Posted Dec 22, 2014

7 Times to Power Down Your Phone

Smartphones these days do everything, and I mean everything. I can check my work emails, send photos to my best friend, call a client, look at Facebook, the list doesn’t end. Phones are our personal worlds downsized to fit in a purse or pocket, and we rely on them for just about everything – seriously, map apps are my savior.7 Times to Power Down Your Phone FeaturedHowever, because we can look at them whenever we want, many people have an almost Pavlovian attachment to them. When your cellphone buzzes, you look.

There is a time to check your status and to ignore the ring, and it’s important to know which is which. Whether you must escape from the incessant call of the office or bid au revoir to Twitter, here are a few times when you should power down and forget about your smartphone:

1. Before Bed

You’ve probably heard plenty of times to turn off Netflix, shut down your computer and power off your phone before bed, but you may not know why. It all comes back to circadian rhythm. Your body is programmed to respond to light emitted by the sun.7 Times to Power Down Your Phone- Before BedDawn illumination has a bluish, cold and crisp look to it, and it signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up. Dusk, on the other hand, is made up of warmer shade, like red, pink and orange. When it’s time for bed, you should stick to dusk-like lighting, but all of your devices produce illumination similar to that present at dawn. For this reason, your body thinks it actually has to wake up, not go to bed.

Instead of filling your eyes with artificial morning light, turn off your phone and read a book for awhile – then not even the glow from a text will keep you up.

2. While on a Date

When you meet someone new and start seeing them regularly, you want to make a good first impression. Picture you’re out with someone you really like and every time they get a text, they look at their phone. Would you think they’re into you or that they’d rather be somewhere else?7 Times to Power Down Your Phone - On a DatePaying too much attention (or any attention) to your phone while on a date signals your priorities are somewhere in digital land. Whether or not the evening is going well, show respect and interest by shutting off your device before you head out and leaving it off until the night’s over.

If you have an important call you’re waiting for, simply warn your date so they’re not shocked or insulted when you say “I have to take this.”

3. When You’re With Anyone You Care About, For That Matter

Powering down also applies to time spent with those you care about, be it your significant other, family member or boss (you might not care about the boss, but you do care about your job).

7 Times to Power Down Your Phone - During MealsIf the other person expects your attention, which will be most of the time, turn it off!

4. During Meals

Your phone is neither a napkin nor an eating utensil, so you don’t need it to eat a meal. Save battery life and prevent crumbs from covering your device by simply turning it off. You can check your various apps after you’re done eating. Plus, if you have dinner guests, you’ll be free to pay attention to them rather than the silly Snapchat your friend sent you.

5. At the Gym

Carrying a phone while you’re on the treadmill or lifting weights can be a huge pain. I’ve almost forgotten mine in those caddies they put on elliptical a number of times.7 Times to Power Down Your Phone- At the GymMost gyms play a pump-up soundtrack over the speakers, so you don’t need your playlist to stay motivated. Also, your sweaty fingers can get your screen all dirty – not fun! Leave your phone off and in a locker while you pump iron.

6. While Working

When I’m not particularly feeling the chapter I’m writing for my book, I tend to pick up my phone and peruse Pinterest. All those cool apartment decorating ideas, DIY projects and outfits I want help me to forget that I’m getting nowhere.7 Times to Power Down Your Phone - While WorkingHowever, if I would just shut the phone off and trudge on, I may actually get a chapter or two done. Our smartphones let us procrastinate – they’re the worst enablers – and we need to stand up for our work! For that reason, I’ll try to ditch my device while working, and you can give it a try too. Don’t worry, you’ll adjust.

7. While Driving

I don’t think I need to explain this one, but I will. Your phone can distract you while driving.7 Times to Power Down Your Phone- While DrivingThat lit screen is all the more tempting because you know you shouldn’t peek. There’s a lull in traffic and you think “I can check that real quick,” then bam, people are honking. Just shut it down so you’re not enticed.

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7 Times to Power Down Your Phone - Here are 7 times when you should power down and forget about your smartphone.

Photo Credit: Michael TheisTed Fud26b73Tom WoodwardAnneBen SeidelmanRalphman

Jen Jackowski


Jen Jackowski is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she studied theater and English. Her experiences in the theatrical arts left her with a love for storytelling that she breathes into her writing. She’s also passionate about art, gaming, sustainability and fashion. Her work has been published in the literary magazine, Euphemism.

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