Imagine there was a time when you weren’t constantly barraged by communication. Instead of texting or emailing, there was only snail mail and landlines.
Imagine that If you were out, you couldn’t be interrupted. Grocery shopping was grocery shopping. It wasn’t grocery shopping and fielding calls. You didn’t pump gas and answer emails. You didn’t watch a kids’ soccer game and text with your mom. You didn’t try to take a picture and have a phone call pop up in the middle of the shot.
I know that smartphones have made us all feel safer and more connected. They’ve also made life more convenient. On any given day, I use my phone to make shopping lists, take pictures, get directions, and keep appointments. But the greatest strength of a smartphone is having everything in one place on one device. It is also its greatest fault.
I feel like I am always on my phone, and I hate it.
I don’t like to be answering emails all day long so that I don’t forget to reply to something that came in. I don’t like to be distracted by spam calls or texts. I don’t like how people stand around staring at their phones instead of talking with one another.
I also don’t want to model behavior for my kids that I know will drive me crazy in their teen years. When I tell them to hold on while writing an email, I imagine them telling me to hold on while they text a friend. When I find myself reading an article on my phone while I’m waiting, I imagine my kids older and zoned out instead of talking to their friends.
To battle smartphone overload, I’ve tried to limit how much time my iPhone and I are together. Some things that work for me include leaving my phone on its charger instead of in my pocket. If I’m out, I try leaving my iPhone in the car. I’ve also stopped mindlessly checking social media and have tried limiting any reading I do on my screen. Finally, I’ve set aside three times a day to check and answer emails.