We're More Like Smartphones Than We Realize (Untucked Column #5)
I’ll be the first to admit that I spend a lot of time on my phone — much is work related, the rest — not so much. I have apps that I check fairly frequently and others that I forget I even downloaded. Earlier this year, I downloaded an app called “Moment” - it tracks how much you use your phone; keeps track of what apps you use the most; and logs how many times you pick up your phone each day, to name a few of the features. I’ll be honest — I do not like this app much because it hits me with the truth and lets face it — the truth hurts.
In mid-September 2018, Apple will release their latest software upgrade and within it are features such as Activity Reports, App Limits and new Do Not Disturb and Notifications controls -- designed to help users reduce interruptions and manage screen time for themselves and their families. Basically, what my “Moment” app does for me.
Studies have shown that 90% of time on our phones is spent on our “top five” apps. On Apple devices, there is a feature in the software called “Offload Unused Apps”. The point of this feature is when storage is running low; the Offload feature removes little-used apps, but keeps their documents and data on your device.
I believe we are a lot like our smartphones: we only have a limited amount of storage, we have to recharge our batteries and we too “download” apps (friends, organizations, things) to help better our lives and entertain us. Yet, in this age of information that we live in where we have a supercomputer in our pockets and purses, we are connected BUT also disconnected like never before. Stick with me....
We live in a time where we are more connected than ever but starved for real relationships. We struggle with a legit thing called F.O.M.O. — the fear of missing out. This is one of the reasons that we check our phones constantly and engage in mindless scrolling and don’t remember 90% of what we just scrolled through. Do you ever think your phone is ringing or vibrating when it's not? That's called "phantom vibration syndrome." Don’t laugh – it’s a real thing.
We too have an “Offload Unused Apps” feature within us as well as “App Limits” and “Do Not Disturb” capabilities but sometimes it’s hard for us to activate that because we don’t want to be rude or hurt someone’s feelings. You want to say no to that event but you don’t know how. It is near impossible to experience the peace we long for while we continually fill our lives, time, and headspace with everything else — there is no space for peace. What hope do we have to have peace if we don't make a place for it? We have to free up “storage space”.
What people, things, stuff is consuming your time? What is draining you? What is causing you stress, giving you anxiety, keeping you awake at night? Maybe it is actually phone usage or social media overload. Or perhaps those “apps” represent something that is draining your battery and taking up space you desperately need to use for yourself and get in a healthier frame of mind. Mental health and taking care of you is critically important. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes - including you.
Are there friendships, relationships that have run its course and you know that it is time for you to move on? Have you reached the ceiling in your place of work and you are ready for a new challenge? Or perhaps you have not had a vacation in years and if you don’t take one soon — the volcano that is you is about to erupt on anyone who is in your vicinity.
Your time is too valuable to waste on things that don’t grow you. What have you outgrown? To quote the great philosopher Eminem, “ If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted -- one moment -- would you capture it or just let it slip?”
Do the work needed to prepare for and receive what is coming in the next season of your life. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right. People will come and go in your life but the person in the mirror will be there forever – so be good to yourself.