I’m a smartphone addict. Admitting it is the first step, right?
It all started out innocently enough. I was actually anti-smartphone for a long time, but about a year and a half ago, I realized that it wouldn’t be SO bad if I could catch up with emails and my blog feed when I was waiting to pick my daughter up from preschool or sitting in my OB/GYN’s office waiting room.
For a couple of months, it was fine. Sure, I checked my phone more often than in the olden days of just text messaging, but it was nice to have an app that told me where the cheapest gas in town was. Don’t know the answer for a random question my then-three year old was asking me? Let me just check the Wikipedia app, honey! If we got lost in downtown Atlanta and my Garmin was acting goofy, I could pull up the more accurate GPS on my phone. See? It was handy!
Things changed after I had my son. He was an enthusiastic nurser, which is saying that he nursed all.the.time. That’s a lot of sitting around with nothing else to do, even after you’ve “ooohhed” and “aaahhed” over this precious gift of life. So I started using the time to catch up on Facebook and a couple of message boards I read. Then I started playing words with friends, so I used the time I was nursing to play my turn.
At some point, it got a little out of hand. I’m a frequent Facebook status updater anyway, and my handy dandy smartphone just made it that much easier to give the TMI details of life with a newborn. Quite a few of my friends were about to or had just given birth, so I’d update about my successes and frustration with the all the time nursing, the non-sleeping, and yes, the bodily functions. I was doing a public service, right? There were quite a few other apps that I turned to because it was so much easier to do it on my phone than getting on our actual computer, especially in those frequent nursing sessions.
He stopped nursing this past September, but the always-on-my-phone habit did not. As we wound down 2011, I started thinking that maybe I should spend less time with the world at my fingertips and more time in the REAL world. I’d also been lamenting about how I “never have time” to do the things I felt were super important, yet, there was ALWAYS time to see if I had any new text messages or to find out why, exactly, it didn’t work out between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.
Well, lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago we were on our way to the park, and I’d brought myself a cup of water. As I reached for the car charger, my phone slipped out of my hand.
Into the cup of water.
Well, I’ll take that as a sign, thankyouverymuch.
Since I was actually only a couple of weeks from my upgrade eligibility date, I borrowed my father-in-law’s super old (like, from THREE YEARS AGO) phone. It didn’t have a browser. Or a Facebook app. Or even the auto-text ability, so I had to text the old fashioned way of hitting each button until you got to the letter. Oh, the inconvenience!
It actually turned into a blessing in disguise. One of my new year’s resolutions was to wake up earlier and spend some quiet time before the kids got up, and since I wasn’t playing around on my phone before bedtime, I was going to bed earlier & rising earlier. I gave myself “office hours” for responding to emails, reading blogs, and checking Facebook. Since I was checking email on my desktop, it was easier to unsubscribe from a lot of newsletters, which was another goal of mine in the new year. I was being more productive around the house because in a small pocket of time that I may have been checking something random on Wikipedia, I’d check off some tasks on my to-do list. Because I’d get those done, I’d have time after the kids went to bed to read a book instead of trying to play catch up.
My upgrade day was actually today, and for a few days I debated whether or not to even get another smartphone. Sure, they’re handy, but the world will not end even if I’m not “plugged in.” Ultimately, I decided that smartphones DO make life easier, I’m just the one with the problem. 🙂 I plan to keep a habit of some of the things I’ve implemented over the past couple of weeks. I think I can do it. But it will be helpful to pull up the Wikipedia app next time my daughter asks me how many miles away Neptune is from the planet Earth.
What about you? Are you addicted to your smart phone?
Julie is a full time SAHM with one funny husband and two funny kids. She is passionate about laughing about this crazy season of life and connecting with other moms. She is also the organizer of the Peachtree City Moms & Kids Meetup group, which you can find at meetup.com/PTCmoms.by