Confession Time: I’m addicted to my phone

I have a problem. I have a big, big phone problem. Problem as in, I am addicted to it. There are a lot of times throughout my day that I’ll check it. And if there isn’t anything new, I will scroll aimlessly through social media sites and news sites. Five minutes later, I’ll do the same thing. Really, nothing has changed; nothing is actually going on that I care about. I know that before I check the phone, and I am tell myself ‘you are wasting your time’. But I keep checking it. Over and over and over again!!!! And the worst part is, I am not really looking at it when I am checking it. So what am I doing? According to this article, there are many ways to look at phone use.  It can be both positive and negative, but unfortunately for many, it’s not always a positive relationship. 

I noticed that I would be burning up my phone when I was having a crap day, or feeling stressed or anxious or bored. It would go something like this: kids are screaming at each other. I ask them to stop several times and am ignored all of those times. The screeching gets worse, and I seem to have a choice, I can get involved, or I can try and escape. So I escape in to the world of revolving the flicking thumb. Or I have a minute to myself. What do I do? Unlock the phone and mindlessly check the socials.

And I think that is the point. It’s mindless. Not mindful. If I was using my phone and allowing myself to be present, then I would be mindfully using my phone. But I am not. I am distracting myself from something. The worst part about it is that I am making myself more stressed, or annoyed or bored because I am not really dealing with the initial problem

So what to do? Here are some things I am going to try:

• Create a physical barrier – I am going to leave my phone on ring in another room. That removes an excuse to check it all the time if I would hear it in the first place
• Check it on a schedule – something like after breakfast, at lunchtime and after dinner
• Allow myself to be annoyed / cross / stressed – Don’t try and escape from these things. Be with them. Mindfulness is about being with the good and the bad. You will notice that it will pass, and it probably won’t take too long anyway.
• Use replacement therapy – What else could you do to give yourself a mindful mini-break? A cup of coffee, or tea? Maybe some breathing?
• Just sit there – Being bored is a lost art form. We have a lot of ways to distract ourselves, but what is wrong with just sitting there?