I am a mother of two young children and I am completely addicted to my phone.
There, I said it, and that’s half the battle, right? I know what you are thinking… isn’t that something that happens to teenagers? Aren’t you too old for that? Just put down the phone. Trust me, I know because I say those things to myself all the time, however, I still spend more time on my phone than I care to admit.
Let’s start at the beginning. My husband gave me my smartphone for Mother’s Day (the irony is not lost on me) right after my daughter was born. When she was under one, she was a terrible sleeper, and I would be up with her at all hours of the night. To keep myself from going insane, I joined some private Facebook groups with people who are similar to myself. These groups provided me friendship, adult communication, and support during the adjustment from one child to two. One group I joined was a light hearted group called Outfit of the Day. I have always struggled with finding a sense of style that works for me (that doesn’t consist of yoga pants and t-shirts) so I used this group to get my postpartum groove back. I quickly became addicted to getting likes on my pictures and comments from other people. Over time, I became so consumed by keeping up with the group that eventually I had to leave.
I left the group in the hopes that I would stay off my phone.
My children are little and I don’t want to look back on this time and think, “Man I should have spent my time better.”
I know these moments are fleeting and while this is an intense part of my life, it will be gone before I know it. I don’t want to have any regrets and I don’t want my phone to shortchange my children.
However, my phone also provides adult interaction and makes me feel less isolated. My phone connects me to my fellow mom friends, who, because of mom demands, I rarely get to see these days. My phone connects me to my family. My phone stores my calendars, daily to-do list, and emails. My phone also connects me to other special needs parents. My phone is my lifeline to the outside world.
I have read articles about how to become less addicted to your phone. I have read blog posts that advocate why it is important to have screen-free time. I have made promise after promise to myself that I will not check my social media accounts until after the kids go to bed. I have even locked my phone in our safe to keep myself off of my phone on the weekends. However, I keep going back.
I am addicted to my phone.
I am also finding that the more sucked in I am becoming to social media that my brain isn’t functioning like it should. I don’t have down time to let my brain wander and just think. My brain feels fuzzy and I find myself forgetting things I shouldn’t. Does this happen to you? Is social media contributing to my mental decline?
Even though I have failed my personal promise of spending less time on my phone a million times before, I am going to put forth a new rule going into summer. I am taking all social media off my phone.
Yup… I just need to rip off this band-aid. I am sure I will still check social media, but by forcing it to be only on my laptop, I am really going to have to think about when and how I access it. Also, my laptop really draws my kids’ attention. They love to bang on the keys, move the screen up and down and beg for YouTube videos- which makes it hard to scroll aimlessly for long amounts of time. I think that by not having social media on my phone when I have downtime such as waiting in line at the post office, it will give my mind much needed time just to wander.
So, there you have it. This summer I am breaking my phone addiction. I have to say that I’m a little nervous, however, I’m even more excited to start spending more time being present and less time scrolling.