I get stressed at work (I notice that I get an email, and I automatically check Facebook rather than deal with the email) or nervous and don’t know what to say around people. This has been bugging me for awhile, and reading your post is just another nudge for me to unplug and use my phone for calling, texting, directions, music and Instagram. I’m sure my husband would appreciate it as well!

    Please keep us posted on how you’re doing! This is so interesting to me!

    Reply
  • Alina August 12, 2014, 5:58 pm

    This was such an interesting post! I got my first smartphone about 2 years ago, and soon became pretty attached to it, like you. A few weeks ago, it broke and I’m currently waiting to upgrade to an iPhone, but for now I’m using my slide phone. I’ve noticed such a difference in the amount I check my phone and how “present” I feel in certain moments. In today’s society, it’s become almost a give-in that you are connected at all times, and it has been so nice to relieve myself of the stress that frequent e-mails, Facebook notifications, Instagram updates, and constant texts and calls sometimes bring. That being said, I think I still am going to upgrade to that iPhone because as nice as it is to not always be “in touch”, it’s becoming a reality in today’s world. However, I am definitely going to think more about how to use my phone meaningfully (or at least way less) in the future.

    Reply
  • Beks August 12, 2014, 5:58 pm

    When we went on a cruise this past year, I didn’t use my phone (because HELLO, huge internet costs in the middle of the ocean!). I still kept my phone on me, because I use the camera all the time, but it was amazing how decompressed I was after not having to check everything all the time!

    Reply
  • Barbara August 12, 2014, 6:05 pm

    I dont have a smartphone. Yes, i am 27, amd work in science where 99% of the world has one. I recently got a motox from republic wireless…they have the phone where you can access the internet in wifi, but you dont have to, ihave never wanted to. I have an ipad, which i do use often to check social media and my email, but i like it because if im out to dinner, or out with friends, im obviously not bringing my ipad, so i am not tempted to constantly check the internet at these times. It has really made me aware pof how much others do bring out their phones in social settings. I like a lot of the suggestions you mention, thoug,h, and i think i will put some of them to good use even without having a smartphone (checking for texts, etc.) awesome post! Good luck!

    Reply
  • Breanne August 12, 2014, 6:13 pm

    The password plan is fantastic!! I might need to employ that.

    When I took a social media break over spring, removing the apps made a HUGE difference and while I deactivated my FB, it was seeing that I needed to enter the password when I was on a computer that was the biggest reminder that “you’re not checking in.”

    Good luck!!

    Reply
  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs August 12, 2014, 6:24 pm

    What a great challenge! I’m intrigued to hear how it goes!

    Reply
  • Sarah August 12, 2014, 6:32 pm

    My iPhone is 4 years old which is basically age 96 in iPhone years so none of the apps really function very well and the one button only works sporadically. I hardly use my phone at all so I’m already on a detox. I guess having a “clunker” of a phone has it’s advantages!

    Reply
  • Joy August 12, 2014, 6:38 pm

    I actually don’t have a cell phone. For just this reason. Sure it’s an inconvenience some times, but I don’t need to be reachable 24/7.

    I check in on Instagram through my iPad usually a few times a day (it’s the only social media app I really use) and I hate how sometimes it pulls my attention away from my loved ones.

    Reply
  • Erin August 12, 2014, 6:50 pm

    Such a great post! This is something I have known I needed to work on for a long time, but I think I will finally take the plunge and join you in cutting back. I can get into such a social media rut too where I feel like it doesn’t “count” if I do something cool and don’t post it on facebook / instagram / twitter / snapchat. I just went to Miami with college friends and my first thought was “I have to post this on social media so everyone knows how much fun I’m having” instead of actually being in the moment and enjoying the fun! It’s great to have pictures to look back on but I think even stepping away from the camera can help me live in the moment.

    Reply
  • Dana August 12, 2014, 7:02 pm

    Love this. I still don’t have a smartphone, and trust me I get a LOT of grief about it (and a lot of weird looks). I’d love to have one (a lot of apps seem so useful, and it would be cool to track my running routes/times), but I get addicted to things so easily and I would be one of those people always looking at it. It seems easier to just go without.

    Good luck with it! I’m interested to hear how it goes!

    Reply
  • Joey August 12, 2014, 7:15 pm

    Love this post and the challenge! I’ll be implementing parts of this challenge in my life also. I have already begun to limit myself by turning all notification sounds off at a certain point every evening and not checking in again until the following morning. I need to be more conscious about how much time I spend on my phone vs. connecting with those in the same room as me.

