There is no question that smartphone has changed the way how we live. For most part, it has enhanced the quality of our life dramatically.
But, the question we all should ask ourselves is that are we smart in how and when we are using our smartphones?
Let us not mistake information for knowledge. Just because we have all the information right at our fingertips doesn’t mean our knowledge has improvement.
The following 5 points will help you to get your thinking going in the right direction. Take some time to reflect and see whether you are using these devices smartly.
I’m still learning and make some of these mistakes. But, I’ve taken a conscious effort to make sure that my smartphone is not controlling my life.
1. Not Connecting with Friends, Family and Life
When you are with your friends and family, be fully present. Is watching news, or checking emails more important than having a nice conversation with someone by paying full attention and being fully present with them?
When you are playing with your kids in the park, or at home, enjoy every moment. Do they really feel that they are getting your full attention and love? What will happen if you put the phone down, and give your full attention to them and play with them?
Do you have to keep taking pictures of every moment of life on your phone? There is nothing wrong it taking pictures to capture the magic moments. But, don’t always live in the future by constantly taking picture to look at later. Instead just enjoy the present moment of and experience it fully.
When we are waiting for something, irrespective of where we are, can we just quietly absorb the environment, start a friendly conversation with someone, or just smile.
While texting is helpful in certain situations, don’t live your life constantly texting or sending IM messages on your phone. What will happen instead of sending several text/IM messages to the same person, you just call them and have a quick conversation? Will you feel more connected when you interact with them over digital messages, or interact with them directly and hear their voice?
2. Putting Yourself and Others in Danger
When you are driving, just drive. You’ve seen that many people when they are driving, their focus is not on the road, they are constantly looking at the smartphone checking their emails. Don’t fall into this trap yourself. Whatever that is on the smartphone that you want to check can wait until you reach your destination. Just focus on the road, and don’t put yourself and others in danger.
When you are walking, just walk. Sometimes it feels like lot of mindless zombies are walking around the street fiddling on their cellphone. The problem is that they are putting themselves in danger, when they don’t pay attention to what is happening around them.
3. Not Being Productive
When you are working, just work. Focus on what you are doing, and get it done.
When you are in a meeting, are you fully engaged in making sure the outcome of the meeting is met? Most meeting conducted by many companies are pretty much useless and a productivity drain. Except the one who is talking, probably most of people in a meeting are on their computer, or smartphone.
Do you have only the essential apps in your smartphone that will absolutely enhance your life if you use it? Or, do you have countless apps on your smartphone that will just consume your time, if you even open them? How much time do you spend playing Angry Bird?
4. Getting Addicted
The urge to constantly be on your smartphone is pretty much the same urge as smoking, or excessive drinking, or any other addition.
During a conversation, when someone asks a casual question, do you feel compelled to search the internet immediately on your phone to give an exact answer to that question? While you might not realize it, this is also a form of addiction.
If you are a sports fan, is it important to track every single game in your favorite sports that is happening every minute from your phone? What will happen if you decide not to follow the scores on your phone?
Do we need to know everything that is happening around the world immediately after it happens? What will happen if you choose not to follow the news on your smartphone? Are you addicted to news?
5. Not Taking Care of Yourself
When you are by yourself, give some space to yourself to appreciate life, to be grateful for everything you have. You don’t need to be constantly on smartphone, or on tablet, or on laptop and bombard yourself with information.
Immediately after you wake-up, do you really need to pick-up your phone and check for emails, or news? If you didn’t do that, how else could you be starting your beautiful day?
When you are relaxing, just relax. During your downtime when you are taking rest, if possible, try not to carry all your gadgets with you. Have you tried spending some extended period of time without your cellphone? Is it possible for you to take rest, or enjoy your vacation, or any other relaxing activity for one full day without carrying your phone?
Finally, be honest to yourself and find out the answer to this question: Is your phone controlling every moment of your life? Or, are you in full control of how to use, when to use, and where to use your phone?