Before I begin writing about Phone-Life Balance, let me take you to early 90’s! How was a typical childhood or adulthood? Here are quick 10 things that I could remember while writing this down:
1. At evening, crying in front of mummy to let us go play.
2. When mummy calls home, asking for 5 more mins.
3. Watching cartoons.
4. Finding new games to play in that big ground.
5. Waiting for that Sat night for a new movie on TV.
6. Whistling to call that friend of yours from the ground floor.
7. Giving missed calls to on your crush’s landline [without caller ID].
8. Would rush to the ringing phone & be excited about who would be there on the other side.
9. Would fight with friends & again patch-up.
10. Family Get-to-gather [you might feel boring before you reach, but after that, it’s awesome]
But what has happened today?
Why we keep checking our phones in every few minutes.
Why is it we see it first thing in the morning?
Unarguable phones have become an extension to ourselves. Today most of us have become a #PhoneAddict. Don’t you agree? I bet, you would be reading this on your phone. Do you remember when ‘Pokemon Go’ came there were several casualties because of the nature of the game? Selfie Deaths, another consequence of Phone-Addiction. Kiki Challenge and many more.
But its also true that they are cutting into our me-time, be it personal or professional.
FACT CHECK: As of 2017, as per International Telecommunications Union, India is the second largest mobile consumer. India has 390 M users (which is 30% of total population). Check it out here.
According to a recent study by Motorola on Phone-Life Balance, these were some shocking stats:
33% – prioritize smartphone over engaging with people they care about and want to spend time with them.
53% – describe smartphones as their best friends
61% – Agree that they want to get the most out of their phone when they are on it, and the most out of life when they are not.
60% – believe it’s important to have a life separate from their phones.
(a sarcastic) WOW!!
What is Phone-Life Balance?
Phone-life balance is the balanced usage of smartphones as opposed to ‘ME-TIME’. More focus on life is expected, but the contrary case is not acceptable. Too much use of smartphones has bad effects on you. Thus, one must maintain a health phone-life balance, especially phone-addicts.
Before we get into the balancing act, let’s take a look at the broader category of phone-addicts:
1. Business/Work Addicts – Checking Corporate WhatsApp group for work, Emails, etc during non-working hours.
2. Social Media Addicts – Checking FB, WhatsApp, Insta, Snapchat for “CONNECTING” to the world.
3. Gamers – PUBG, needless to say, more.
4. Content Addicts – NETFLIX, Prime Videos etc against Theatre, TV etc.
5. Mix-n-match of above. – This is the worst kind!
So, how to here we will talk about how to maintain phone-life balance?
22 ways to maintain Phone-life balance
Listed below are the 22 ways to maintain health phone-life balance. They are in no particular order & related to a specific category.
1: Avoid work-related phone usage out of non-working hours. OR at least set priority on Calls, Emails & Messages. You can ignore messages & emails till the next working day. If it is important then other person will call you. This way you only attend URGENT & Important things. While others wait till the next working day.
2: During non-working hours -Do not instruct any work to a co-worker over messages, keep it on email & take it upon a call, only if it’s important and urgent. Do not expect a quick response on email during non-working hours.
3: Break the trend of Office Whats App Group. It’s not required at all.
4. Use your phone only after you take the morning bath, or set any morning activity only after which you can use the phone. Be smart, don’t choose something that you do immediately. That activity should be 1/2 hour after you get up.
5: Don’t follow useless people from social media.
6: Cut-out online chatting.
A: With someone you know: That friend of yours is just a phone call away, call him/her up and avoid chatting with them. You will end up bitching about someone common. Limit it, if they are remote.
B: With someone, you don’t know: Would you have talked to a stranger in the park, mall, etc. Most of the girls hate talking to unknown people on roads, then why online. You think its safe? Think again. Most of the boys would love to talk to stranger girls. But, what would you do to a random guy coming and talking to your sister? So STOP TALKING TO STRANGER be it a girl or a boy.
7: Showing your personal lives online:
Why do you want to show that new dish you made to the world? Shall I tell the world about travelling for a holiday? WHY?. The people near you will know it, the ones who are away doesn’t even care to know. Post optimum statues. Avoid doing it in excess.
8: STOP taking phones to washrooms, its meant for something else.
9: Limit gaming screen time. Not more than 20 mins & more than 50 mins a day.
10. Limit your series watching to 1ep or 60 mins per day.
11. Clicking photos are for your own memory, not for your followers. Limit Instagram post to 1-2 a day, make sure it is best for that day.
12: Internet Surfing: [Fun Fact: I once had this in my CV as a hobby]. Surfing anything without motive is utterly useless. Do not search for things because you are on Google or Safari & there aren’t any messages or emails to read.
13: LESSON: Every social media platform is earning by your usage of their app/ service. For every FB update, Insta post etc., they are earning few cents. Multiply these cents by their daily active user base. It will be millions.
14: While sitting with parents, spouse & kids avoid using phones, STOP CASUAL CHECKING! Attend important calls only.
15: Do not compensate your sleep time to mobile.
16: Make a holiday plan with family without the phone on tour.
17: DISCONNECT with your phone. CONNECT with loved ones more.
18: Discourage use of phones at inappropriate times to others. Pay special attention to children’s.
19: Use Apps which tracks phone usage.
20: By mistake ‘Forget’ your phone for one day.
21: Engage more in field games like cricket, football etc. Avoid TEMPLE RUN, CANDY CRUSH, PUB-G etc.
22: Spend time with people who matter the most. The others (online) hardly meet.
When a smartphone stops enhancing our lives and diverts our focus from people & the activities we value, it is a misuse. Get into the habit of disconnecting yourself from phone quite often. Always keep a check on yourself and work on that Phone-Life balance.