    Reply
  • Stacy August 12, 2014, 7:49 pm

    It’s weird that you posted this because I was just telling my husband I’m deleting the facebook app because I check it way too much. It’s honestly not even THAT interesting now that there are so many ads. Like you though, I find myself checking it first thing in the morning instead of getting out of bed. It’s become my “downtime” and there are so many other things I’d rather do instead.

    Reply
  • Lindsey August 12, 2014, 8:12 pm

    I just deleted the Facebook app from my phone last week. I wanted to delete my Facebook account all together- it is such a time waster! But my husband talked me out of that, so the app it was. I have already noticed a HUGE difference in the amount of time I spend on my phone. I am 100% less likely to spend more than 5 minutes mindlessly scanning Facebook if in sitting alone in the office on the computer than I am while laying on the couch watching tv with my husband. I’ll keep facebook, but I’ll never download the app again!

    Reply
  • Ally August 12, 2014, 8:35 pm

    I was JUST having this conversation with my mom today! My 7 week old is never going to know a world where answers and social media isn’t at her fingertips-its just a shame. I often find my husband and myself just scrolling on our phones in the evenings instead of talking to each other, such a bad habit to be feeding. I love some of these strategies and will definitely be making some changes! Thanks for the great post and the reminder to be present. Life is too fleeting to be missing moments.

    Reply
    • Jessica August 13, 2014, 3:19 pm

      This is totally awful…I realized that my generation is the last one not to have their 1st baby picture on a phone. My one year old already knows to use his finger to scroll….:)
      I also have a six year old that already has her own, IPAD..and its constantly on it…and a short 20 min car trip doesnt go without asking to “play on my phone”

      Technology will be the death of social interaction…
      Tonight when i get home, I am putting the phone down…and not touching it until the morning….Spend time with my husband and kids.

      Reply
  • LC August 12, 2014, 9:39 pm

    I got rid of my smartphone in April 2013. I never set up work email on my phone, I had already quit facebook in 2009, and had never joined Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, etc so it wasn’t such a stretch. It is inconvenient sometimes – I have to look up directions to new places in advance (I moved across the country last year, it was a little dicey initially but totally doable), I sometimes miss an email with a change in meeting location, and I am slower to respond to friend’s messages
    The tradeoff is that I am way, WAY less distracted and fidgety. I also feel more observant of the world around me – waiting in line was really hard at first, but it doesn’t faze me any longer; there is always something interesting to see, and my patience has noticeably increased. I leave the house on weekends or to go out for dinner without my phone, and I don’t miss it at all, which is different from how I felt with a smartphone. It is no tragedy if I forget my phone one day on my way to work. I am good at reading maps, and feel like since I have to rely on my own internal navigation, I learn new places better.
    My impetus for going to a “dumbphone” wasn’t noble, I just got sick of paying to repair dropped iphones. But I want to keep it this way for as long as possible. It makes me sad to see people at various events recording what they are seeing rather than experiencing the event itself, but I know I would probably do the same if I had one. The thing I miss the most is a camera that is high quality, I think eventually having children and wanting to share pictures with family that lives far away would be a reason I would consider getting another smartphone.

    Reply
  • Catherine @ foodiecology August 12, 2014, 9:48 pm

    Ugh. I need to do a similar challenge. I’m actually typing this comment on my phone! Technology is a great thing (what did we do before Google on a smartphone?!!) but not when it becomes a crutch. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I check my phone each day.

    Reply
  • Jasmyne Teoma @ Hot. Healthy. Sexy. August 12, 2014, 9:55 pm

    Great post! This reminds me of a talk by Lisa Nischols and she mentioned running late to a meeting because her phone was at home. She got to the meeting, explained why she was running a few minutes late and everyone nodded because they understood. But she also said, that if we were to rewind time just a few years ago, this never would have happened. Something that humans have only had access too for just a few years has become something that we can’t live without. Interesting look at it eh? :-)

    Reply
  • Jenny August 12, 2014, 10:27 pm

    I’ve been having all of these exact thoughts! I am going to join you!

    Reply
  • Lacey August 13, 2014, 12:02 am

    I never really realized how connected to my phone I am until I recently went away on a holiday with my boyfriend. We stayed in a remote cottage and didn’t have cell service (or wifi), at first I felt very disconnected from the world. But then something changed, I realized how much more connected I was with my boyfriend and how amazing it was to feel like we were the only two people for the 4 days we were away. We were actually really reluctant to turn on our phones and let everyone know we were back, we wanted to keep the feeling going longer. Since getting back, we have tried to leave our cell phones at the front door when we get home and connect with each other.

