It seems many these days have a love/hate relationship with technology. I count myself among those who feel this way. We now have tools to accomplish so much, to stay virtually connected around the clock.
But just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should. Technology is an excellent servant and a bad master.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, coined the phrase "the cubicle in your pocket." It's so fitting, don't you think? Never before have we carried our work around with us all. the. time.
Here's how I manage my iPhone so that it serves me instead of the other way around:
* proximity - I keep my phone upstairs most days, unless we're going out. This way I have to really make an effort to go "check in."
* turn email off - Everyone has their technological weak point--mine is email. I like having email on my phone for times when I'm away from home or out of town--it comes in handy then. But that's different from checking in multiple times each day. Usually when I would check email I didn't actually have time to respond to emails--so why not wait?
I turned my email accounts off under settings in my phone. I can still go in and turn them back on if needed, but it provides me with a few seconds pause before I do--just enough time to keep my boundaries in place.
* turn off notifications - You don't have to have banners floating on your home screen letting you know someone mentioned you on Facebook. Under settings you can turn these off as well. I like having Facebook on my phone for a private group I'm a part of, but this way I can check it on my own terms--without it constantly "calling" to me.
* consider deleting apps - Having Facebook or Twitter on your phone is optional, not required. For me, Twitter is not my favorite place to hang out so it doesn't tempt me often. At one point I deleted Facebook, but I've since found that turning off the banner notifications helped me most.
The most important question to ask yourself is "what do I really need this technological tool to do for me?"
Most people never ask the question, so they use technology by default--unintentionally. Remember our little ones will take their examples from us.
* Do you ever think about breaking up with your iPhone? @ beauty that moves (and Heather's follow-up post)
* Detox @ Nish Happens
"Men have become the tools of their tools."
~ Henry David Thoreau