winging it mum

My SMART phone is making me dumb!

on May 22, 2012

When the iPhone first came out I thought to myself, I don’t really need that. I just need a mobile phone to make calls from, to SMS on and to take photos and shoot videos on. So I watched on as more and more of my close friends and family got these phones and they seemed to be on them non stop! I shock my head at them and thought my goodness this is crazy! Life is happening around them but they are not noticing as they are fixated on their phones!

Then all of sudden I needed a new phone.

My side note/rant is how annoying is it that these days that technology is made

to only have a short life-span so we are forced to upgrade and get the latest

gadget as to repair the existing or replace batteries etc is so expensive!

So I was faced with a decision. Did I get a SMART phone (the pretty white iPhones had just been released) or just get a basic phone? My choice was made and I went with the iPhone, vowing to myself that I would not turn into one of those people with my phone on me at all times, obsessed with things I didn’t need to be, at times that I didn’t need to be.

So how am I going with that you ask?

I am a failure:(

With a SMART phone you can buy and down load applications (apps) onto phone and they are there to aid you as you go about your daily life!

Some of my well used apps are:

  • Facebook – most of my Facebook time now is done on my iPhone. You can’t do everything that you can on a computer but you can do most things
  • weather zone – so we can check the weather whilst preparing for the day
  • hey tell – this app allows you to send voice messages to others and saves you from having to text
  • NAB – I can do my banking from my phone
  • eBay – If I am watching some items on eBay it will remind me that the auction will be ending soon
  • Safari – The search engine I use for the internet
  • Flash Light – I use my phone as a torch at night when I need to go in and check on my kids
  • Find my iPhone – I often misplace my phone and Brett is able to see on his phone where mine is and show me or even send an alarm that will activate helping me to find my phone. It can even remotely lock the phone and put a pin number on it. Best app around I think:) If only they had an app to find my keys:) or do they?
  • WordPress – edit, view or read blogs (including this one)
  • Instagram – taking or editing my photos with this app is fun
  • maps – I use this like a GPS often when I travelling somewhere new
  • notes – I record my random thoughts, ideas and info on these pages
This isn’t all the apps that I have on my phone but some of the ones that I have found useful and/or I frequently use. I really don’t go hunting for these but I find new apps through friend’s recommendations and some blogs that I read etc. We also are lucky enough to have an iPad so there are some apps that I will only put on that as the SMART phone screen is too small etc. I haven’t even mentioned the ones that we have for the kids. These I might save for another post!
Generally speaking apps are designed to make my life easier, what I have found is that my life with my iPhone has become more complicated, as I become dependant and reliant on my SMART phone. I reach for the phone for everything; to solve problems, manage me, entertain me and keep me informed. I know I have a problem. I realise I am on my phone too much, not calling people but rather doing everything but! I don’t want to be a person with my phone on me at all times. With my head down as life is flashing me by.
I have had some wake up moments for me recently on this issue:
  1. I attended a parents information night at kinder and the speakers were a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. During their sharing they really touched on how much our kids love and adore us. As previously mentioned (here) when our kids play they mimic us their parents. They do this because they love us and we are their world. We were challenged to be in their world more and more! To put down our phones, computers and turn off the TV and give our kids our undivided attention as we play with them. I am sad to say that most of the room were convicted by this as we all realised that we were guilty of not doing this enough.
  2. Brett and I both want technology to be used well in our family. Brett has been conscious lately of us using our phones etc around the kids too much. We limit their exposure to TV and their use of the iPad etc but how are we modelling this to them. It will only be a matter of time until in their negotiating for more technology time that they will mention our usage. So Brett has a good point pushing for us to be more conscious of the way and manner in which we use our technology.
  3. Upon returning home from a play date in the park recently, I realised that I had left my phone at the park! We were luckily able to use my phone locator app and see it was still at the park, allocate it a pin and I was able to quickly drive there and rescue it. I was frantic about this because I could lose my expensive phone, I would lose precious photos and videos of the kids, notes that I had taken and well I panicked about how different my life would be if it were stolen! Uhuh!!!! Alarm bells hey – it’s just a phone!!!!!! (luckily enough we were reunited).
  4. I have recently become angry at my phone. I have realised that I am expecting so much from my SMART phone and it is failing to meet my expectations! I am frustrated that some of the apps I use don’t do everything that the program can do when I use it on the computer. Like when I link my new post from here to Facebook sometimes it only shows up on my news feed and not on others! Hello relax! You are using a phone and not a computer! Yes an iPhone functions like a computer but at the end of the day it is a smaller version that does have its limitations.