    If anyone else is trying to limit their cell phone use, there was a great app through http://tap.unicefusa.org/ that for every minute you didn’t touch your phone, companies would donate money to provide clean drinking water to children in 3rd world countries. Apparently it is inactive right now, as they have reached the limit of committed donations from companies…but you can still challenge yourself by donating and seeing how long you can go without touching your phone while helping a great cause. I would also imagine it will become active again in the future:)

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 13, 2014, 8:04 am

      Awesome app! I have heard of it before but I forgot all about it.

      Reply
      • Rebecca August 13, 2014, 7:49 pm

        For my class last year, we had to track how much time we spent using technology (phones, TV, laptops, etc) for a month. We were supposed to count hours spent on each individual thing, even if we weren’t paying it all our attention and were “multitasking” (TV and laptop, etc. Count hours per thing, not per hour). I ended up with a total of about 380 hours of digital technology over 24 days, of which only 17 hours were spent on my phone, actually. Less than 5% of my total time all month was spent on my phone. So it may not be as much time as you’re thinking, but it does add up. I can go most of a day without worrying about my phone when I want to, so it’s not an addiction just yet. :P
        I think my numbers have changed a little since I took this class, if I were to keep track of it again, but that’s partly because I’ve started two new part-time jobs that require me to be near computers and stuff all day (regular one every day, and helping at church one or two or three days a week that’s almost completely computer-based). But I’m also getting a good amount of face-to-face time with people at the regular job, so that sort of balances things out.

        Reply
        • Rebecca August 13, 2014, 7:54 pm

          Oops. I didn’t mean that to reply to that. I hit a wrong button. Heh.

          I was going to say, make sure your phone is plugged in when you’re doing that Unicef thing, or don’t leave it on there for a long time. Otherwise it drains your battery. I left mine sitting on the TAP thing one day for a couple of hours at work and my phone was dead by the time I got done working (it had been at at least 50-60% when I started). And I didn’t have time to charge it between work and another event I had to get to.
          But it is cool to be able to help out by not touching your phone!

          Reply
  • Samara Barnard August 13, 2014, 1:14 am

    And then we don’t want to live the moment as they go… we spend our best moments in taking pictures for future reference. Aren’t we hopefully living in future and neglecting the present? We ignore the one standing in front of us for a virtual figure! This deeply saddens me :/

    Reply
  • Abby August 13, 2014, 1:19 am

    I love this challenge! I have been thinking about this a lot lately too! It’s truly amazing how our society is addicted to this technology. It is sad. It spans over generations too. My parents are the worst. Every ring is answered no matter what. I too have a habit of checking email way too often. I don’t have a problem with leaving my phone home when we go out for walks, bike rides, etc. thanks for sharing this with us.

    Reply
  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes August 13, 2014, 5:16 am

    I so ned to put my phone down! I’ve come to the point where I have to lock it in my bedside cabinet at night so I stay off it.

    Reply
  • katie August 13, 2014, 8:07 am

    this is great! i think it’s a great idea to delete social media apps for a little while… i did this a few months ago and it was quite refreshing :) because i live far away from my family, and don’t live with my man friend, i find it harder to put my phone away in the evenings (texting and such), but there are definitely small things i can do to reduce my face-to-phone time :)

    Reply
  • Ashley August 13, 2014, 9:24 am

    I don’t have a smart phone for my personal phone and don’t ever want one. I just started a new job that requires me to have one but I turn it off after work and put it away.

    Reply
    • emily August 13, 2014, 10:45 am

      same here…i have never had a desire for a smartphone. my husband is the exact same way. neither of us use our phones for any of the above reasons in the post. i have no idea what an app is or how to use it. i check my email once a day on my computer. i actually had a nightmare i had to get a smartphone last week. i feel like the next time i go to get a new one i won’t have a choice, but even if that’s the case i will just use it as i use it now – as a telephone!

      good luck with your challenge. hopefully you will develop a better habit with your phone!

