When to Lay Down the Phone


In a quick passing of conversation with my oldest child, I experienced a life-changing revelation. 

“Hey mom, can I play on the iPad tonight?” 

“You played on it earlier this morning, so you do not need to get on it again tonight,” I said, almost in a state of annoyance.  

“But you are on your phone at all times of day, so what is the difference?” 

“I work from my phone a lot buddy, so when you see me on it, it is not just mommy playing games.” 

“What about the shows and other things like that Facebook I see you looking at?! That’s not only work.” 

There it was, spoken as clear as day. The life-changing revelation and a place that speaks truth into the trenches of our everyday life together.

“We’ve both had our share of it today, so why don’t we both lay them down now and focus on one another instead.” 

My husband and I are an entrepreneur couple and fueling businesses from the ground up often requires strong intentionality of learning balance and discipline in order to lay down the work needs to focus on other areas of attention as well. 

After I had this moment of insight with my son, I began to observe where I saw people disengaged from the moment and fixated on their phones in its place. 

Red light stops and driving… 
Sports game events… 
At dinner with friends… 
Watching school plays… 
On walks… 
School pick-up lines… 
Hosting people for dinner… 
Church services… 
Working out… 
Movie nights… 
Pumping gas. 
Waiting in doctor offices…

In life, we all are living out various roles and have different needs and responsibilities to consider and balance. 

I have learned that balance is not my ultimate goal because when you have several roles to play something will always feel less than quo. However, when the goal shifts from creating balance to pursuing presence, then it becomes about extending quality over perfection, and the struggle with comparison and not enough quickly fades away. 

Phones are an incredible invention that allows technology to expand across the globe and it can be a gift of connection and growth. However, like anything else in life, this is where the word balance finds its place. Knowing when and where to use it takes a disciplined mindset of intentionality and awareness and its intent is not to take away connection from the moment at hand. 

Allow it to be a place that promotes your business, connects you with loved ones, fosters knowledge and awareness of the world; yet, also allow it to be a place that teaches you discipline and patience in the moments where you are needing to lay it down. 

Here are some tips on laying down your phone:

Set phone block times and have a designated place, like a basket, in your home where you place phone during the OFF times. 

I promise you that the messages can wait until your designated response time and that the life you will receive from being present in the moment will build up a stronger connection for you. 

The phone block times will be designated for returning phone calls, messages, checking your social media accounts, or just relaxing on a show. But if it is OFF time, then you keep your phone in the basket. 

Wake up to an alarm clock instead of to your phone. 

This allows you to start the first moments of your day technology-free and create the discipline of personal growth, without any comparison that may be there on social media or other distractions on phone. 

When you are meeting with someone, LEAVE your phone in the car and use a wrist clock for time management instead. 

How often have you done it or have been sitting across someone checking their messages AND responding to them while you are in moments of investment with someone? LET THIS BE a place where you FOCUS on what is front of you.

I am a photographer so documenting moments is not only my job but my passion. I have found though that if it is a specific event that I would love to capture, I take a picture at the beginning of the event or special time together and then put my phone in my bag so that I am also present in the activity as well. Documenting moments through video and photos is a technological gift but learning how to use it in times that matters takes awareness. 

Continue pursuing presence over perfection and choose places in your every day that promote your growth. How can you be more present with your phone intentionality in your everyday life?

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Hi, my name is Trishia and something that I value about my story is how my heart is outstretched throughout the world and I have many "homes" that fuel my soul. Being born and raised in Alabama, my southern roots remain a deep part of me. Living in New Orleans and then relocating to Cincinnati, post Hurricane Katrina, I learned how being exposed to culture and diversity can build empathy into a person. Married a generous, humble, hard-working man, Brett, from Cincinnati and then later moved to Kenya, Africa where our years spent working overseas has shaped my soul in more ways than I can articulate. We are now back in Cincinnati, investing in building a staffing company, and after 15 years of marriage are raising an 8 year old son, a 9 year old daughter, and a 10 year old son. Jesus is my anchor; I love quality time, sharing heart to heart;, traveling the world remains a passion; witnessing community loving one another well encourages me; photography is a lens I use to invest into the hearts of others at T Ralston Photography {www.framethejourney.com}


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