I am sad to say that I am addicted to my SMART phone. It has out-smarted me and attracted me with its tantalising apps, ease of use and smooth design. My intelligence has dropped as I no longer need to remember things, plan ahead as much and entertain myself. Yes, my phone has won for now but I am determined to claim back my brain, my time and cut my dependence on a device!!! I am working on my strategy as you read this and will give you updates on what I am doing and how it is going!

Surely I am not alone here. Are you addicted to your SMART phone? If any of this has prompted you to make changes as to how you use your SMART phone let me know so we can encourage each other. Also let me know what you do to limit technology usage in your house.

Em xx



8 responses to “My SMART phone is making me dumb!

  1. Anita says:

    I reserve the right to change my mind about this in future but for now we are an i-free house! My phone is a smart phone but it is NOT an iphone and this was a deliberate choice. I see so many people with iphones so I didn’t want one! I also like pressing keys rather than a screen so my phone has buttons. I chose not to activate any internet stuff on my phone so I only use it for phone calls, SMS, making notes, taking photos and the calculator. I think that is it! This works well for me because I need to sit in front of my computer to use the internet which means I am well aware of how much time I spend doing that. I would hate to lose my phone because I do rely on it but I like the way I use it.

    • embilee says:

      Hi Anita,
      Thanks for reading and for sharing how you use your smart phone. This is what I hoped I would do but I was broken. So slowly I am tuning off my apps.

  2. Patch says:

    My phone is very ancient and not smart at all so no worries there. I have to confess to being a total iPad addict though. I can very easily lose a large part of my day to surfing the web, using my apps etc. I really need to keep it to a minimum and definitely up for some encouragement!

    My boys both love using the computer/iPad/Xbox/wii. At the weekend and in the holidays they are limited to two hours max, although they seem to think it doesn’t apply to the computer and we need to be firmer on this. During the week there is no wii/Xbox at all but they do still use the computer. Perhaps we should time limit this too?? They occasionally use the iPad with my permission. I made it very clear when I got it that it was mine and I often tell them that they can’t use it. All these restrictions are sort of evolving as we go along. Access to all these things is also removed for misbehaviour when appropriate. Don’t know if this is the right thing to do but it’s what we do at the moment.

    • embilee says:

      Hi Patch, Glad to hear I am not alone I also enjoy our iPad. At this point my kids only like TV and the ipad, so not wii/xbox yet:) I went to a primary school open day today and was shocked that 90% of the students that attend the school have an iPad that they use in class (these are 5-12 year olds). More and more our kids are going to be exposed and encouraged to use technology and to them it is going to be a natural pass time and very much apart of their life, which is great. So I guess I also became aware today that more and more it is my role to teach them and inspire them in the old school ways – play, create and imagine. I look forward to hearing more about how you manage technology in your household. Good Luck:)

      • Patch says:

        Wow! I am really shocked too. 90%! They must be well off parents! Thankfully it’s not like that here (should I add a “yet” to that statement?). Schools are generally well equipped with laptops, pcs, interactive whiteboards but no doubt there will be one posh and wealthy one somewhere that has its own iPads. I can imagine there might be some high school students with iPads but it’s unlikely they take them to school. They are too valuable and covetable.

        It’s a question of balance isn’t it. They need to know how to use it all but need to do all the other “old fashioned” things too.

      • embilee says:

        Actually it is a government school in a well to do suburb but the families can buy them or lease them. It is a newly built school and not all are like this but I am sure they all will be like this soon enough.

  3. Jodi says:

    Tricky one isn’t it. My phone contract expires next month and I was thinking that maybe I should go down the path of a smart phone but am conscious that I may end up using it too much. I do try to limit my usage of technology as an example and to be in the moment with Ben. Some days are better than others though. I do keep mealtimes sacred with no technology at that time – including not answering the phone.

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