      Reply
  • Sarah August 13, 2014, 9:42 am

    Just a different thought – what if you enjoy the time on your iPhone? I work all day (for my boss), then I take care of my toddler in the evening, and I cook dinner for my family. So a few times a day I get a little “me time” and I browse Facebook or blogs? I also spend 10 minutes or so on my phone when I first wake up and before I go to bed. But so what? I’m relaxing, I’m doing something I like doing. I still read books and the newspaper when I can, I watch TV and movies, I go for walks and play with my family. So what if I pick my phone up 10 times a day or whatever? I enjoy it and it helps me feel connected to my friends and family! And it helps me relax.
    Just wanted to present a different approach. Why turn something you enjoy into a habit you are forcing yourself to quit?

    Reply
    • Eileen August 14, 2014, 12:57 pm

      You bring up a good point. If you don’t feel like your use is encroaching on time that should/could be spent on something else, sounds like you are managing fine.

      I’m married to someone who has a smart phone, but it never leaves his car (unless he’s out of town w/o us, which is pretty rare). I can see the difference between my attentiveness compared to his when it’s just the 2 of us (at home or in the car) and I’m glancing at my phone. I sometimes have to ask him to repeat himself and he gets a big kick out of it when I try to answer the question he asked w/o really knowing exactly what he said. We laugh, but I know it’s not fun to talk to someone if they aren’t really listening.

      I also know that the time I spent on FB (when I had it) was fairly minimal, but when I really thought about it, I didn’t enjoy it more than having an empty dishwasher, a walk with my dog, 20 minutes for a book, or having folded clothes, etc. (and that ignores the fact that I’d sometimes get annoyed with myself or others as a read it, lol).

      Reply
  • sofia August 13, 2014, 9:52 am

    Caitlin – I turn my phone on “Airplane Mode” for several hours during the day for this exact reason. This way, even if you (by habit) pick it up to check on something (without the buzzing) you will see the little airplane and it will remind you that youre on a time out.

    Designating certain hours also helps, for those with more self control :)

    Reply
  • Reshma August 13, 2014, 10:07 am

    I recently ran out of data way early in the month on my cell phone plan, so I turned cellular data off entirely. This meant when I was out, I had no access to data, but when I was home, I could use my phone for email/etc. I actually thought this was the best happy medium I could find! I run my own non-profit which is very small, so I would like to be connected more than I would be with no smartphone. But I don’t need to be connected while I’m out with friends or running errands. All to say that I called my phone company to remove the data from my plan (and save $30 a month!).

    Reply
  • Janelle August 13, 2014, 10:11 am

    Good for you! That’s quite a few habits to break/re-form but you can totally do it! I really dig the passcode idea. What if your code isn’t a number to you but a word? Like… “1FAM” for “one family” so you have to actually think about which numbers spell that out and then “oh yeah, my family!” might help you put the phone down or make your use snappy.

    I’m working on making sure I don’t even have my hand on my phone when someone’s talking to me. I want them to know I value them and my attention isn’t divided! That’s an easy one but sometimes I’ll catch myself absentmindedly doing it.

    Reply
  • leatitia August 13, 2014, 10:56 am

    I’m in! It’s going to be so hard because I’m used to falling asleep while watching Netflix on my phone…it’s time to bring BOOKS back in my life.
    TV watching will be in the living room only. … Let’s go!

    Reply
  • Suzy August 13, 2014, 10:56 am

    My husband (who’s a web designer) actually just switched back to a flip phone to save a bit of money and to not be so tied to the phone. He’s one of those people who’d wake up and check the phone, come home and be on the phone and then go to bed checking the phone.

    I’ve really cut down on my usage, even more so since my data plan is limited. I mainly did it so my son doesn’t see that I’m always on it or for him to think it’s normal for people to be so dependent on it. I feel a lot better that I’m not on my phone a lot. It’s a bit freeing: )

    Reply
  • Jamie August 13, 2014, 12:27 pm

    I love this goal! I recently went away and my phone barely worked. At first I was freaking out that the world would end but by the end of the trip I loved it. I’m back home now and trying to keep the distance with the phone.

    Reply
  • Verna August 13, 2014, 1:37 pm

    I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t even have texting on my phone. My kindle died too, which was VERY sad. It’s just the desktop for me. I don’t care about not having a smart phone. I don’t really want to pay for it. I can email my sister to her phone so we talk that way a lot. I do miss the kindle though.

    Reply
  • Kris August 13, 2014, 1:43 pm

    Oh lawd. If I’m lucky, I check my phone once a day. I can forget it and before I know it, it’s uncharged and I’ve missed texts, etc. I swore when I got a smartphone, I would not live by it and I don’t. I just don’t understand such slavish devotion to a very interruptive device. I do not have email on my phone because email can wait. My face to face daily life is far more important than anything that happens through my phone.

