Adam Dachis asks: “How can I stop using my phone all the time and actually connect with people in the real world?”

I think many of us can identify with this question. If it’s not a problem for us, it probably is for our kids. If it is a problem for us, our bad example will soon make it a problem for our kids.

Apparently the most common accident for an iPhone is for men to drop it down the toilet! Which says a lot!!

This can be a real addiction. Scientists have detected that every time an email arrives, or we get an RT, or a Facebook like, our bodies inject a tiny squirt of pleasure chemical (it’s like a mini crack-cocaine hit). So every buzz or beep notification creates a craving in our bodies for the squirt-hit.

How to break the addiction? Adam’s strategies include:

  • No phone usage at social events unless you really need to call someone or you’re looking up information as a group activity ,
  • No answering calls or text messages on a date unless you’re expecting an emergency call or the calls will not stop coming.
  • You can only use the phone at stoplights, and only to check directions or change music.
  • No smartphone usage during short-term interactions (e.g. checking out at the grocery store).
  • Turn off alerts for most apps
  • Lock your phone with a long password

Lots of families use a phone basket where everyone’s phones have to be placed during mealtimes with no access exceptions, no matter if the pile is beeping and buzzing like a Nasa rocket.

Also, how about switching on airplane mode one hour before bed and not switching it back until after you’ve prayed and read the Bible each morning.

Another approach is to set a rule that for every time you check email, etc., the next time you feel the urge, try to pray for someone. That will cut phone use by 50% and significantly increase the number of people you pray for every day.

What other strategies have you found helpful?

Read the rest of Adam’s post here.

  • Kim Shay

    I always have my phone set to silent, except for text messages from my children or incoming phone calls. I can see the light flashing, but I don’t hear it. When I’m working on something, I put my phone up on a shelf so I can’t see the light flashing. My daughter, who is a student, allows herself 30 minutes every morning to have her phone notifications on, and then she sets it to be silent except for incoming calls. We ask our children to put their phones out of their pockets at mealtimes. One of the more common problems I have seen lately is when the young people are checking Twitter or Facebook in church prior to the service beginning. We actually had our youth pastor tweeting during the youth group lesson, which I thought wasn’t entirely a good thing.

  • David Murray

    I like these ideas, Kim, My teenage son is going to love you (not) by 5pm tonight!!

  • Bob Wiegers

    knowing my weakness (as well as other factors), the best strategy for me is to not have a phone. I’m sure that’s not realistic for many, but it is certainly worth considering. admittedly, it feeds my pride, so there is danger here too.

    • David Murray

      Tempting solution!

  • Nancy Guthrie

    I felt the pangs of withdrawal when I lost my blackberry yesterday for about an hour. It makes complete sense to me that our bodies give us a hit of pleasure when we see we have a message. Sometimes I have found myself feeling disappointed that no message has come for a while and it has made me ask, why do i feel that way? I think, like so many other sins, it stems from pride. Someone wanting to communicate something to me, needing something from me, feeds my seemingly insatiable need to be made to feel important. This reveals that I really don’t believe my identity and significance and joy comes from Christ alone, but I really hope to get that from being important to, and needed by other people.

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  • Richard

    Now that is a disturbing picture (but a real problem).

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  • Annette

    I like the basket idea. Next time my 16 yr old brother comes for dinner I shall offer him a “special” basket for his precious phone. Should increase the frequency of actual eye contact :)

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  • Jecssia Watson

    Definitely the points are so well informative and useful for us.Which save from unnecessary using and interference of data exchange,of course it makes us helpful and safety for use of I iphone.

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