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Kidding Around: The time I unplugged

  • Blog Post by: Samara Postuma
  • May 14, 2014 - 7:14 AM

The other day I made a decision to just ignore my phone and leave it on the charger for the day. I've made plans to do this other times but not really followed through vowing to be more intentional or present and instead finding myself slowly consumed by the life that is the iPhone.

But Sunday morning, because of my own complicated feelings about Mother's Day, I left my phone on the charger and went about the day.

At first I felt strange. I always have my phone. Even if it's tucked inside my purse or diaper bag, it's always just an arms length away.

But later I felt free. I didn't need to reply to any texts or mindlessly scroll through Facebook just to see what everyone was doing. There was no email to check and Twitter was a million miles away from my mind.

I'll admit I felt a little twitchy riding {not driving!} in the car not having a phone to check but I'll also admit I felt a lot more relaxed. My husband and I actually had conversations that weren't interrupted by a text or a "look at this cute picture" or "this is a great article, I'm going to share it" sorts of interruptions.

The day was good, I didn't unplug my phone from the charger until my kids were tucked in to bed and as I scrolled through my texts and social networks, I realized I didn't miss all that much after all. I had more patience with my kids, was much less distracted and didn't feel as "busy". 

The hardest part of not having my phone along was pictures. I had forgotten how much I rely on my phone for pictures and hardly ever remember my camera anymore. There were a couple instances I knew that I would have loved to snap a picture of my kids playing at the nursery as we picked out hanging baskets or out to lunch as my youngest turned herself backwards in her high chair. 

There's been blogs and articles and even books devoted to the art of unplugging, it's not a new topic or concept. Parents argue on both sides of it, both judging the moms on their phones at the park and defending others who need it. It's a blessing and a curse, a tool and a distraction, a friend and a foe.

I do at times worry about this affect on our kids, the constant demand on our attention and the ability to literally do anything from ones finger tips. But there are also so many advantages to having a smartphone, the ability to read and "triage" email, snapping and sharing quick pictures and even staying in touch with both friends and family both near and far. As an avid reader and interested in a wide gamut of topics, I also love the ability to read and share miscellaneous articles and I know that because my hours actually sitting at my computer are limited, had I not had a smart phone I wouldn't have been able to read them. {Being a nursing mom for the past year has helped in that regard as well.}

We have boundaries in place for our kids and screen time but if we can't even limit ourselves why do we expect them to limit themselves later on in life. 

I've tried to be intentional since, making boundaries and setting limits and really only checking my email if I have time to read what the messages say. Asking myself as I scroll through Facebook if I'm bored or really want to spend 10 minutes there. It's a struggle because as a freelancer and someone who works in social media, I can't just not be apart of it. I can't just give up my smart phone. But I can stick to boundaries, limits and model self discipline of not getting lost in phone world.

How do you set boundaries with your smart phone? Are you good at balancing life and setting it aside to focus on life around you or do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling?

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