Our survey results showed that some parents are checking their phones up to 240 times per day. Some Digital Mastery needs to put in place, that figure is shocking! That sounds like an impossible number of times, how can it be? Well let’s say checking starts from 7am and continues until 10pm that’s a 15 hour period resulting in checking our phones 16 x per hour. Broken down in this way it’s easy to see how these checking habits can increase over time in particular with push notifications activated so they are constantly alerting you, rousing your curiosity.
With 87% of UK mums having a smartphone and the amazing array of apps available to streamline activities, from paying for parking, online shopping, social media etc it is easy to see how smartphone usage is a constant throughout the day. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels a small sense of panic when I can’t find my phone, for me it’s about the family photos and precious moments that I have captured with the camera. Understanding what you mainly use your phone for is a brilliant step forward in learning #DigitalMastery, freeing up time and in some cases, increasing your productivity.
Awareness: Be aware of what feelings and situations make you want to check your phone. Sometimes it can be as simple as boredom or sometimes loneliness. Or perhaps it’s just habit and you’ve reached for it without evening thinking. Is there something else that you could do rather than reaching for a device?
Willpower: It’s not easy but sometimes you have to be strong and not answer your phone whenever it rings or beeps. One way to put some space between you and your smartphone is to turn off all notifications. You’ll be surprised how wonderful it feels to use your device for an intended task rather than as a reaction to an alert.
Boundaries: Be disciplined about not using your device in certain situations. Driving is an obvious one but you’d be surprised by how many people do it. Mealtimes, social situations that require communication and engagement, bath times (I have been guilty of this and have dropped a handset in the bath quite a few times). Perhaps setting aside a tech-free window in lead up to the children’s bedtimes (4.30 – 7.30pm) could help free up some time to focus on other tasks.
Distance: Could you leave the phone in a different room? If you constantly have the urge to check your smartphone, leave it in another room so that you aren’t tempted to pick it up. This is a great technique if you have a particular task or family time that you want to set aside.
Snooze: Turn your smartphone on to airplane mode or activate the ‘do not disturb’ option. The great thing about airplane mode is you can still use the camera and access local files if you wanted to you just won’t be disturbed by anything incoming until you are ready.
Feel free to add tips in the comments section, the more helpful tips for our readers the better.
Image credit: Manu Cornet