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed August 13, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I have mixed emotions about this. While I agree that having your phone glued to your face when you could be engaging in whatever is going on in the world around you can be bad, I think having technology at my fingertips is amazing. If my practice is rained out, I will know immediately when the email comes through. I love that I can be in a store and think, oh I wonder how much money is in my bank account right now. Or if I’m buying something, I can pull up the reviews right then while I’m standing in the aisle. If I’m out and about, I can check the hours of a business, or easily obtain their phone number. I recall a time when a friend was in the same vacation town as me, but I didn’t know about it until I saw her post a photo on FB, and after I saw it we ended up getting together. Although social media can be overwhelming and full of junk, I love admiring others photos and trips and being able to reminisce about my own adventures!

    I agree, don’t miss out on the world because you’re too busy documenting it. Don’t miss out on your baby’s first steps because you’re distracted by twitter. But at the same time… long live the smart phone :)

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  • Ashley August 14, 2014, 2:13 pm

    Cheers to you! This is something I’m sure most of us need to work on…

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  • Daina August 14, 2014, 5:57 pm

    I literally think this amazing! I really hope it works for you and you feel like your time without your phone is well spent. Kudos!!

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  • Ksthy August 14, 2014, 9:30 pm

    THIS! Its my biggest downfall and especially at night, in bed. I can’t remember the last book I read because I’m alway on the computer checking blogs or on my phone with twitter and Instagram or on the evil iPad playing addictive games that I.can’t.quit. My goal is too get them out of the bedtime routine since I think they’re messing with my sleep and I love all the tips you included. Keep us posted on what’s working!

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  • Karen August 15, 2014, 3:56 pm

    I recently read an article about how changing a password can help break habits. The author had been complaining that, as a result of security at his job, employees were forced to changed passwords every month or so. Which can be annoying, obviously. As part of brainstorming to come up with a new password, he realized he wanted to quit smoking and decided to make his password – something he types *at least* daily – a reminder to help him achieve that goal. And it worked! So he chose a new goal every time he had to change his password and made his password his reminder/cue.
    Where I’m going with this is that, some where in the iPhone settings, you can change the password settings to allow something more complex than a 4 digit pin number.
    This is nothing earth-shattering, but might be helpful to have a “use me less” type of password to type in every time you pick up your phone! haha

    (here is a link to the original article if anyone is interested
    https://medium.com/@manicho/how-a-password-changed-my-life-7af5d5f28038 )

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    • Caitlin August 15, 2014, 8:19 pm

      Cool!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Carleen August 16, 2014, 4:56 am

    I think it’s great you are cutting back on using your smartphone. I don’t have one and until recently neither did my husband. Now I feel that I am reminding him too often to put it away so we can enjoy our time together and his time with our daughter.

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  • Sarah @ licorice and olives August 16, 2014, 8:54 am

    What a great idea! I may need to follow you, I like your password tip!

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  • Traci August 17, 2014, 10:01 pm

    I needed to read this today. I have been more addicted to my phone lately than usual, I fully admit it! Luckily I am going to Mexico for a week beginning Tuesday and will have VERY limited phone time–aka not at all! I do have some work things going on that will force me to check my email and messages once or twice a day, otherwise I wouldn’t touch it at all.

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  • Laura August 18, 2014, 2:30 pm

    Love this. I have been away camping and hadn’t read any blogs in awhile but was just thinking much of this on my own strangely enough… . I recently had to do a factory reset of my phone and decided to uninstall facebook, deactivate my account, delete Feedly, & deactivate my email from my phone. I went for a four mile run this morning with no music or podcasts, just my thoughts & decided to start keeping a paper journal. I’m excited to detach from everything for awhile (sticking to using my desktop at work before heading home) & maybe never come back :)

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  • Clare September 19, 2014, 10:36 am

    You know, I need to do this. My husband actually got rid of his cell phone in January. He no longer has any mobile phone. I don’t know how he does it, but he says his life is better because of it. I really like your idea of wearing a watch so you don’t check your phone for the time. I think that might be a big problem for me. I go to the phone to check the time and then I stay on it because I get sucked in. I deleted my Facebook account almost a year ago so that I don’t worry about, but Instagram kills me. I will spend too long scrolling through looking at pictures and for what? It’s so not productive and it takes away from other things I could be doing, especially giving my attention to my husband. Thank you for this motivational post. I think this may have been the kick I needed!

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