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Why You Should Put Your Phone Down More

Why You Need to Put Your Phone Away

I recently read Rest Assured, by Vicki Courtney and just loved it. It was perfect for my Year of Rest.

In chapter 3 of her book, she talks about untethering from our phones and taking a break from social media. She encourages you to ask yourself, “Do I crave connecting more online than I do connecting with God or real-life relationships?”

For those that have been watching my Periscopes, you know that I stopped using Facebook personally a few years ago. With exception of Periscope and Instagram, I don’t have other social media on my phone.

Also, I’ve chosen not to have notifications from social media, email, or my blog on my phone. This helps me to not constantly have things dinging at me and distracting me from focusing on whatever is at hand — be that a writing project, spending time reading God’s Word, cleaning my house, hanging out with my husband, talking to a friend, homeschooling my kids, or just being together as a family.

Disconnect Online So You Can Connect in Real-Life

When we’re always connected to social media, it’s easy to be disconnected from our real surroundings and stop being fully present in the relationships that matter most.  

Human contact cannot be replaced by a smiley face emoticon or a text message that had LOL in it. It just can’t. 

Now hear me loud and clear: I think there are many, many good things about social media, particularly when it makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and family or when it allows an opportunity for us to interact with others in an encouraging manner. However, it is important that we realize it cannot replace real-life interaction.

Stop Feeling Like You’re a Victim of Your Phone

You are not a victim of your device. You don’t have to answer every phone call, email, or text message right away.

You don’t have to be online all day long. You can set your down phone down or turn off your computer for a period of time and the world is not going to collapse. 

Use the “Off” Button

Get brave and courageous. Take advantage of the “off” button on your phone. Just try it. I know that it’s not an easy thing to do, especially if you’ve gotten accustomed to checking in regularly.

Start small: choose to put your phone down for just an hour. Once you have that mastered, put it down for two hours. You can slowly increase the amount of time that you walk away from it.

You can do it! I know you can! And you’ll probably discover that there’s a whole lot of life to be lived that doesn’t require you to be tethered to your phone. 

P.S. Need some encouragement to put your phone down more? I highly recommend reading Hands Free Life and Hands Free Mama.

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13 Comments

  • I completely agree. We have to walk away from our phones. If we can’t, then we are showing our children that they must also be tettered to it all of the time. It is so important to show the example to our kids that cells phones are not the way to communicate solely.

  • Amy says:

    This is where I struggle to turn my phone OFF: we have no landline and my phone is our primary number. If someone from the school where my three kids go needs me, or if my husband calls from work, that phone needs to be on. I really wish I could turn it completely off but the moment I do, I’m certain someone will break their arm on the playground and I’ll miss the call 🙂 It truly is a matter of self-control for me and something I’ve been inspired to work on a lot more lately. It’s hard!

    • Abby says:

      You could try adding those important numbers to your favorites and then setting your phone on do not disturb, only allowing calls from your favorites list to come through.

  • Clare C. says:

    I have a very old school flip phone. I keep it on and with me when I’m not with my husband and/or the kids. When we’re all at home, it’s off and in my purse.

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    My daughter and I had a date to Chik-fil-a last night, and I was disappointed that they didn’t have the “phone coops” you’d mentioned in an earlier post. Simply having that concept in mind, however, made me more aware of how MANY people there were looking at their phones while they ate! Oh! And a dad near us took his two kids directly out of the play area and settled them in front of a video on the iPad while they ate their dinner. I so badly wanted to say something to him about it all, but (wisely? foolishly?) kept my mouth shut.

    A friend’s husband pointed out once that whatever we do with technology, our kids will imitate and take to the next level. That has helped me many times to be aware of my technology use and rein it in.

  • Beth says:

    This is true! We were on a field trip with the second grade yesterday, and during a movie, one of the chaperones behind me answered her phone twice! I thought it was very rude, and what a bad example for the children.

  • Victoria says:

    Lately I have been putting my phone face down where ever I am and not flipping it over until I am done whatever I am working on. It is helping me get a lot more done. NOT perfect at it yet but I am getting better and better.

    I also do not bring my phone into my bedroom at night. This helps me not to look at it one last time while I am trying to wind down for sleep.

    Here is another BIG thing we do. We shut our internet off before bed each night and I do not turn it back on each morning (most days–again not perfect) until after I have had my time of prayer and bible study.

    One last thing I do is rarely turn my data on. With so many free WiFi areas I get updated enough during the day. Car rides with my hubby driving and me knitting are great times to catch up, and with no WiFi we have no interruptions in these conversations.

  • Jessica says:

    Why does everyone think they need a smartphone? I work from home as a copy writer, so I’m online and in front of a screen enough hours of the day. I have an old flip phone. I call it my “dumb” phone. It makes and receives calls. it has no camera. No data. No email. No web browser. It really just makes and receives calls. I keep it on when my kids are at school. It costs like $20 per month. I don’t have to worry about losing some $800 phone. I don’t have to worry about somebody “hacking” it. I will not be “that parent” at my kids’ events sitting there staring at my phone and missing what is going on around me.

    • Kim says:

      I guess I am that parent that you see on their phone at their child’s events. Why? Because my husband is not able to be there. I’m not surfing the Internet and checking mail. I’m texting my husband score updates and pictures.

  • Florence says:

    I am disabled and spend most of my days at home. The Internet has been a wonderful window in the world for me as well as a means to maintain friendships with others. That said, just as it is wise to be the one in charge of your finances, it is wise to be the one in charge of your phone/tablet. Many things that are blessings can turn into curses when overdone. IMHO.

  • Renee says:

    I have been working on this very thing. I have gotten to the point that I can unplug for at least a few hours every day before I start thinking about the “what ifs”. Slowly, but surely I am getting better about it. I think the one area that I am struggling with though is the kindle. I love to read and since purchasing my kindle I am using it to read instead of a real physical book. I don’t really consider this as being online though as no one can reach me through my kindle. No apps, no games, just books on it.

  • Daisy says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Crystal! Sometimes it seems like my phone should be surgically removed from my hand, so I really needed to hear this.

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