In today’s day and age it is easy to get sucked into the black hole of the digital world. In fact I know all too well about the addictive nature of checking my iPhone and I recently came to terms with the fact that my iPhone usage was out of control. I realized that at any slightly free moment throughout the day I would have the urge to check my phone.
This meant checking my phone while standing in line, stopped at red light (luckily not while driving, but there may be some of you out there, just sayin!), while eating, while working out and sadly to admit on occasion when a little one has been wanting to tell me something or show me something.
I’ll tell ya that last one is hard to admit, but it’s true, and I know many of you can relate. No one wants to look back and feel regret and remorse because their iPhone took precedence over experiencing magical moments with their child.
So, as adults we need to model positive technology habits for our children. If we are on our phones and tablets all the time, then guess what? they will be too.
What the issue really comes down to, is being able to set appropriate boundaries with ourselves. Even as adults we can veer off our intended path and lose sight of our own personal boundaries, values and expectations. By being positive role models and setting limitations on our own technology usage, we then encourage that same behavior in our kids.
This is an opportunity for us to take a look in the mirror and ask, “Am I showing up as the type of parent, caretaker, nurturer, role-model that I want to be for my child?”.
I have a feeling that for many of you the answer to this question might bring up some negative feelings. Possibly regret, guilt, anger, shame, etc? Make sure to acknowledge your feelings and realize that negative feelings actually have a positive intention. This intention is to call your attention to areas of your life that you need to change. Who would have thought? Negative feelings and emotions actually have a VERY useful purpose!
So, the next step is to take inspired action to create change and I’m going to give you the tools to do just that!
(On a side note, some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have a problem, my technology usage is totally under control”. If this is you, please take a look at this informative video to give you some real insight into the stats on our phone usage. Sneak peek – Over a lifetime you will spend on average about 4 years on your phone! Shocking I know!)
Now, let’s get to the good stuff! These 5 apps will help you let go of those negative emotions by helping you to set up appropriate boundaries with your devices so you can pass down healthy technology habits to your little ones!
1. Moment – Helps you track how much you use your iPhone and iPad. You can set daily limits and be notified when you go over your limit. You can also set up the app to force you off of your phone once you are over your limit and you can track your family’s usage right from you own iPhone. This comes in handy to for device-free dinner times! (This is the app I’m currently using. It is eye opening when you see how much time you spend on your phone!)
2. Checky – Free, simple app that will give you the stats on how many times a day you check your phone.
3. QualityTime – (For Android Users) This app is amazing because it tracks your phone usage based on where you are spending your time. For instance, it tells you how much time you spend on individual apps and how many times you checked your phone. This is a great feature as it gives you more accurate data to then make adjustments accordingly.
4. BreakFree -(For Android Users) Another great app! This app is very similar to QualityTime but in addition to tracking your individual usage you get an, “addiction score”. Then you get tailored messages and lists of achievements to help you stay motivated in cutting down your usage.
If like me, you are ready to make a change and you are committed to the process leave your pledge or goal to cut your phone usage and create more quality time in comments below!
I Leanna Long, commit to cutting my phone usage to 75 minutes per day. I will only check my phone only 3 times a day. I will not use my phone in front of others, especially children. Lastly, I will not fill up my more than needed in between moments in life by looking at my phone.
I wish you all success!