I used to consider myself a very ‘in the moment’ person who was attentive in all of my relationships (be it with my partner, friends or family). I rarely missed a catch up with friends and was the first to offer up my house when hosting a dinner party. I ate with my partner at almost every meal and attended friends gigs, family catch-ups and always made myself available for things. However, I used to do all of that with my phone in hand.
It was only when reading an article about technology addiction that I realised my phone had morphed into a part of me and had become an extension of my arm. I was addicted! My mobile phone had become my security blanket and safety net. How rude and distant must I have appeared to those around me? How could I be invested in their time if all I was doing when out/at dinner/at a party etc was checking my phone? Exactly. I couldn’t, and that’s what made me make the following changes:
I stopped checking my phone first thing when I woke up – this meant when I woke up I had time to think about my dreams whilst sleeping, what I wanted for breakfast/lunch and what I wanted to achieve for the day. It meant my morning was ‘me’ time.
I stopped keeping my phone with/near me during ALL meals – this meant that I didn’t have temptation to check it or take photos of my food or whatever was happening to only then want to upload them to a social media platform. It kept me present and allowed me to have real conversation with my friends and/or partner during catch up’s over great food. It allowed me to build and strengthen my current relationships.
I stopped uploading my photos to social platforms RIGHT after taking them – this meant that I was only taking photos for me, not for the world to see or like/comment on. It meant when I took a photo that my phone went STRAIGHT back in the bag afterwards – if I wanted to upload them, I could do it later on or the next day. This kept me in the moment.
I stopped having conversation with my mobile phone in hand – This meant when those around me were having conversations I was actually LISTENING and RESPONDING. It meant I wasn’t half listening whilst checking something on Facebook or Instagram, something that WASN’T AT ALL relevant to the conversation that was happening. It meant I was no longer being rude and disrespectful to them. By keeping my phone in a bag or in another room it meant I could give my undivided attention and be present in every conversation.
Of course there are necessary times when you do need to check your phone (work emails/keeping in touch with family overseas/directions etc.) however when it’s not I urge you to leave the phone alone and be present in every moment taking place in your life. Those few changes made huge positive impacts for me, and after you read this I challenge you to seeing if you can go without checking your phone for one hour. Think that’s easy? Make it two. It might be hard, but it’s worth it.
About the author
Megan Luscombe is a professional life and wellness coach at Starting Today Coaching. Melbourne based, Megan assists her clients in making positive transformations in their personal life, relationships and careers. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.