Top 4 Places to Stop Taking Your Phone

Are you addicted to your mobile phone?

There has been a lot of recent research about cell phone addiction and the various ways that mobile phones interfere with our sleep, relationships, and overall well being.

I am going on a work trip at the end of this week to a remote location and I have been advised that my phone won’t get service for FIVE DAYS. Off. The. Grid. I must admit, when I first learned of this, I panicked a little. Five days? What will I do?

Then, I started to think about the benefits. I check my phone way too often. Sometimes, if I’ve been staring at it too much, I’ll get a headache or become queasy, but even then I find it difficult to wrench myself away. So, upon reflection, here is my new list of the top 4 places to stop taking your phone.

The Bathroom

You’ve done, I’ve done it, the President of the United States has done it. But, it’s super gross. In addition to the bad optics of walking out of the bathroom stall at work holding your phone, you increase your risk of salmonella, E. coli and all sorts of other disgusting things. Not worth it.

While Eating

I’ve written before about the benefits of mindful eating. Well, it’s pretty hard to be present and mindful while you scroll Facebook. Eating slowly and intentionally means that you chew your food more thoroughly, aiding both digestion and enjoyment. Put the phone aside.

When You Should Be Connecting

Has your child ever asked you to stop looking at your phone? Ouch. But think about how many times they don’t say anything but you miss the moment. Or, your husband or wife. There’s a new word for this phenomenon of snubbing others in favor of the phone — it’s called phubbing. A pair of professors from Baylor University recently conducted a study demonstrating that phubbing has negative impacts on relationships. Don’t be a phubber.

To Bed

My new year’s resolution was to stop taking my phone into the bedroom at night. Would you like to guess how long I made it? Try January 2nd or so. But, there is really good evidence that it is a habit to break. The light from the phone disrupts your circadian rhythms and makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. For me, just having the phone in the room, even if it is on the dresser several feet away, is enough to disrupt my sleep.

Phones are a wonderful and ubiquitous part of modern life. But, they can also get in the way. So, despite my initial reservations, I am going to use this externally imposed hiatus to help reset some of my bad phone habits. How would you like to change your relationship with phone?