7 Positive Changes You Can Make in Your Phone Use Habits

Lorie Kleiner Eckert

By Lorie Kleiner Eckert | Jan 29th, 2019

I remember when email was new. I had to write myself a note to check it twice a week. Currently, this is my routine: I wake up, pick up my iPhone, take it to the bathroom with me where I check email, then Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If I need to sit there a bit longer, I may go around the EFITL circuit again to see if anything changed even though I know that’s ridiculous. Every time I pick up the phone for any reason – to answer a text, to answer a phone call, to put an event on my calendar, etc. I am tempted to check the EFITL circuit. I know this is crazy and I think it is emotionally harmful as well.

According to an article on Pocket-Lint from September 2018, the folks behind my iPhone are worried about this too. In 2017, to absolve themselves of responsibility for those who choose to drive and text, they instituted a Do Not Disturb feature while you are driving. In 2018 they introduced Apple Screen Time as they looked “to address growing concerns around increasing device usage, smartphone addiction, and social media impacting on mental health.”

Apple Screen Time tells you how many hours a week you on are your device. Last week my results were as follows: 8 hours and 10 minutes were spent on social networking, 1 hour and 50 minutes in reading and reference, and 2 hours and 17 minutes in productivity. For someone who is always stressed about needing an extra hour in the day (see my recent blog on having too much to do), I just found an entire work day! All I need to do is curb my use of social media.

Beyond being a huge time suck, there are other ways that social media can be emotionally harmful.

There are other aspects of the Internet and device usage that can lead to depression:

In today’s world, the use of electronics is mandatory. Beyond phone calls, email, and text messages, I use it repeatedly to check everything from the weather to the correct spelling of words. So I can’t give it up completely, but I can take steps to control my usage. Here is what I am thinking:

I often say that once I know I have a problem, I can solve it. I truthfully did not know I had one until Apple Screen Time proved it. I am lucky that my bad habits did not turn into an addiction and that this list of changes – though lengthy – is actually doable with the help of one magic ingredient: I have to pay attention to my choices!

Lorie Kleiner Eckert

Lorie Kleiner Eckert

Lorie Kleiner Eckert thinks of herself as a cheerleader with the message: Life is difficult, but you can do it! Her new book, Love, Loss, and Moving On is available on Amazon.


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