I got an app called “Moment” back in November and let it run in the background all this time, never opening it. It monitors your cell phone usage, how many hours a day you use your phone, how often you pick it up, and so on.
Last week, I thought, hmmm, what is the story on that? And I opened the app. It’s not good. Most days I was using my phone in the neighborhood of 9 hours. To be fair, much of that was not during times that I was doing baby care–my ongoing insomnia means that I read on my phone for several hours many many nights–but STILL. It’s a terrible situation.
I immediately scaled back. I would get rid of the phone–put it in a drawer all day, anyway–if it wasn’t how I took pictures of the baby (which I do approximately a dozen times a day) but since I do need to have it in my hand for pictures, even in the house I can’t shut it away.
Instead, I scaled it back. I told the phone to stop tracking me between 10pm and 8am, when the baby is almost certainly asleep and that way I’m not getting dinged by my insomniac issues.
I then set a limit on the phone usage, of 5 hours a day. This should be easy to meet, and actually, for most of last week it was easy to meet it. The exception: the day where I was driving most of the day (to the school, to therapy, back to school, to school, to an away track meet, back to the school, home) and I had the phone up for GPS purposes and I also had it running podcasts the entire time.
The other issue is on the weekends when the husband is doing baby care, which is a good time for me to catch up on my reading, which pushes my cell phone use up as well.
I can set the app to exclude the time I spend in specific apps–I would certainly exclude podcasts, because I’m not actively on my phone while they run, either in the house or in the car–but I’d rather bring it back under the time without carving out exceptions.
Every morning I take a screenshot of my battery screen, showing how many minutes I spent in each app the previous day, and the app shows me what I’m doing so I can fix it. It also shows me how often I pick it up: how long between pick ups, how many total times I picked it up, how long I was holding it on average, how many times I was on it for more than 15 minutes, and so on.
It’s hard. I want to pick it up ALL the time. But it’s not insurmountable. I will be more present without my phone addiction and so I’m dedicated to fixing this.