Much like our series last week on emails, it is easy to find information about how mobile phones are bad for you. Have you actually thought about whether they could be good for you? In an age where we are particularly isolated due to Covid we should be thinking about positive use of mobile phones more, and yet any Google search will tell you that mobile phones might give you cancer, and that mobiles and social media are bad for your mental health.
On Monday in our Flexible Family Law group we will be hearing from three brilliant women on how to use social media and your mobile phone for good, either good for your business or good for you personally. More on that here.
What I wanted to look at in this article though is not so much the question of is social media good for you, but the broader question of whether having a mobile phone good for you.
Remember, you control your mobile phone
It sounds simple but lets start with a really basic reminder, you control your mobile phone. You don't actually have to look at it, you don't actually have to any email accounts on it, you don't actually have to use social media to use your mobile phone. You control it.
Smart phones aren't just for social media
You might be forgiven for thinking that a smart phone is only a portal to social media, it really isn't. There are some obvious other things that we use them for, but I want to repeat them here to remind you.
Photos - never in our lives have we had so many photos or videos, which gives you more opportunity than ever to collect together photos that make you happy. Download an app to your phone where you can either print a little book of photos, or where you can put together a collage of photos and use it as a screen saver or in a digital photo frame somewhere. We have a tablet at our house that just randomly shows photos all day. The photos I have taken over the years now make me smile at least a few times a day. I highly recommend getting a device you can connect to your Google drive photos and just smile at random mundane memories, like that day you and your friend took the kids to that new park.
Messaging apps - it has never been easier to keep up to date with people who do not live close to you, or to send one of those delightful photos (above) to make someone else smile. Hey, remember this day? That was fun. If you want more positive messages on your phone then you can send out some positive messages using your messaging app today.
Telephone calls - Have you made a telephone call this week? This month? Not one for work, but just a call, just to chat? If not, why not? Don't forget to use your phone for this most basic function, to make a phone call.
Music - my kids love this feature, the ease of access that we have to music now is really something that we take for granted. Forget music when you exercise, I remember having to keep your portable CD player flat so it didn't skip while you were listening and damage the CD. I remember using a pencil to fix tape that my Walkman had started chewing up. Now you have the ability in your hand to create play lists for different moods and different times to help you out. Use it.
Podcasts - there is so much free information out there that it is difficult to know where to start. Some suggestions, you can listen to something for fun, you can listen to your favourite radio station, you can listen to life hacks, you can upskill for work while cooking dinner, you can keep up to date with what is happening around you using one of the many news summary daily podcasts, you can look for information, or you can support a friend by listening to their podcast. You can also play a podcast that you like in the background while you are doing necessary but menial work.
Coursework - there are so many courses you can do on your phone now, not stuff for work or school (though that too), I am talking about fun courses. Find a course on how to take better photos, how to garden (if you are a blackthumb like me), how to meditate, how to bullet journal, I could go on. Look for some courses on things that you want to do, for fun, that you can do on your phone.
Your phone for work
If you are using your phone for work then remember, again, you control how you use it. If getting phone calls or emails from work all the time is stressful then buy a second device (just something cheap and simple, even something second hand) and switch it off at certain times of the day or week. It is a piece of technology, you control it.
Also remember that you can use this technology to solve your problems. It is actually amazing how much power we have in this thing we hold in our hands. We can forget that when we are bombarded with messages about how awful and negative it is. We can do things on our phone now that we couldn't do twenty years ago with a large computer that was considered 'new' and advanced.
There are many things that you can do with technology to make parts of your work life easier, or to make it easier for your clients to engage you or get the process started with you. This will make for happier clients and an easier client relationship for you.
Also remember when you take that work phone call in the middle of your kids' swimming lesson that it is probably because of the phone that you are at your kids' swimming lesson and not sitting at a desk 50 hours a week. It seems trite to say but emphasise the positive. By emphasising the positive you will help to keep the phone in it's place, as a tool to help you, as a tool that you control.
If you want to follow along with our weekly series on work skills, last week we did emails and how they can help you, next week we will be doing limits, they exist for a reason. You can join our mailing list here to get a weekly email with the five blogs for that week, or you can join our Flexible Family Law Facebook group to get this info and so much more.
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