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!