February 22, 2011

iMom Says: "Unsmart Your Phone"

These are the days of the iMom. Mothers of all shapes and sizes are toting networked devices, feeling connected and efficient. But I'm beginning to feel that connectivity and efficiency are getting in the way of my relationship with the kids. Instead of being weighed down with a constant string of incoming messages, maybe I should strive for a clearer and more focused state of mind.

After several hectic months immersed in email clutter and too many projects, I decided to put my iPhone back in its place: I dumbed it down.

So far, it been a liberating move. Interested in taking the plunge? Let's lay it out...

1) Ban your charging station (where you plug in your iPhone or iPad or iWhatever) from your bedroom. I was beginning to question that my first instinct was to wake up and check messages. What about waking up and saying "good morning" to everyone?

2) Try to reserve email correspondence for desk-based computer time. On-the-go email can interrupt what you are doing when you are on the go. Is your mind on your messages, or is your mind on the moment? Now, I can enjoy my computer time more because I "relax into" my correspondence, instead of constantly checking throughout the day.

3) Consider deleting your email account/s from your iPhone.  In your Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar, your phone can be void of email accounts, and look just like this screenshot.

Give yourself a few days to get used to it. But as you start to drive more safely, interact with fellow parents at school pick ups, or tuck a book under your arm as you leave the house, you'll wonder what was so interesting about your palm in the first place.

To Steve and all of the talented folks at Apple - don't take any of this the wrong way. We love what you created. It's just that in the end, our children's questions are more important that our latest emails.


Debi said...

Huge fan of this post, Lorraine! I'm one of the only moms I know who still doesn't own an iPhone. Time with my kids is exclusively time with my kids. Keep up the great work!

Shayla said...

Brilliant! if only I didnt have a pesky job to attend to:( If I could go back in time to pre job iMom, I would do this for sure!

Lorraine Akemann said...

@Debi, good to hear from you. I'm going to head over and check out your blog - it's been awhile since I've been up to date on my blog reading.

@Shayla, you have an excellent point. The above doesn't apply if smartphones are a part of the job description. In fact, I think I'll revise my post with that in mind just to make sure the salient points are coming across.