3 Things I Gained By Giving Up My Smartphone
Giving up my smartphone was one of the best decisions I have ever made! Yes, it is the 21st century, I know. Everybody has a cell phone, even some kids in school have smartphones nowadays. After all, a smartphone is supposed to make anyone’s life easier. In my case instead, it wasn’t making my life any easier or making me act smart and you will see why.
So when my friend Amanda told me about her 7 Days Technology Detox, I knew I had to jump in and share my own story with you. Technology is great! But everything in excess is not good for us at all and it seems like most of us if not all of us are using technology a little bit too much and feeling badly the consequences of it in our lives.
Detoxes are a great way to reboot our system. I know, as a certified health coach and I have developed and used several detox programs in these past 3 years. They work! Anyone feels great after a detox. People have more energy, they lost weight, they feel accomplished and they feel empowered! The best results I’ve seen are not only from the after detox results but from clients who had a permanent change in their lifestyle after doing it, they continue to see the lasting results till this day.
Health coaching apart, I am also a mother of 3 beautiful children, who are a miracle in my life because after having cancer at only 25 years old I was told I was never going to be able to get pregnant.
I feel so incredibly blessed for being a mom. Now that I have decided to stay home full-time, working from home as a blogger and homeschooling my children I have the opportunity to spend amazing quality time with them every day. I spend my days teaching them, playing with them, reading to them as much as I can. I watch them and they watch me 24/7.
A few months ago I started to think more and more about education and I realized that my kids not only learn from what I teach them, they also learn by observing what I do! If I want to teach my children to pay attention than I need to model it! If I need my children to look at me when I speak to them than I need to model it! That’s when I noticed I was failing a big lesson!
One of the most heartbreaking episodes that made me realized I was failing in giving my children the right example to model was when my 4-year-old begin to hold my face and turn to her so I could pay attention to what she wanted to say to me. My heart just began to sink. Then my 8-year-old told me one day very upset: “turn off your phone mom! I’m trying to talk to you.”.
Has any of these ever happened to you?
These amazing miracle children were having an absent minded mom who was always with her smartphone in hands and constantly dropped everything she was doing to comment on a Facebook status someone had just posted without even noticing how her children were heart broken wanting to have mom’s full attention but it never happened.
I knew I had to do something about it! I needed to unplug so I could tune into the important people in my life.
Then I came across a book called Hands Free Mama. The author’s feelings about all the moments she realized she was missing with her children reflected exactly how I was feeling. I didn’t want to miss any more special moments with my kids, I wanted to be fully present, they deserved to have my full attention, undivided attention.
I started to talk to my husband and my closest friends about how I felt. One of my closest friend, a mom I highly admire, did not even have a cell phone. Guess what? She was always focused when I talked to her and she was always present around her children. I knew I could do it too, I just needed to get rid of my smartphone.
Getting rid of it did not happen overnight! I first deleted all my social media apps from my phone and made it very difficult to access it, then I deleted my email app from my phone as well. Still wasn’t enough. I could still go to my browser and check it out after all I was addicted to social media. I really had to just give it up! So the day came when I did! I was so happy, I can’t tell you how much I was smiling all day after that!
So the day came when I did it, I finally gave up my smartphone! I was so happy, I was smiling all day after that! I didn’t care I wasn’t having a phone anymore, oh and by the way, I don’t have a landline either! ” I just need a dumb phone” I kept thinking. Still, almost 3 months later, if you want to speak to me you can email me, eventually I will check them.
When I take my kids to the park, I’m fully there watching them and playing with them and that is the most wonderful feeling in the world for me. I’m not missing any special moments anymore. I’m there, fully present!
So what are these 3 major things I gain by giving up my smartphone?
By giving up my smartphone I broke free from my social media addiction.
I love social media! How can I not? I’m a blogger. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, you name it, I’m there! The biggest problem with social media, especially on your smartphone, is that it is with you everywhere – all the time! Every ding or dong noise for notifications have the power to make your stop everything you’re doing to look down at your phone. It’s not hard to become addicted to it!
As I shared my addiction to social media robbed me of precious moments with my children and made me very unsocial with my own family. We connect with everyone else online but completely disconnect from the ones who are right next to us, begging for our attention.
By giving up my smartphone I’m now able to BE FULLY PRESENT in the moment.
I remember the first night my husband and I went on a date night after I gave up my smartphone. No distractions, no interruptions, I was fully there with him! We went to Starbucks then to the movies and it felt so good to have my full mind in what I was doing for the first time in ages!
I also began to notice a lot more the new things my kids were starting to do and by being fully present and accomplishing more on our homeschool I watched my 4-year-old reading her very first words all on their own – I was there! I did not miss the moment. I did not miss any words she read.
Being present is my goal for this year. This life is too short to miss any precious moments with our children or our spouses. When special moments happen I don’t want to be just half there anymore, that is not enough for me. I want more. I want the fullness of the experience, no distractions allowed.
By giving up my smartphone I have MORE TIME in my hands.
Fewer distractions = Much more productivity!
I still spend time on social media, I still read and write emails, in fact, I grew my blog and social media followers a great deal after I gave up my smartphone! The difference is that now I set my working hours to work on my computer when I can fully focus on doing my work as well, that means when my kids are done with their homeschool work and freely enjoying the rest of their day playing with their siblings or once they are in bed before I enjoy time alone with my husband.
You can still accomplish everything you use to do with your smartphone with your computer. Anyone can work smarter by eliminating distractions just doing simple things like setting time aside to do each task that needs to be done so then you can freely enjoy some social time on social media.
The key to a fulfilled and productive life is to have your priorities right.
For me, giving up my smartphone has allowed me to break free from my addiction to social media, I can now be fully present in the moment, without my phone distracting me with all the notifications I have so much more time to accomplish the things that need to be done and above all, I got my priorities and my life back on track.
But I wasn’t the only one who gained immensely by giving up my smartphone.
My children and my husband now get my full attention and they deserve it! Our family spends more time having fun together and that is priceless. This one decision has made me a better wife and a better parent. It has also made me a better blogger and entrepreneur as well. My time is used wisely and no waste is permitted.
Getting on this 7 Days Technology Detox this week had just reminded me of how we can and do have control over our time and over our lives if we only put all our effort into it.
This week I was able to cut down my time with technology and even go the whole weekend having fun with my family while just spending less than two hours altogether on the computer (blogging, doing a live stream on Facebook, reading and replying to emails and checking out quickly my social media). That for me it was huge!
You might be thinking that it will be impossible for you to cut it all completely or even cut it down. I did also. I first thought it would be impossible to live without a cell phone and break free from my social media addiction, but I once read that:
” Everything seems to be impossible until it is done”.