I recently read an article (I can’t remember where) about a woman who took a vacation to Paris. And the thing she remembered most is that people weren’t glued to their phones nearly as much as they are in America. Now this is a generalization and she does realize that it was a short-trip point of view. However, her comparison really struck me and I know it’s because I am guilty of being glued to my iPhone.

I felt scolded after reading that article, but most of all I felt sad. We are given such a short amount of time not only here on earth, but with each one of our friends and family members. I don’t want spend that time looking at my iPhone screen.

I know I’m not alone in this either. My husband Adam quit social media all together because he recognized how much time he was sinking into it. I’ve listened to some people describe stories other people tell of an experience they were a part of, but they don’t remember because they were glued to their phone.

Technology is fantastic and it has a brilliant way of connecting us all, but it needs to be used carefully and in moderation.

So after a gut check I knew the right thing to do. I needed to change my ways. We (my husband and I) needed to change our phone habits. Once again I put pen to paper and wrote down a few quick rules. These rules directly correlate to our main issues and bad habits. They may or may not apply to you, but I think we can all challenge ourselves to look at the screen less and be fully present more.

Without further introduction here are the 5 rules to

We have gotten in the bad habit of reading the news, checking email or perusing Twitter while in the presence of other people that we should be engaging with. Although we’re talking we’re not fully present. Our eyes are on the screen and the other people have to stare at the tops of our heads. It’s sort of like answering a call while someone is talking to you and starting a new conversation with the “person on the phone.” So RUDE! Once I compared it to an actual phone call I was convinced that this was not the type of person I wanted to be. So I am committing to giving the actual living beings in the room my full attention. I don’t want to miss out on any precious in-person minutes.

Multitasking can be good, but when it comes to technology I think multitasking is down right silly. I found myself turning on a TV show then instantly opening my laptop or pulling up Twitter on my iPhone. Why on earth did I always have the need to have two screens up at once? I realized how ridiculous this was so now I’m vowing to stop multitasking. If I am so bored by watching TV or movies then I need to turn it off and find another, more engaging activity. [Note: this one has been tough for me, but I’m already feeling way more present.]

I didn’t think we had a problem (per say) with phones in bed. Until one night when I put mine away and Adam still had his out. At that moment I realized how crazy it was. We spend all day and all night on the internet and now when we have a few minutes to cuddle before we fall asleep we’re both….you guessed it…ON THE INTERNET! I think we have a problem when our iPhones take priority over cuddling or (ahem)! We are both vowing to finish our phone business before getting into bed. What a difference it makes!

This one was written specifically for Adam. After he quit social media he replaced a lot of his “checking” time with checking the news. There are two problems with this. The first is that checking the news takes a long time. There are many articles to read and it often takes a long time. The other problem, and I think many of you can relate, is that the news is depressing and sometimes frustrating. There really is no better way to make yourself angry than to quickly read the headlines. So when he continuously checks the news he’s continuously reminding himself of the sour state of things. Checking twice a day is plenty to still be up-to-date on current events.

This last one is for me. When I first started blogging it was all about my life. It was mostly a report of what I did, saw, and ate. Because that was my subject matter I took pictures of everything. Twitter and Instagram only made that habit worse. Well now, my content has shifted and I don’t need a picture of every latte and flower I encounter. It’s a tough habit to break, but I’m committing to only taking pictures of things that inspire me and that I actually want a picture of. I need to learn that it’s ok to just enjoy brunch without whipping out my phone. It’s just one more way to be present and live in the now.

Head up, eyes open! I’m living a REAL life. Starting now.

Head up, eyes open! I'm taking the Live a REAL Life iPhone Challenge, starting NOW! Wanna join me? Click To Tweet

Can you commit to one or all of these rules? Do you have a phone rule of your own? Commit or recommit today.

Hey, I'm Katie! I'm an author and daily life designer who teaches millennial women how to approach their daily lives in a way that is sustainable, effective and filled with ease. When I'm not hanging out with my dog Watson, traveling or chilling out with a rerun of Mad Men you can find me interacting with my Break Free From Busy Bootcamp students or sharing daily life strategies for the driven, but busy. Connect with me over on Facebook and Instagram.