So I borrowed this book How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price from the library, and I've been enjoying it so far. It's concise and not overly dramatic while also causing you to take a good hard look at your relationship with your phone. The first half of the book is all theory (called The Wake-Up) to help you understand how smartphones and apps are developed to make you want to check them constantly so you can realize that it's not just about self-control but recognizing the design principles behind it (so then you can better combat the less desirable features of your smartphone).
Anyhoo, I'm officially on the second part of the book, which is about implementing the break up plan. There are questions to respond to that they recommend journaling about either digitally or written so I figured using my Hubzilla channel here is the perfect place to reflect on the questions and my progress!
So to the plan: it's technically a 30 day plan, but I'm borrowing it from the library and it's due June 8 and I'm leaving for a trip June 7 so I'm just going to ramp up the timeline for my needs. I'm supposed to set a date for a 24 hour trial separation for my phone on my calendar first that's supposed to fall on Week 3, but with my revised timeline that date will be Friday May 31-Saturday June 1 which should be easy to remember.
The first thing it asks you to do is to download a tracking app, which is now made easy with Apple's Screen Time function so you can assess what your current relationship actually looks like. I'll admit that, ever since Apple came out with this feature, I've been consciously trying to use my phone less so heads up that these numbers look better than they would have at the end of last year!
So by the numbers based on last week:
Time spent: 1 hour 38 min per day --> Social Networking takes up the most time with 3 h 37 m total out of the 11 h 27 m weekly total
Most Used(top 5): Safari (3 h 38 m), Messages (2 h 7 m), archiveofourown.org (1 h 35 m - that's fanfiction which I love reading FYI), Google Maps (1 h 13 m), Facebook (43 m)
Pickups: 43 per day
Notifications: around 56 per day (or 389 weekly total)
If you're wondering, Americans check their phones about 47 times a day so my number there is fairly average and they spend more than 4 hours a day on their phones so mine is definitely less than that although I'm sure it used to be closer to that number of 4 hours in the past.
Anyhoo, based on those numbers, I am supposed to reflect on the following questions:
What do you love about your phone? What don't you love about your phone
I love that my phone helps me communicate with long-distance loved ones and stay connected. I love the ease of being able to look up information when needed. I don't like the fact that I feel the need to constantly scroll through it when I'm waiting in line or when I'm bored or the need to respond to people right away or feel the need for a response right away. And I think sometimes I struggle to be present in the moment with other people because of my phone (not as bad as I used to be but still).
What changes do you notice in yourself - positive or negative - when you spend a lot of time on your phone?
When I spend a lot of time, I often think it'll be more relaxing or that it's necessary but it's often kind of disappointing or anticlimactic and I realize I didn't need to check that or respond to that right away. The only time I think I enjoy spending a lot of time on it is when I'm actually chatting with a friend either on the phone, Facetime, or text.
At the end of the breakup, what would you like your new relationship with your phone to look like? What would you have liked to accomplish with your extra time? What would you like someone to say if you asked them to describe how you'd changed? Write your future self a brief note or e-mail describing what success would look, and/or congratulating yourself for achieving it.
Dear Future Self,
Congrats! You did it! You officially have a much healthier relationship with your phone. Your phone is now used as it is meant to be used: as a tool not a crutch. In your extra time, you have spent more time doing things you know you love that energize you: walks or runs along the bay or canyon, prayer, reading a book or magazine, or maybe finally taking time to practice your Spanish or do something else you've been eager to do or learn. You no longer feel the need to check it while you're waiting for your food at a restaurant or in line for something and have used the waiting time to just let your mind naturally wander or practice patience or just send up a quick prayer.
Your family and friends have noticed you seem more centered and focused and less burdened and anxious. You tell them it's because you've learned to become more mindful and appreciate the beauty of God's creation around you either in nature or in the people you interact with on a daily basis.
And, now that you've set up some healthy boundaries and exercised some self-restraint and control, you know that you can do it and what a healthier relationship looks like so that...if you ever find yourself slipping up again...you can remind yourself and go back to those good habits.
Your Current Self
--> ANYHOO, I'm going to keep track of my progress through my channel as I work through some of the questions in the book and the plan overall. Here's to a good breakup! ;)