Do you remember the old days when you were not available constantly? If someone needed you, they left a message and you returned their call. Email was not something you were constantly checking because you simply did not have access to it all the time. Cell phones…..ugh… I have a love-hate relationship with my cell phone. I love the convenience of having a camera, flashlight, calculator, internet, etc. right at my fingertips. But I do NOT love how much of a distraction it can be when I am trying to get stuff done. I also do not love how much they can distract my students when I am trying to teach or help them. Sometimes I worry this little thing might be really bad for our society……Stupid phones……
Take my students for example. My students are pretty awesome most of the time. However, I am concerned about some of them as they get to be adults. Our society is built on being social and being able to coexist with people. Seriously, some students are not able to do this. I have students who walk around every day with earbuds in their ears, ALL DAY!!!! If you want a sure money maker in your life, invest in hearing aid stock. No joke!! This generation of kids listens to music from their earbuds constantly and so loud!! I can hear it sometimes sitting at my desk. I know I listened to loud music from my headphones back in the day, except I did not have my headphones on all of the time. Sometimes they will even just keep the earbuds in their ears with no sound, which I don’t understand. But there are students who do not really talk to anyone all day because they are so consumed by their phones……Scary, right? How will they live as adults? Or will they simply be able to not interact with anyone if they choose not to? Is that a way to live a fulfilling life?
Now, I can get distracted by my phone too. I will spend 20 minutes looking at Facebook, the weather, the newspaper, the bank accounts, etc. Then I get mad at myself for not using my time wisely to be productive. Or I get mad for not spending those 20 minutes with my kids, which reminds me of an something I saw at a local restaurant a couple of years ago.
I was out to eat with my family. Jason, the girls, and my parents I believe. There was a family sitting at a table, with two small children and I did not mean to watch them, but I did. The parents of these small children sat in the booth on their phones the entire time. They did not interact with their children, they did not do the coloring sheet, play tic-tac-toe; they scrolled on their phones, stopping only to order food. Now, I don’t know the circumstances, maybe they needed to accomplish something for work or there was a family situation going on, but it was very sad to me. The kids just sat there, looking at their parents, simply waiting for their attention. How did those kids feel sitting there not worthy of their parents’ attention? I vowed not to ever do that to my kids, except at times, I do. I give my attention to my stupid little phone, checking things I already know the answer to or really don’t need to know the answer to right now.
So I am wondering if anyone else struggles with this? Do you also get distracted by your phone? Do you have to remind yourself to put it down and be present with the people around you? Are you allowed to have it at work and does that distract you from getting your work done?
I am setting a focus for myself. As you know I don’t like resolutions, because I feel like if I fail one time, I am just done. Telling myself it is a focus instead of a resolution seems like I can be more successful. Probably a dumb mind trick, but seems to work for me. My focus is to give myself ten minutes of time in the morning, afternoon and at night to be on my phone. However, the rest of the day, my phone is going to be in my purse or on the countertop. But I don’t need to have it in my hands all the time. The only drawback I see is not being able to track my steps, but honestly, I know if I have walked or not during the day.
CHALLENGE TIME!!! I have a two-part challenge today!! The first part; tell me about your phone usage. Do you struggle with being distracted or are you able to control yourself and put it down? Second, if you feel like you are being distracted by your phone, set some limits for yourself so you can be more efficient and effective with your time. Then tell us what your plan is so more of us can be on the same page. You can share your plan here or on the Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. Your likes, comments, and shares are so appreciated!!
Talk to you soon,