Your smartphone is a miracle. It allows you to answer any question and settle any heated barroom debate in seconds. It allows you to turn a tedious commute into productive working time. It is your gateway to hundreds of hours of awesome online content (much of it free) so that you need never be bored or lonely again. You can even make phone calls on it (as alien a notion as that may seem to many these days, especially our kids). Yet, while we’re constantly told that we should be vigilant when keeping tabs on our kids’ use of technology, we so often neglect our own relationships with our phones. And that can be a problem. Developing young minds aren’t the only ones that can be warped by spending too much time on their phones. In fact, even the oldest and wisest of us can find ourselves getting into bad habits where our phones are concerned.
Here are some questions all Dads should ask themselves to ensure that they have a healthy relationship with their phones.
Are you guilty of phubbing?
Phone snubbing or “phubbing” is something that we’re very keen to clamp down on when we catch our kids doing it. But when we catch ourselves falling into the same bad habit, we need to shut it down even faster. If our kids catch us engrossed in our phones at the dinner table or in another inappropriate context, they’ll see it as a tacit sign that it’s okay, no matter what you say out loud. And this can increase their dependence on their devices and impede social development.
How long are you spending on your phone?
Be honest now. How much time do you spend on your phone every day? Less than 5 hours? 10 hours? 15 hours? Believe it or not, the amount of time we spend on our phones isn’t that dissimilar between baby boomers, gen x, millennials and gen z with each spending around 4-6 hours a day on their phones. Still, there are many who would say that more than one or two is too many. It’s certainly worth tracking how much time you spend on your phone from one week to the next.
Do your amusements become addictions?
Our smartphones are our gateway to a treasure trove of fun games. Whether you’re playing games just for the fun of it, reconnecting with childhood classics ported over from your mobile device or even trying to make a little money through online games and casinos- take a look at this LeoVegas casino review for an example, there are all kinds of ways in which we can wile away the hours with games. But we need to be vigilant. These amusements and distractions can become addictions if we’re not careful. We need to exercise restraint and self-discipline so that they don’t impact our productivity at home and at work.
How are you sleeping?
Finally… like tablets, laptops and TVs, smartphones emit blue light which can disrupt the brain’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin which in turn can lead to insomnia. If you’re having trouble drifting off at night, it may be a sign that you’re spending too much time with your face in a screen!