There are three places I haven’t taken my phone: the shower, the ocean, and one time at Comedy Works when we were required to leave it at the door.
If I forget it or can’t find it, it feels like my arm was cut off. I treat the thing like it’s a body part, and I know I’m not the only one.
I also know this topic isn’t new to you. Ummm, unless you’re an elephant or live in an igloo, you’ve heard about tech addiction or seen a “Put Your Phone Down” meme by now.
But here’s something that might be new to you:
Simply putting your phone down isn’t enough. The mere presence of it not only tempts us to grab it more, but it also affects our attention.
A 2017 study from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin found that when a smartphone is close by, it reduces our ability to focus.
When close to 800 people were tested on how well they could complete computer tasks with smartphones nearby, those with their phones in the other room performed much better than those with their phones on the desk, and slightly better than those who stashed it in their pocket/bag.
They also found that it doesn’t matter if it’s face down or turned off. When the brain tries not to focus on something, it’s still focusing in some capacity — therefore draining mental energy.
So, if you want to be fully present with your kid/s and free of distraction, then here’s your plan of action:
HIDE YOUR PHONE, MAMA!
Pick one time this week to banish that screen for at least 30 minutes. Maybe…
- Keep it on your nightstand in the morning.
- Place in a completely different room.
- Stash it in a kitchen drawer.
- Leave it in your car.
Just get it out of sight, out of mind, and most definitely on silent before you hide it.
Feeling extra brave? Stop what you’re doing, and hide that tele, already!
See what happens.
This post is part of the Mama Be Present series:
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