A few weeks ago, one of my stepsons got grounded from his phone for a week. We anticipated a not so great reaction, but the opposite happened. He was more present, he was happier, more engaged ... I'll be straight up and tell you it was GLORIOUS and a wonderful change of pace.
That glorious week inspired us to put some restrictions on the kid's screen time (yes I know, we were a bit behind on that... but better late than never)
Last week was one of those weeks for me. I was spinning my tires. The kids had more appointments and obligations than usual and we had some pretty heavy personal stuff going. Most nights I lay awake worrying... and scrolling through my phone.
In the morning, I was so tired my face hurt. I couldn't get organized and despite a never ending to-do list, I couldn't seem to scratch things off.
Instead, I caught myself meaninglessly scrolling through my social media feeds, responding to emails that could wait... and like I said, being unproductive!
I'm a blogger. Social media is my job. It's how I make connections with women from all over the world... it's how I do what I do. For that my iPhone has been one of the best things that's happened to me.
However it's been one of the worst things too!
- Lately I've found myself picking up and checking my phone whenever I have second.
- Meaninglessly scrolling through social media, checking email when I should be doing 100 other things
- Checking 2-3 times while I am in the grocery store.
- Checking every time I get back into my car from running an errand.
- Yelling "hang on a second" when the kids call my name. Too busy on my phone... looking at nothing important.
- Getting lost in the world of Insta-stories and .... then inevitably comparing my life to the lives of others.
No wait... comparing my life to other people's highlight reels (There is a big difference)
On Friday I found myself feeling unaccomplished, exhausted, overwhelmed and in a CRAP mood.
Enough was enough! I decided to ground myself from my phone too....
I needed a break from the outside world.
I needed to reconnect with what is important.
From Friday until Sunday night, my phone was off.
Seriously, I had my husband physically take it from me (self-control is not one of my strong points)
Here's what happened:
- I mirariously found the time to do things I've been saying I don't have time to do...
- I caught up on laundry
- I cleaned my car (anyone want to know what happens to a Tim Horton's Muffin when it's hidden in your glove compartment for several weeks?)
- I actually TALKED to my husband while we drove to my sisters house on Friday night, instead of talking while checking messages and responding to comments
- I was engaged. I was present
- I woke up sans alarm
- I wasn't worried about taking photos for my Instagram feed or blog... I was just there enjoying the moment
- I actually watched an entire movie (instead of getting wrapped up in messages WHILE watching)
- I made banana bread
- I worked out
- I had the BEST uninterrupted play with my daughter
- I had the most productive weekend I've had in a long time and even had time to take 3 HOUR NAP! (l love naps!)
Turns out those "quick" scrolls and 5 minute checks of the phone quickly add up....
Guess what? When I turned my phone on Sunday evening, I didn't miss anything important. I had some funny text messages from girlfriends, some messages from family wondering what's up, a few work emails.... but nothing truly IMPORTANT or TIME SENSITIVE.
It was a huge reminder that I am not a doctor, or someone who is "on call". I'm a blogger. When I turn my phone off for a few days, everything is still alright in the world!
In fact, on Sunday everything was MORE than alright in the world...
Because instead of feeling unaccomplished, exhausted, overwhelmed and in a CRAP mood.... I felt accomplished, refreshed and restored!
I'm going to ground myself from my phone more often!
I think it's time to be just as concerned about my own screen time as I am the kids!
Something tells me our family is going to be better for it!