8 Cell Phone Rules To Set You Up For Success

8 Cell Phone Rules To Set You Up For Success
Photo by Viktor Hanacek

As important as it is to be connected, it’s equally important to be disconnected.

There’s no ignoring the fact that we live in a digital world. We are constantly being faced with the expectation to always be in touch. While many people have adjusted and learned how to disconnect from their cell phones, others are often attached at the hip! I’ve put together my suggestions for how to use your phone in social situations. Some of my suggestions may seem like common sense, but we can all use a friendly reminder now and again!

1. Charge Your Phone In Another Room

Sleeping away from your phone will ensure it’s not the last thing you see when you go to bed at night, nor is it the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. The light from a phone screen stimulates your mind and will affect your ability to fall asleep. Do your best to try to associate your bed with sleeping and not social media or work. In the morning, your mind is like a fresh sponge. Before soaking in any news or negativity, take 15-20 minutes alone at the beginning of your day to meditate, make your goals, and set intention for the day, before checking your phone. Your mind and body will thank you for the digital break. 

2. Be In The Moment

Family and friends deserve your undivided attention. With the average person working more than 45 hours per week, time spent with loved ones is limited. Why allow miscellaneous texts, e-mails and other notifications distract you from the conversation at hand? This may be difficult to enact IRL, but your relationships will noticeably improve if you make the effort. 

3. Silence Your Phone!

Especially when in restaurants and theaters, no one wants to hear your ringtone if they’re trying to enjoy a meal or performance. Causing a disruption in public isn’t only inconsiderate, it’s just plain rude! 

4. Don’t Over-Share 

Despite this common practice, your Instagram and Twitter followers don’t need to know how many times you go to the gym, what you bought at the mall, or where you eat for brunch every single Sunday. The same goes for Facebook statuses. Studies even show a decline in empathy as a potential result of excessive cell phone and social media usage. Try to limit yourself to one social media post per day – your psyche will thank you! 

5. Keep Private Calls Private

If you’re speaking on your cell phone in a public space, lower your voice or find a place where you can have some privacy. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, on public transportation or in a public park, unless you’re in the privacy of your own home, people can hear you. Best not to discuss personal matters, particularly those involving someone else, while on a cell phone in public. You never know who could overhear you or who could get you into trouble.

6. Avoid Committing A TWI (Texting While Intoxicated)

We’ve all fallen victim to this one. That friend whom you just simply must tell is amazing or that you’re still angry at them about something that happened three weeks ago, even though you said you weren’t. Or the significant other – past or present – who you always resort to texting when you’ve had a few too many. If you do send a cringe-worthy text while intoxicated, own up to it, apologize, and delete! 

7. Refrain From The “Flood Text”

If you don’t receive an answer after two texts, that person isn’t inviting you to send a dozen more texts about your day. Whether this is a romantic partner, friend, or family member, chances are they aren’t answering because they can’t right now or they don’t have a response to your question. How many times have you actually ignored a text and planned on never responding? The most likely outcome is that you will get a reply if you just give your friend a few hours. Be patient and try not to overanalyze the situation. 

8. Don’t Text & Drive

This one is a no brainer - just don’t do it.

-Colin Cowie

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