Being a stay-at-home mom, I’ve realized, succumbs one to a few particular temptations. Mom-vices. Mommyhood addictions.
Chocolate, for one.
Silently unwrapped in some clandestine closet or kitchen nook, confiscated from a trick-or-treat bag, or secretly hoarded in the back-side of a pantry (even from a Husband! the shame!), chocolate is the Universal Mom Treat, I believe. Yes, I’m addicted to chocolate, and I know I’m not alone.
Also, I am a recovering iPhone addict. And I know I’m not alone here either.
I went viral with my “The iPhone is Ruining Your Summer” post, even getting reprinted at The Huffington Post. Moms will email me frequently, telling me how they agree, and want to be different.
Well this summer I started getting really desperate to get rid of this addiction in my life. I was sick of feeling tethered to the stupid thing, at the park, in the backyard, in the playroom.
I hated that it was the first thing I did in the morning, and at night.
I loathed the feelings of being sucked back in and back in and back in on those very long afternoons of Motherhood.
Plus I felt guilty promising you guys I was going to get better. I was starting to feel like The World’s Biggest Hypocrite, resolving every other month to kick the iPhone habit…and then not. I actually remember a few times sincerely praying to God: “I want to change – but I need your help. This is bigger than me.”
I am here to tell you that Praise. The. Lord. I am not addicted to my phone anymore.
And I will tell you how! Like any other addiction you can’t wish it away or suddenly drum up the willpower to resist. It takes specific steps. Safeguards, if you don’t mind a boring old word. If you’re really and truly D.O.N.E. with the distraction of technology in your life and if you desire freedom in this area here is what worked for me.
- Disable push notifications for everything. This was the first thing to go for me. No instant email alerts, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest (who cares if so-and-so repinned me anyway??). I get texts immediately, and I also get severe weather alerts. Which you all should do. Because, TORNADOES!
- Anyway. The second step I took is eliminating social media apps (with the exception of one which I will explain later). Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter – all of these you can access on your computer, so no need to make it easier to do at a stoplight, right? It can wait. Now, if you’re like me, you will sneakily figure out that you can actually access these sites via your Safari browser on your phone. Hmmm. This requires a separate step, below.
- Make it really annoying to use your phone’s browser. There are two ways to do this. First, you can use your phone’s settings to block sites. Here are instructions. Instead of blocking just a few (Facebook, Pinterest, gmail) I actually blocked all sites. That was actually an accident at first, 🙂 but then I was thankful. Now, you CAN actually bypass this by entering a password, but it made it annoying to browse around and keep entering passwords, so I was less inclined to do it. This isn’t a perfect fix, because, as I said, you can enter a password if you’re really needing a “Facebook fix.” Honestly, I have not done this. I just am not on my Safari so it’s kind of blocked out of my mind. But the second step, if you want even more restrictions, is to try the Zero Willpower app. I have not used it, but apparently it blocks sites either completely or for certain time slots.
- And finally, I elected to keep Instagram but use discretion. I love Instagram. But with Instagram you must upload photos from your phone to use the account. I chose to keep it, because I have close friends and family who enjoy interacting with me and seeing my kids. But – I choose to only follow a small number of people. Just close friends, a few select famous people that I’m pretty sure would be my friends, like Joanna Gaines and The Pioneer Woman. Keeping my circle small. This ensures it doesn’t hold the same captivating qualities – once I have checked it, it’s just not worth checking again for a good while. I went through an extensive “de-following” stage which I described here to ensure that Instagram is a happy place for me. Plus by its very make-up I don’t find it as draining or something? It’s prettier 🙂
Have you tried any of these? What tips would you offer to someone who wants to become free from the iPhone?
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