I had an Affair… With My Cell Phone

The surveys and researchers place a range on the number of times we check our phone in a day from 45–85 times. I wanted to do my research. A week ago I counted how many times I looked at my phones. Yes, I carry two phones, not just one.

The ground rules were simple how many times did I look at my phones that were not to answer a call. My bill shows I average 2100 minutes of calls a month between both phones.

I looked at them 191 times. I was in shock. I knew it would be a lot because I’m the guy that checks my phone every 5 minutes. So I’m told. I do, though. I’m awake on average 16 hours in a day, that 960 minutes. 960/191 = every 5.02 minutes.

Basex did research a few years ago that every time we have a distraction it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task.

Think about that for a second, every time you get distracted or interrupted it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task and be productive. 191 possible distractions. I thought I was productive, and I teach others to be productive. I run on systems and have structure, but I wasn’t running without my own distractions.

What if I turned these distractions off for a day. One day of just receiving phone calls. No apps, no Snapchat, no Facebook, no text messages. Would the world end?

To my surprise, the world didn’t end. I cut through half of the list of the things I needed actually to do that “I didn’t have time” to do.

“Smartphone” was created in 1992 but the term was coined in 1995. The iPhone didn’t debut until June 2007. What was life like before having a smartphone? I don’t even remember anymore.

More than half of my life smartphones have been around and in use. They were created to keep us connected and informed. I’m not saying they don’t but could it be on overload?

I’m all about connecting. I have this mindset of every day that I want to meet 100 new people face to face. I realized I was looking more down then up and missing the opportunities. I had gotten away from connecting with people and I am connecting with my cell phone. I was having an affair with my phones, and it was spiraling out of control.

So what if I have 5000 friends on Facebook, 12000 followers on Instagram. How many real friends did I have that were keeping me accountable? When was the last time I had a meaningful conversation with someone on social media?

I’m taking them all off my phone, except maybe Pokemon Go. I will still share parts of my life that I want the world to see. That’s what social media is right? It is the highlight reel of my life. We only show what we want people to see. If you want to connect with me, shoot me an email or, send me a card. Let’s have chocolate cake and have a face to face conversation. I’m done having this love affair with my phones and back to living my life.