Cell phones have been banned from our living room as of 1/27/17.
After having a complete shit day including doctors appointments, running late, canceling a brunch, being made to feel like a drug addict/dealer/all around bad person and an escalating diaper rash I’d had enough on 1/27 and lost it.
I got Julian to bed and crawled into my bed to bawl my eyes out, which trust me, is not something I typically do.
After getting it out of my system I went downstairs to be with my husband and after about 5-10 minutes of talking we both ended up on our goddamned phones. I intended to have this conversation with him where we talked through the day, we worked through the things that were upsetting me and then we would snuggle on the couch and maybe watch a little something on Netflix before calling it a day.
But literally our phones took that from us within minutes. Within minutes I felt alone, disconnected and crappy again! I realized that I own my cell phone, not the other way around so Justin and I talked and we both acknowledged the iPhones in the room and we agreed to a phone ban.
The ban has also been extended to iPads and Kindles, unless you clear it with the other, so yesterday we were dying to know who an actor in a show was so I asked Justin if he’d mind if I looked it up, he didn’t mind and once we had the info I put my phone away. I was doing yoga in the living room and Justin wanted to read on his Kindle so he asked if that was ok with me and I agreed.
It’s still kind of weird, and honestly my hands don’t know what to do sometimes, they grasp for things because they’re so used to the phone but I know in time that will go away and I know it’s for the better because not only do Justin and I feel more connected but I realized we’re setting a way better example for our kiddo, which feels good too.
So, if you want to reclaim your life or living room from your cell phone I’d recommend the following steps:
- Acknowledge the phone problem with your entire family, bring your kids, spouse, dog, hamster, anyone who is affected.
- Have a conversation, ask them how it makes them feel when you’re on your phone while watching a movie. This will get the conversation flowing.
- Ask if they’d like to banish cell phones to the kitchen, dining room, mud room, bedroom, wherever.
- Set some ground rules. Are you allowed to read on your Kindle? If you’re dying to know the name of that one actor in that show can one of you agree to look it up? After 9pm are cell phones allowed? Can you have your cell phone out to help with homework or bills? Do you designate a time for social media?
- Know now that it’s going to take some adjustment, and know that you’re going to have to call people out because they’re going to forget, but do it playfully because you’re going to mess up too.
Being on your phone doesn’t seem like a big deal but once I told Justin how alone it made me feel, he admitted he felt the same way when I was on my phone and we realized just how big an impact our phones had. We’re still reclaiming our phone freedom but so far it’s been great and I’d like to encourage you to be cognizant of your phone time.
Remember, you own your phone, not the other way around.