As an auto-documentarian, I’m always on my phone, capturing every minutiae of my day. It is after all, part of the business process of a social media influencer!The issue here is that when you run a business on your phone, it’s hard to find a balance between social and work use. It’s even harder when your business is on social media: yes it’s a blast, but it’s still counts as work.
I had a chat with fellow influencers and we all agreed that folks can easily judge you when you’re working on your phone, because it’s not a traditional work tool. Because of its portable and tiny nature, people can’t always see what you are up to, to validate their assumptions. So it’s hard for them to tell the difference: are you “working” or are you “playing” right now?
As my platform has grown over the years, I am finding it harder to maintain a healthy relationship with my phone and not let it get in the way of productivity, relationships or my health for that matter. Yes, health- I have poor vision now from staring at a screen all day, and I am managing my tech neck which is causing carpel tunnel (btw- tell me if you want more on this!).
I know these phones are programmed to interrupt us with their dings and red flashing icons, but we should not be slaves to them! They are merely tools to help us get our work done, they should not dictate our lives.
So if you want to take charge, and gain control of your life, you may enjoy my personal tips and tricks on how I maintain a healthy relationship with my phone, especially since I run a business with it:
- Turn OFF ALL notifications! The only things that come in are texts, calls and Facebook messenger. That’s it! The rest I actively check on the daily.
- I always keep my phone on silent and check it every so often. I hate hearing the dings, it gets on my nerves and makes me feel like every message is urgent… because you know what? It probably isn’t!
- I always leave my phone charging in the kitchen at home, it has a dedicated resting place, just like I do.
- I never bring my phone it my room or use it in my bed, my bed is for sleeping and 😉
- When it’s time to spend undivided attention/cuddles with my son, I always put my phone down. This is a non-negotiable.
- I communicate as much as I can and give my husband the play-by-play “I’m working on a post right now”, “I am almost done”
- I leave my phone upstairs if we are watching a movie with the family (why do I struggle with this? I am trying to get better at it!)
- If my friends are not the digital type, I put my phone away and enjoy their company, and soak it all in. If I don’t have my phone out, you know I am having a genuine good time.
- When I am working or covering an event, I do my “homework” on my phone, then I can be present at the social event itself.
- I rarely have my phone out if I am hanging out with friends or family. I will go aside and privately check my messages and answer them right away (because I always answer every message!).
My life isn’t perfect, and I am not saying I have the answers to everything. I am just trying to find ways to make this new technology lifestyle sustainable without offending or neglecting anyone.
A few things I want to improve on…
It still baffles my mind how people will aimlessly scroll on their phones in your company, I find it extremely rude. My new goal will be to catch myself doing it or call people out on it… like, don’t waste my time!! Be present.
The other issue is managing my cell use in the car. You know, I got a ticket once for using my cell at a red light about 3 years ago! Yep, $500!! If you can imagine between audiobooks and GPS… it’s still very hard to have my phone hidden away while I am driving. But I am trying. And I have asked Victor to call me out on it when I am touching my phone in the car. I do try and get everything in order before I start the car and use all the automated functions when I can… I promise. I am hesitant about activating the disabling feature, although I realize it’s probably not a bad idea.
Do you have any tips to share? Leave your comment below!
Photography by Ottawa wedding and lifestyle photographer Marianne Rothbauer