Lesson 19: Get off your cell phone

Technology is addictive.  You can say it isn’t all you want.  The only person you are lying to and fooling is yourself, which is another problem entirely.  It is also among the biggest distractions that can greatly hinder your relationship.  Every moment you spend on your phone is a moment that is not being spent with the person or people you care about most.  

That little dopamine hit you get when your phone goes off, whether it is someone sending you a text message or getting a like on something you posted on your Facebook or Instagram page or engaging in battle on Clash of Clans, will fade quickly.  You will probably jump on again shortly after to get another hit.  You keep doing it, but you are missing what it will likely cost in the long run.  Experiencing life.  Real physical and emotional connections with others.

How many times have you gone somewhere with someone and they spent enough time on their phone for you to notice?  You decided to go on a day trip somewhere really special.  Maybe it was the beach.  Maybe it was for a hike by a beautiful river or lake.  Maybe it was to go take a tour of a really cool castle.  It is understandable that you want to take pictures to commemorate the wonderful time you had there.  I even encourage that.  Try to minimize phone usage.  You aren’t fooling anyone and you are missing the moments that matter.  Spend too much time taking pictures in an effort to capture the memory and you will miss out on the actual making of the experience.

This goes for meals as well.  Put the phone away.  I understand that emergencies happen, but that is no reason that you can’t set your phones out of reach.  If it goes off, minimize contact.  Better yet, tell people in your life about specific times you will not be interacting with your phone.  During meals, work, sleep, etc.  That way, if they call, you know it is likely urgent.  Phones are great tools, but like all great tools, there are times and places that they are not appropriate or even helpful.  Pay less attention to the phone and more to the people around you.  I assure you, they are worth so much more than whatever is on your device.

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