Really this post shouldn’t be written until Easter but I have very little patience so went ahead now, a mere 7 days into lent.
My phone-free lent has been a complete failure. It started well enough on wednesday, I turned mobile data and the WiFi off and was distracted by a gorgeous day on the beach so didn’t really miss it. I did however spend a few hours that evening on Dan’s laptop catching up on emails, checking our bank account and sorting out travel arrangements for our trip to Brighton (and I can’t lie, a bit of facebook checking).
However as the traffic slowed on our way to Chertsey on Thursday morning I realised we were going to miss our train to Brighton and had no idea of what time the next was and what connections there were. Cue loading up my trainline app…strike one.
The next day I needed to check our bank balance to see if some money had come in but were away without the laptop so found myself opening up my natwest app…strike two.
Over the weekend I realised I needed to check my email to get the address of where my doula course was happening (and also realised I was going to have to use Waze, the sat nav app to help me get there)…strike three.
And so it went on. For better or worse, so much of my daily life is reliant on using my phone for information and contact and cutting it out for most of the day was both inconvenient and more time consuming than quickly checking something then putting my phone down.
I realised that facebook and reading non essential articles are my downfall so I am going to make a concerted effort to save looking at those until the kids are in bed but continue to use my phone as truly needed throughout the day.
There are several articles trending at the moment around this subject but the two that have stuck out for me are this one from Time about the negative impact on the parent-child relationship from parents excessively using smartphones around their children and this one about a guy recognising his unhealthy attachment to his iPhone who is making a concerted effort to reduce it to being an accessory in his life and no more, something to be used when needed but not at the expense of real life relationships and situations.
Both of them hit home with me and I realised I was being a bit ‘all or nothing’ in my approach. Technology when used appropriately and not excessively is great and there isn’t anything wrong with using it to help us in our day to day lives. But overusing it to the extent that your relationships are suffering is obviously not a desirable situation. I was leaning towards the latter so I am going to focus my efforts on ‘in moderation’ rather than total prohibition. I’ll let you know how I get on!
(Couldn’t have taken this picture without my smartphone but immediate publishing not necessary. Now once I’ve got my snap, phone goes away!)