Time to ‘fess up… have you ever used your smart phone on the loo?
I’ll admit I was one of many sheepish people who put their hands up when Laura, from Shine Offline, asked the question a second time. Yes, I’m guilty of the occasional social scroll whilst also answering the call of nature.
How on earth did we get here? Attending ‘How to have a happy and healthy relationship with your technology’ by Shine Offline (in partnership with Action for Happiness), Laura explained some of the factors that have contributed to us being‘ switched on’ 24/7; the speed and growth of technology from the mid 90’s with no usage guidelines and ‘Nomophobia’.
What is Nomophobia?
‘Nomophobia‘ as in ‘No-Mobile-Phobia‘ is actually a thing; the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use it.
We’ve all been there… you forget your phone and feel like you’ve had a limb surgically removed. Even though you know it’s at home, it doesn’t stop you reaching for it ALL THE TIME to check notifications, see what the weather’s doing, add a ‘to-do’ (and there’s a pleasing sense that you’ll have lots of missed calls and messages to wade through when reunited, when in reality you get home and… )
How technology impacts our health and wellbeing…
Left unchecked, how we use our tech has a massive impact on how we feel at work and home. Increasingly distracted, feeling overwhelmed and always plugged in, not having enough down time reduces our creativity and the habit of ‘continuous partial attention’ can put strain on, if not ruin relationships.
If you’re verging on iPhone addiction, check out ‘Six simple ways to improve your relationship with your smartphone‘ and to break that smartphone obsession, ‘5 best apps for managing smartphone addiction‘.
What I learnt from ‘Shine Offline’
HEAPS. The session beautifully balanced the value and role of digital technology in our lives and how by making simple choices to use it more mindfully (vs. not at all) we can have a better experience, setting a ‘shining‘ example to those around us.
It was clear from the outset that Light Mind shares similar values; enabling people to reconnect with themselves and others to feel better, there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ and lasting change takes regular practice.
- The average iPhone user makes TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN actions a day on their phone
- 80% of managers are effectively cancelling out their annual leave if consider the time spent ‘online’ when away from the office in evenings / weekends
What I particularly enjoyed…
- We played a version of the ‘Generation Game’ conveyor belt to emphasise the impact and reality of attention deficiency and the risk of extinction of life skills such as navigating with a compass and letter writing
- This 30 second mirror on the reality we find ourselves in with how we use our devices… “Really?!” Hands up who’s guilty?
What I’m going to do differently…
- Notifications for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are OFF so I now go into those apps on ‘my terms’ (which is still way more than I’d like but practice makes progress…)
- Two no phone zones… the bedroom at night – although my alarm clock is an old iPhone with no SIM, it hasn’t stopped me leaving my active phone downstairs on charge, so a renewed commitment to that one. And finishing as I started… the ceramic throne is now a definite NO PHONE ZONE!