Lets be honest here…how many times a day do you look at your phone? I’m not just talking about when it bings with a new text message or email or Facebook comment; I mean those random checks in the hopes that something new has come in and maybe, just maybe you didn’t hear it.
Don’t feel bad. We all do it! In fact, on average you look at your smartphone 34 times a day for absolutely no reason. And, even if there isn’t any new notifications, you still spend about 30 seconds checking it. Plus, it’s usually in clusters; you check it a few times within a 10 minute span.
Why do we do it? Sometimes it’s just boredom – your friends take off to the washroom or a smoke break and you’re left there waiting – but, usually, it’s validation. Getting that email or text message not only shows that you were right to check your phone, but makes you feel important too. Somebody loves you and wanted to talk to you!
The only thing is, you might be ignoring the people that love you and want to talk to you that are standing in the room. It lets you avoid interacting with others – you’ve been left alone at a party and, instead of introducing yourself to strangers, you stand there and check your phone. Handy to avoid feeling awkward, but you’re there at that party for a reason: get talking! It can also really start to piss off your loved ones that feel like you’re ignoring them to talk with someone who’s not even there.
So, what to do to get over the constant need for smartphone validation? Try to practice some time away from your smartphone. Turn off the notifications – and I don’t just mean putting it on vibrate. Set smartphone-free times and smartphone-free places at home and at work (and, no justifying the smartphone in the bedroom because it’s your alarm clock – go buy a dang alarm clock!)
It may seem like hell at first, but once you get used to not jumping at every single text message, life gets better. You start being able to hear something funny and not having to immediately tweet about it. You can enjoy a date night at a gorgeous restaurant without checking in on Foursquare. It will take you back to those good old days when if you weren’t at work or home, no one could reach you to make you report to either.
Trust me…you may get used to it.