Something strange is happening…
Last week I watched as a young woman stumbled up a flight of stairs because she couldn’t take her eyes off her phone. I sat next to a man in church whose pocket vibrated repeatedly the entire hour. And my wellness clients’ ability to get through an entire coaching session without looking at a screen of some kind is much more a struggle than it was ten years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting in judgement here. I understand the pull. I can scroll through FaceBook “for a few minutes” only to wake up thirty minutes later feeling weirdly anxious. My body and brain give me red flags but I don’t always listen.
Research is discovering more and more about why these tiny devices are so addictive. If we hope to live rich, full lives we’ve got to make some important choices.
I’m certainly not planning on ditching my phone, mind you. Just this week I FaceTimed with sweet MayMay in Seattle, watched our son’s soccer team win a game out west, and got photos in real-time from Bob in the Dominican Republic. I love how connected we can be even though we’re scattered.
But here’s the thing…I really don’t want to wake up a few years from now and realize I’ve wasted precious time staring at my dang phone, and I know I could if I don’t make some careful choices now.
I’ve been working on some safeguards and a personal key question that can help me make a decision easily when I’m clearly headed into cellphone-zombie-land.
I’ve got it boiled down to this so far:
Is this phone activity making me more awake to the life and love I want, or less?
I’ll let you know how it goes.
As a wellness coach I see firsthand that often all it takes is one small change to jump start a whole cascade of other big changes in our lives. With this in mind let’s consider a one week experiment – something that can open up some fresh spaces for us without too much work.
Look over the choices below and pick one – or design your own. One new thing for one week. That’s all.
Take your pick:
- Take a week’s vacation from Facebook.
- Turn off all phone notifications – no rings, dings or pings.
- Declare mealtime and/or bedtime phone free.
- Don’t check or answer work messages after work. Inform co-workers so they don’t think you’re dead.
- Add something fun to your week that requires no technology. Leave the phone at home for this activity. Walk, swing, read a real book in a hammock, ride your bike. Do this fun thing 3 times this week for 10 minutes.
Then reflect on your week and identify a few valuable take-aways and any next-steps you might want to take as a result of your observations.
I’m going to join you – and I would dearly love to hear what you discover…
PS – Don’t miss this 9 minute TED talk: Why Our Screens Make Us Less Happy