In my daily ritual to observe my surroundings I often forget to look in the mirror and take notice. In this day and age it would seem that everyone has a cell phone of some sorts and isn’t afraid to use it. I have mentioned before that I often have to make times in my house that are cell phone free just so some live people time can happen. Some examples of when a person in my house is forbidden from even looking at their phone for any reason. The number one time is if we are talking to one another, if I’m talking to you I take precedence over anything that could possibly be happening on your phone. If we are talking and you pull your phone out I will assume the conversation is over and walk away. The second time is when everyone is assembled at the dining room table for a meal. The only person I allow exception to this rule is my wife. Why? Only because she is a manager for multiple doctor’s offices and a handful are open 24/7. So, if her work cell phone goes off she will check it to gage the importance. If it is important she will excuse herself from the table to take care of her business and then return. I listen while we eat because I hear the message tones, I hear the ring tones, and I hear the vibrations happening. My kids know if they even glance in the direction of their phone they will lose it for a bare minimum of 24 hours. Friends, family, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, games, calls, and texting can wait until we are done eating. Third is family time when we all get together to watch a movie or play a game. I refuse to pause either so someone can take a text or call. Plus, I treat that time like being in a public theater because I don’t want to hear the ringtone or somebody jacking with their phone.
I have spent some time talking with my family about all of this and they seem to take my wishes and desires into consideration most of the time. I asked each one of my children and my wife to give me an estimate of how many texts they send and receive a day. I broke this down into 3 basic categories which were family, friends, spouse/significant other, and work. The results were kind of interesting and I thought I would take a moment and share them real quick before moving on.
Son, age 12
Friends 5 texts
Family 25 texts
Daughter, age 17
Friends 25 texts
Family 50 texts, 2-3 calls
Boyfriend 100+, 4-5 calls
Daughter, age 23 (lives in Utah)
Friends 25 texts, 4-5 calls
Family 25+ texts, 4-5 calls
Fiance 40+ texts, 4-5 calls
Work 3+ texts, call occasionally
Friends 25+ texts, 1-2 calls
Family 25+ texts, 4-5 calls
Spouse (me) 50+ texts, 2-3 calls
Work 75+ texts, 25+ calls
Friends 30+ texts, 1-2 calls
Family 5+ texts, 1-2 calls
Spouse 50+ texts, 2-3 calls
Work 0 texts, calls occasionally
Work 30+ e-mails
What did I learn from all of this? First, I doubt my wife and daughters were being 100% honest with me or themselves. However, there is much more going on with everyone’s smart phone than meets the eye, the texting is only a part of it, and for me personally it isn’t really the big part of the time spent on my phone. What do I mean? Well, as some examples, my kids also use their phones to view Youtube videos, my daughters are constantly on Instagram and Facebook, and everyone plays at least one game regularly. But there is much more, at least for me, since my phone serves many purposes for me personally. Let me explain. First, lets start with my work. My work extension is forwarded to my phone because I’m rarely at my desk. My work e-mail is forwarded to my phone because I’m rarely at my desk to check and/or reply. My actual work is done remotely on my phone and later downloaded onto the server at the end of the day. Allot of actual “work” is done from my phone. Luckily, since it’s my personal phone, my employers reimburses me $150.00 per pay period because I use it for work purposes. Which is great because it pays for all five lines I have thru Verizon, all with unlimited talk, text, and data. But, what they don’t know is I pay under $100.00 a month so I pocket the other $200.00 for my “troubles” and “services”. It is also the easy way for me to take my work home with me paper free and work remotely when needed which is only about once or twice in a three month period.
I do a whole lot more from my phone. Let’s start with this blog and my five (5) other blogs, all done from my phone. Yes, there are (6) of them that I keep updated primarily from only my phone. You weren’t aware there were six (6)? Take a moment and see the links section. I’m also pretty active @ Blogcatalog, or at least I try to be active there. I’m pretty active on Pinterest as well. Plus, I use Facebook and Google+ to promote my blogs, which actually doesn’t take up much time at all, but I do have a presence. I buy and sell a buttload of things on eBay and Craigslist so I have to monitor that always. That is where most of my actual phone calls are generated from. My phone is my hand allot during the day but I tend to not be on it much at all once I get home because I don’t want others around me on their phones. Additionally, I have a home phone number, but no home phone, so all calls that come to that number get forwarded straight to my cell phone. The nice thing about that is that nobody knows it is happening unless I say something. Also, I can make calls where my home phone will show up in the caller i.d. as well. Eventhough I do not have an actual “smart home” I do have many of the features associated with it. If it is electronic and plugged in I can operate it from my phone. I have my security routed through my phone which includes a handful of cameras and the intercom system so I can see people at my gate and talk to them while I am at work and they think I am up in the house. Since I drive quite a bit for work and personally, I use the GPS feature on my phone always. Since I am outdoors so much either at home or on my Goldwing I also like to have the weather at my fingertips.
By the end of any given workday I’m tired of my phone, being on my phone, and just plain seeing it. If you are thinking I spend allot of time on my phone you are right, I do. I often wonder what it would be like not to have my phone. Well, life would be simpler that is for sure. My evening time is reserved for what I want to do and the family time we have. You never get that lost time back. Weekends are about the same, we spend much of the time at home doing a variety of things. My time is mostly spent outside doing one thing or another. I have a hard time just sitting on the couch and staring at the television. I think this family survey was beneficial because it has shown each one of us what we actually are using are phones for. Take this post for example, the entire thing written using my phone and published from my phone. What about you, what do you do with your phone?