I have a problem.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal 99 percent of the time, but the other 1 percent it’s a huge deal.
You see, sometimes I like my iPhone … too much. For the most part, I’m good at using it as just a tool. I use it to make phone calls, make notes, organize, communicate and be productive. The other times, I use it to kill time or play an occasional game. All of that is fine. All of that is in the 99 percent of the time that it’s not a big deal.
The other 1 percent? Those are the times I’m staring at my phone when something so much more important is happening around me. That’s the time when my attention is needed or deserved somewhere else. That’s the time when I have the phone in front of my face rather than my eyes on the people around me.
Here are three times we all need to put our stinkin phones down (yes, even you Android users) …
1. When your family needs you
I’ve caught myself doing this one too many times. My wife needs my help or wants my attention and instead of giving her my undivided attention and help, I’m half listening and half looking at something on my phone. We all have to realize how important it is that we’re present with the people that matter the most. Even if it’s something “good” you’re doing on your phone at the time, we still need to put the thing down when our family and those closest to us need our attention. They need our time and deserve to have it.
2. When your mind needs rest
I sometimes look at my phone for a “break” throughout the day. I know that some people use their phone to clear their mind. Sometimes, though, we need to be stimulation free. Sometimes, we need to sit in quiet and rest our mind. When my son was in the NICU several months ago, there was a sign on the door that said “Quiet, no stimulation needed.” What that meant was that my son and the other babies in the NICU needed rest and lots of it. They didn’t want a lot of people or loud noises messing that up. Sometimes, we need the same thing. Put the phone down. Rest your eyes and your brain.
3. When you feel like you can’t
Now, I’m not a big fan of the idea that smartphones are bad and that we’re all just addicted to them like our parents were addicted to cigarettes. I do, though, think that at times I feel somewhat attached to being plugged in to the world and holding my phone in my hand. When that happens, we all need to put our phone down. There’s an actual thing now called Facebook Depression. Facebook Depression happens because of what we see on social media and how we compare ourselves. It’s a real thing. When you feel like you can’t quit looking at Facebook or one more bird needs to be thrown in Angry Birds, put the phone down … it’s not that much fun.
Your turn … when else should you put your phone down?