No, phone humping is not a legitimate term, but it should be! (credit to my old Chem lab partner) Before my current job that has a zero cell phone policy, I was a complete addict like most people. I convinced myself that it was because I liked the fact that if someone needed to contact me, I was ready to respond. Turns out that’s not so important 99% of the time. A few things changed in my life after making this transaction… both good and bad. Here’s my personal experience with breaking ties to my phone:
- Increased Productivity all around. I didn’t find enjoyment in my phone so I stopped using it as my ‘breaktime treat’ or a way to waste time.
- Less scatterbrained (after a couple of weeks). This was and still is a huge problem for me. Turns out you don’t forget what you’re doing every five seconds if you’re not focused on something else!
- I was far more focused on tasks directly in front of me.
- My conversations with people were less abrupt, I actually had substance to face-to-face confrontations.
- My battery lasts longer!
- Not getting a bunch of texts to wake up to can be sad sometimes, but boo-hoo.
- Sometimes there was nothing of actual substance to waste time on so I would just be constantly bored no matter if I was on my phone or not once I wasn’t so lavish about it.
- I lose my phone a lot more.
My original realization to my phone addiction started with getting hired at my new job. At every other establishment, I had been able to keep my phone on me because as a manager I was constantly in touch with people. So long as I wasn’t caught on it every five seconds, I was fine. My current job does not tolerate phones even being on your person. It stays in the break room, on silent or off. You are only allowed to check it if you are expecting an important call or ordering food in advance for your break. At first this sucked, mainly because my main addiction is taking pictures. I would see a cute animal and reach to take a picture, only to realize my phone wasn’t there.
For a while I kind of felt like I was always missing something. You know those days where you forget your purse but you have your debit card so you keep it in your pocket and keep checking every 2 seconds to make sure it’s there because it’s not where it normally is, or it shifted? Yeah. Eventually the feeling went away, but it took a while to be okay with the fact I didn’t have my safety net. When I realized that not having my phone was one of the reasons for a small bit of anxiety, I decided to change how badly I needed my phone.
The first step was having a cutoff time for when I would have my phone on me. Considering between my two jobs that I don’t get home until midnight, I made it a goal to just put it on the charger and go on my laptop if I had to as soon as I walked through the door. Make sure it wasn’t the first thing I did when I walked through the door.
The second step was making sure there wasn’t enough to do on my phone. I removed all mindless games, pointless stupid apps, and most social media. I kept just enough to keep me entertained in case I ever seriously had nothing to do, my bank apps, messenger and Spotify.
The third step was to get used to the lack of texts, yet also be prepared to respond to a mass hoard of them in under 10 minutes. It felt almost lonely to not wake up to everyone’s responses to last night’s meme discoveries, but it’s also very satisfying to read a bunch of actual conversations on my break if there is anything worthy of being reached out to about.
My phone addiction needed to be tackled and I wasn’t happy to admit it but once I finally did, the transition was fairly easy and I had so much more spare time. I felt less like I was drowning in work, less annoying to my friends, and my head felt much clearer and focused. It was almost like wiping away fog from glasses, as cheesy as that sounds.