It is painful to admit, but there are times when my smartphone has controlled my life. In an effort to be transparent about this, I am writing my own laws of cell phone use. Call them commandments, call them laws, call them guidelines, call them what you will — they are designed to remind me that life is short, and the idea of people eulogizing me as one who is always on their smartphone is terrifying.
So here goes:
- I will not check my phone in the morning until I have had coffee and prayers. (Possibly in that order.)
- When I am at dinner, whether said dinner be at a restaurant or at home, I will put my phone away. I will recognize that everyone I need right then is present.
- I will turn my phone off when I am in church. Always.
- I will turn my phone off when I am at a workshop. Always.
- I will leave my phone at my desk when I am going to a meeting, because I don’t trust myself to use it properly at the meeting.
- If I have to message someone in front of you, I will tell you exactly why I have to message them at that moment. I will explain why it can’t wait.
- I will not text while walking. Ever.
- I will not text while driving. Ever. Ever
- I will recognize that the moment is always more important than posting a Facebook picture of the moment. I repeat: Always.
- I will seek to understand that the person who is present is generally a priority over the one who is on the phone. (Except when it’s my mom and my kids.)
- I will realize that the chance of the phone call or text message I receive being an actual emergency is 1 to 100 or 1 to 1000 (or perhaps less) and I will relax.
- I will not be rigid and annoying with these rules (except the ones about driving) with other people, because who am I to judge?
Please be gentle with me as I attempt to abide by them. Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and sanctification is a process.
What are your laws of cell phone use?