Smartphones are now a part of daily life, and there’s no getting around that fact. Our faces and the faces of our children are buried into phones, tablets, and laptops. We all have that annoying friend that won’t put their phone down during a meal. How do you cope with the constant distraction? Hopefully, these tips can help you keep your smartphone from ruining your life.
Put your phone away when with friends and family.
There’s nothing wrong with excusing yourself while you check in with the babysitter or multitask checking the score of the game while heading to the bathroom, but when you are in the midst of interacting with your friends, practice some restraint. Talk, enjoy yourself, and forget your phone. If you are expecting an important call, set your phone to vibrate (in your pocket or purse and not on the table), and excuse yourself when you need to take the call.
Another fun way to spend dedicated time with family or friends is to have tech-free evenings or parties. Invite your friends and let them know they’ll need to check their phones at the door. Instead, plan an evening of fun activities and games to play.
Think twice before snapping a pic.
Every moment does not need to be chronicled. Living in the moment can be much more rewarding than what you can share with friends you barely know on Facebook or Instagram. Make a plan to take a couple photos with friends or in front of a location, and let it stop there. The view through your phone is not nearly as good as the one through your very own eyes.
Bored? Take a look around.
Smartphones are our go-to time passer. If you are bored, get creative, and try to think of something else you can do before you grab for your smartphone. If you’re at home, ask yourself if there is anything you’ve been procrastinating on. How about learning a new hobby? There’s more to life than YouTube!
Don’t over share.
Twenty years ago, you may recall your uncle’s family vacation to the Grand Canyon. You may also recall the hundreds of uninteresting photos he was so ready to share of his experience. The second hand experience he subjected you and others to was probably lackluster at best. Odds are your social media friends feel the same way. So, before you snap that photo of your breakfast to share with the world, ask yourself: does anyone really care about this?
Don’t count on your phone in risky situations.
Whether you’re traveling across the country or expecting a conference call while in a new restaurant, don’t leave anything to chance. Your GPS could leave you stranded in a bad part of town, or you may not be able to get signal in this new restaurant your friends couldn’t stop talking about. What do you do now? Have a backup plan that does not rely on your smartphone. For the above situations, bring a paper map, and call the restaurant ahead to make plans for a phone call if you have cell trouble. Being resourceful is not limited to your ability to Google.
A Quick Conclusion
Set boundaries for yourself, and have expectations for your family and friends’ behavior when it comes to technology in social situations. Don’t become a phone bore!