As I was planning what I would do with my evenings once kids were in bed, most of my intended projects were a no go as they included a screen - updating photos online, updating playlists on my husband's iPod now that mine is officially dead, blogging etc. I ended up reading, sewing a little and cleaning my house with that free time, not so bad.
Giving up my phone was harder, especially since I had to check my inbox for any Screen Free related emails. Still I tried to only open the pertinent ones, and didn't read any of the blogs I follow and tried to not check Facebook. I have to admit that even though I moved the FB app icon to the final screen on my phone I did find myself checking it a couple of times a day - but far less than usual.
So what did I learn?
Most of my emails are crap - no big surprise there. From Monday to Friday I received 148 emails.
One a day from the Gap even though I can't remember the last time I shopped there, unsubscribe
I get daily emails from Michaels and while I only shop there occasionally I still want those.
I did unsubscribe from quite a few other services, but had technical issues with some I tried.
When all was said and done I had 38 emails that I considered worth saving. Pretty crazy. I have disabled the new message notification on my phone, as up until now I feel the need to check every message as they come in - even though most obviously are not worth saving. I figure if I designate certain times to check my messages, rather than checking throughout the day it'll go much quicker and I won't be wasting as much time checking my phone.
I had 27 blogs that I followed. Some are the type that post daily others more sporadic. After a week I had 138 posts to read (or probably 118, one blogger had the unfortunate problem that one of her posts reposted about 20 times). Of those 118 I have 7 that I kept as I want to comment or print something. The rest not so interesting. I've unsubscribed from a couple, but also have moved the icon off the front page of my phone so I won't be as tempted to check for new posts.
This has been my worst addiction for a while, and really I don't know why. I don't play any of the games, but I find I check it compulsively, and post a couple of times a week. So what difference did it make when I only checked once a day? Really, none. The same posts were still there, some interesting, some not so much and most I didn't comment on. So the moral of the story, move this off my main page and check at a budgeted time just like the emails.
So now that I've dealt with the trees, what will this do for the forest? Looking back I often found myself checking my phone instead of interacting with other people - my kids, other parents at pickup, etc. Not good. If I want to enjoy my kids, and give them the attention they deserve, I need to put the phone down. If I expect to make any new friends, which I would like to, I need to be approachable, not be attached to my phone. As with any addiction, it won't be easy, especially since there are legitimate reasons to use it, but I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my iPhone