Who’s the Boss? You or Your Smartphone?

If you’re reading this, you are on some kind of device- a phone, a computer, an iPad, a tablet… or some other newfangled thing that I haven’t heard of yet. And, as someone who uses technology to spread my message and build my business, I am grateful you are powered up and/or plugged in and chose to read my article. So, thank you.

But, at the same time, I am worried about you. I’m worried about all of us, really. With all of the time we spend clicking, surfing, commenting, “liking” and posting are we missing out on living our best lives? Are we letting text messages, Facebook notifications and Candy Crush be the boss of us? I know that there have been times when my iPhone has absolutely been the boss of me- dictating my mood and where I put my attention. Does this sound a little too familiar?

While it may not be realistic for most of us to live completely off of the grid, I believe it is important (and possible) to practice moderation when it comes to technology. We need to be the boss of our gadgets, not at the mercy of their dings, notifications and “likes.”

Here are 3 tips help you be the boss of your technology:

1. Facebook is not for breakfast.

Many of us have begun to use our phones as our alarm clocks. So, the very first interaction we have for the day is with a gadget full of potential stressors. Isn’t it easy to start looking at our email or to just scroll through Facebook a little bit while we’re waking up? Before we know it, we are down the rabbit hole of feel stressed about work emails or we’re convinced that every single person we know is happier, thinner and more in love than we can ever hope to be. And this is all in the first hour of our day!

How do you think your day would go if you approached the first 30- minutes or hour of your day differently? What if you read something inspiring or motivational, or maybe even jotted down some of your goals and intentions for the day. Or, (gasp!) enjoyed some silence while sipping your coffee. Being mindful of how you start the day will help you be the best boss of you all day long.

2. Make a list of (non-clickable) activities you enjoy.

Turning to gadgets and technology has become such a norm in our lives, that we may have truly forgotten all of the other interesting ways that we could spend our time. Make a list of all of the things you’ve said you’d like to do “when you have the time.” Have you wanted to learn how to play the guitar? Do you want to actually read some of those books piled up near the nightstand? Perhaps you want to make time to see your friends... Take time to remember those things that are of interest to you that can’t be experienced by simply clicking a link. Then, put your phone down and go out and do them.

3. Schedule a technology time-out.

It’s impossible to know just how addicted we are to something until we try to go without it. Challenge yourself to a technology time- out. This could be the first hour of the morning, the dinner hour, an entire weekend… only you know what would truly be a challenge for you. Notice what thoughts and feelings come up for you. Do you feel lonely? Bored? Or, maybe you feel more connected and relaxed. Be curious about the reaction you have to unplugging from technology. And, if you are feeling lonely and bored, try referring to the handy list of activities that you created under tip #2 (or to this blog I wrote about my struggles with silence).

Just like other bad habits, developing a healthy relationship with technology will take effort and may not feel comfortable at first. Start with small, manageable goals for unplugging. You may find that once you get a taste of it, you’ll want more freedom from your devices. But, whether it’s for one hour or one week, it’s important that you are the boss. You get to decide how and when you engage with technology, it does not own you.


About the Author

Amanda is a trained Life Coach and holds a Masters degree in Counseling. As a recovering risk-avoiding scaredy cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. She has spent hundreds of hours helping women create lives that are congruent with their deepest values and dreams and her writing has been featured in several on-line journals. To learn more about working with Amanda visit www.lifecoachamanda.com.