I have never been one for resolutions, because generally they don’t stick. One minute I’m promising myself that I won’t eat candy every day, the next I’m shoveling handfuls of peanut M&M’s down the hatch as fast as I can because they are downright delicious and we only live once… Am I right?
I am hoping that my will power will be stronger this year. I need it to be actually, because I need to get in control of my addiction. It is something that has been very embarrassing to admit. It has wreaked havoc on my family life, and sometimes I even try to hide how much I use it. You can find it in my pocket throughout the day and under my pillow at night. I never go far without it, and I feel anxiety creep up when it’s not around. I can’t last more than an hour before I need my next fix. Can you guess what it is? Am I hooked on cocaine? Am I an alcoholic? A smoker?
Nope. Just my good old, harmless smartphone. It started off as a helpful tool for my everyday life. My phone has become my trusted sidekick throughout the day and has given me the answers to all of life’s awkward and miscellaneous questions from Google searches. If I am being especially lazy I can even ask the question instead of writing it out… Will there be more Star Wars movies? What renovations will increase our home’s equity most? Did Kanye and Kim split? Where can I buy the cheapest pair of Bogs? I now know the answers to all of these questions, and more! So much more.
It also gives me the option of having a slight glimpse into the adult world that I no longer exist within, which in turn makes me somewhat feel better about watching 10 consecutive episodes of Paw Patrol, driving Tyrannosaurus Rex and Barbie’s around in dump trucks, and singing an entire book of Disney Princess songs out of tune to my oblivious preschooler. It is easy to feel isolated as a (current) stay at home mom of two. Having my phone nearby to answer any texts and calls that has come my way has given me solace during the worst tantrums and the loneliest of days.
I cannot doubt it’s usefulness: my kids childhood’s have been captured candidly with my phone as it is always on-hand. I can get all my clothes shopping done for the family without carting the kids around for a full day of errands. I can look up a phone number without picking up the phone book. I can search for a new recipe, fun craft or DIY project at the touch of a button. Complete and utter convenience. How can having a smart phone be a bad thing? Here’s how:
I instinctively search for my phone when I have a question, instead of trying to figure it out on my own. I no longer need to store information in my brain and therefore I do not absorb what I read. If I need to know it again, it can easily be looked up at another time.
Looking at all of the grown up things that I don’t get to participate in and all the nice things that people have on social media kind of makes me appreciate the life I have less.
My daughter now watches me to make sure I am paying attention during our playing sessions instead of being on my phone. She is three and already feels a need to battle against a computer device for my attention.
I feel an instant gravitational pull towards my phone whenever I hear or feel the slightest ding or vibration, regardless of what I was in the middle of. I can’t help but check it as soon as possible.
My kids should get used to long car rides, busy malls and the personal interactions involved with going shopping, because that is a part of life. Not to mention how completely addicting online shopping is. Did I really just need to buy three of the same shirts online because they were such a great deal?
My husband and I feel like we are in completely different worlds, and yet we are sitting three couch cushions apart. In silence. Looking down into our phone and watching mindless videos about run-ins with bears and how-to projects that we will never accomplish (mostly because we are sitting on our couch, eating chips and watching said videos). We have lost our connection by being plugged in all the time.
The fact of the matter is, my smart phone has completely changed my life, and for the most part not for the better. I know I am not alone in this, either. According to this article by CBC News, around 35% of Canadians have become so reliant on mobile connectivity that they would rather get rid of their TV than part with their smartphone. In addition, 8/10 of us will not leave our homes without it.
I am not the only one that this technological advance has caused strains in our relationships and has dulled our senses to. I see it all around me, from the kids on their tablets out for dinner with family, to the multitudes of selfie sticks in the most popular tourist destinations. We are losing what is most important in our lives: By using our phones to connect, we are becoming disconnected with reality. For this reason, this resolution is not just for me. It’s for you too.
Less Phone, More Love
1. Make plans.
2. Leave phone at home or put on airplane mode.
3. Enjoy the experience for what it is.
Do you have what it takes to give up your smartphone for the day? Share your experiences with us by leaving a comment below! Good luck and Happy New Year, everyone!
New Year, New Momma is about achieving your goals and becoming a better you. It’s creating a community of support for those that want to start the new year on the right foot. Join our Instagram challenge and use #newyearnewmomma to connect with others on their own journey. Please check out this amazing site to view more resolutions for 2016 by my mama blogger friends! 😀