Think When You Reach for Your Phone

Here’s a shocking statistic: Average Americans check their cell phone 344 times per day. About once every four minutes.

That statistic comes from a survey by reviews.org. I tried to find information that disproved it, and I couldn’t.

Our addiction to picking up the phone is scary and mindless. Christian mindfulness offers us an opportunity to approach our cell phones with curiosity. And to slow down the obsessive behavior.

Here’s a two-step practice that can help:

  1. Catch yourself when you pick up your phone casually.
  2. Ask yourself: “Why did I pick up the phone?” Are you bored? Are you worried? Is your job (or a person at your job, like your boss) getting to you?
  3. Pray about that condition. If you are truly bored, find a way to be a force for good at work and at home? Are you at work all the time now? Is that what God wants?

Once you start to think each time you pick up your phone, you will find yourself reducing the pattern. It’s addictive behavior, which is never good.

You also can make some guidelines for yourself about your phone usage. Here are some ideas:

  • Create specific ringtones for key people in your family and at work so you only react to texts from them.
  • Set a specific time to check the phone for emails and other texts.
  • Reduce or eliminate notifications for other things.
  • Use the do-not-disturb feature. (You can make exceptions for key people, such as a kid in college or an elderly parent.)
  • Turn your smart phone into a dumb phone by eliminating most apps.

Take a moment to think about why you pick up your phone. It can improve your life.

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