Written by: Shani Fowler
Is checking your mobile phone the very first and last thing you do in the day? Does a phone ring when you are out and about and you automatically dive into your bag/ rummage in your pockets? – Surely it must be yours? We all probably wonder how we ever managed without our trusty mobiles, I know I do. Our lives are very much entwined but are you actually addicted to it? Let’s have a look at what may indicate we are more into our phones that we care to realise!
Reach for the phone?
Firstly if you are reaching for your phone before you have even thrown back the duvet it might indicate you give a little too much focus to it. Get up, get your breakfast and that shot of caffeine before you start with all the emails/texts/social media activity. Starting the day with a bit of ‘you time’ will get the day off to a less stressful start.
Do you sit watching a TV programme (the one you’ve been waiting for) only to keep losing the thread of it because the phone in your hand is demanding more of your attention? If you want to watch something try to keep the phone out of harm’s way, unless you are specifically waiting for an important message.
Are you just dozing off and then startled awake by the sound of a thud as your phone hits the floor? Falling asleep with the phone in your hand is an indicator that the love affair with your mobile friend might be going a little too far. Aim for an early cut off point where you are done with your phone for the day, and try to stick to it – most days at least!
Leave it in the locker!
You’re stressed and decide to have workout at the gym. Is your phone looking up at you longingly as it sits on the screen of the running machine? And now you are simply itching to answer that email you saw ping in a few minutes ago. Give yourself a break! Either leave your phone in the locker or use it for the greater good to just play some favourite music on it whilst you exercise, but cover the screen up somehow – we need to switch off from the constant harassment a phone can bring into our lives.
Phone Vs Food
The scene is set. A lovely restaurant, a romantic candlelit dinner for two or the gastro pub and a family meal, but you can’t help yourself! You must regularly whip out your phone as you would rather see what the rest of the world is doing. Or are you sat there longing to check in on social media so everyone knows you’ve gone out – and then you’re curious to see how many people ‘like’ your post. Apart for checking for any emergency, keep the phone out of sight until it’s time to call your taxi home!
To die for?
Have you had a close encounter when crossing the road because you have been answering your latest text? Was it crucial there and then to write ‘am never drinking again lol’ in the face of that oncoming people carrier? Safety can be severely compromised when we give our phones too much attention at the wrong time.
Another pointer towards the phone addict can be their change of heart. Remember how you used to hate traffic queues? Are you now sometimes pleased to be in stationary traffic as it might present you with the opportunity to slide that screen – you know just to check? Unless you’re parked up with your ignition off, it’s still illegal!
An app for quality time
You would probably be shocked to know the amount time you actually spend on your phone. Ironically, there is a phone app developed in California called ‘QualityTime’ which once installed, arms you with that very information. If your stats as a little shocking, you can impose limits and set alarms to help break you free from your overuse!
Because phones aren’t just phones anymore, they’re a window to the rest of the world, they will always have the power to seduce and distract us. The distraction can be dangerous, not just in preventing us getting on with our lives and relationships and causing extra stress, but can distract us from keeping safe too. Most of us (if we were honest) could confess to a little over use at times and whilst they are great devices, there is no harm in limiting the more inane side of phone use and crack on with wonderful concept of really living.