Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Love/Hate my iPhone

I've had my iPhone for over 2 years now and I can't imagine my life without it.
That's the same thing I say about my son.
I find that disturbing.

Why I love my iPhone:

- Text conversations are easy to read. I really like to text!
- I always have directions with me.
- My husband and I can share a virtual grocery list. (We used Grocery IQ for a long time, but it got too slow and frustrating, so we switched to AnyList.)
- If someone has a question about something, I can look up the answer instantly.
- I can take a ton of pictures of my son and save them on my phone to show people how cute he is.
- Three words: Words with Friends.
- The Twitter app, which I find easier to use than the actual website.
- I can listen to music and podcasts anywhere without headphones.

Why I hate my iPhone:

- The compulsive need to check my email when I see the little number increase, even though it's so rarely something I want to read.
- I only use about 10% of the apps on a daily basis.
- It's supposed to be a time-saver, but with all the extra things I can do with it, I end up wasting much, much more time than I save.
- It costs more to keep the data plan.
I'm addicted to it.

It's really only the last one that bothers me. I feel addicted to my iPhone. If it's on the table in front of me, and my hand is empty, I reach for it. I bring it with me all over the house: the bathroom (why not listen to podcasts while I shower?), the baby's room (what if my husband calls while I'm changing him?) the kitchen (what if I want to check email while I make dinner?). When I do put it down for a few minutes, I find myself compulsively checking if anyone texted or emailed me in that short space of time. These are not things I want to be feeling and doing. I want to be more present in the moment with my son, not dividing my attention between him and Facebook.

For awhile, I actually considered getting rid of it and going back to a regular phone. But I think the world is going the way of the smartphone, and I'm afraid of missing out on things if I dropped out. For example, I'd be less likely to use Twitter and thus less likely to promote my blog on it. I could miss out on growth opportunities that way. If I want to make money writing, I can't afford to ignore a potential audience source.

Also? My husband would kill me.

So instead, I'm going to make three resolutions:

1. I'm going to turn my iPhone off at least once per day. Currently, sometimes weeks go by without my turning it off.
2. I'm going to stop bringing it into the bedroom at night, unless my husband isn't home when I go to sleep. (We don't have a house phone, so that's just a safety issue.)
3. I'm going to try to keep it on the kitchen island as much as possible. That's a central location where I'd hear it ring, but it's out of reach when I'm in the living room.

Is anyone else feeling addicted to your smartphone? If so, join me in trying to break the hold. Let's turn them from a way of life into simply a useful tool.

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