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  • Aunt Katie

#SmartFreedom Ground Rules

Without further ado… here is your First Challenge: the Ground Rules! This first challenge lasts for ALL of Lent! So as each week progresses we will continue to follow the Day One Rules! Ready? Me neither.

10 SmartFreedom Ground Rules:

We’ll start with the obvious and work our way down (Note: 1-4 + 10 are non-negotiable.)

(1) No phone usage while driving.

  • Meaning: no texting, no googling, no social media of any kind, no email, no Netflix, no internet, no Siri (again, this is about detachment), no phone usage. Exceptions: GPS + Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, etc. (NOTE: only search for your location, song selection, etc. before you have put the car in drive!)

  • Suggestion: Look into “Do Not Disturb While Driving”--a very cool feature for iPhones that keeps notifications from coming through while you are driving (Settings > Do Not Disturb. DNDWD can be set to automatically turn on when sync’d to bluetooth or manually). NOTE: Don’t look into it while driving.

  • FAQ: What about phone calls? If phone calls mean you are not texting--that is a move in the right direction!

  • BONUS CHALLENGE: Enjoy a little silence in the car instead.

(2) No phone during meals.

  • Yup. Meaning: no phone. Exceptions--there are none. Let me repeat: no texting, no googling, no watching a show, no responding to a text, no reading tomorrow’s #SmartFreedom Challenge, no social media. NO.PHONE.DURING.MEALS. Even if everyone else is on their phones… Even if you’re dining alone and you feel super awkward. Even if you’re dining alone and you’re at home. This rule ain’t easy.

  • Suggestion: Turn it off and leave it in your bag or pocket or car. If it is on you will be tempted to “check the time” then you’ll see your missed messages, and it’s all over from there. NOTE: That “Do Not Disturb While Driving” can be set manually any time--not just when you’re driving...and you can edit your away message accordingly!

  • FAQ: How will I ever know what time it is? I have... meetings. Need to know the time during meals? Set an alarm before you sit down.

  • BONUS CHALLENGE: Invite your meal companions to join you in the #SmartFreedom Challenge! They can join in at any time.

(3) No phone in the bathroom.

  • Meaning: I don’t feel that I need to explain myself. You know who you are. Added Benefit: You can’t drop the phone in the toilet if you don’t have it on you.

  • Suggestion: Keep your phone out of your pocket when you can… leave it in your purse, gym bag (is that still a thing?), locker, desk drawer, etc. If you’re at work, school, or at home--you don’t need your phone in the bathroom.

(4) Communicate about your lack of communication. Tell the person who would most freakout that you aren't responding that you’re doing this #SmartFreedom Challenge (i.e. your mother. Tell your mother you will be unable to respond for brief to not so brief periods of time.) We are working on detaching from our SmartPhones, not detaching our loved ones from their mental health. If your mom, husband, cousin, bff, frenemy, etc. is going to think you’re dead if you haven’t responded for 20 minutes because you’re eating, driving, or otherwise--warn them!

(5) Prudence in all things. If your daughter is driving by herself for the first time to a sleepover in a sketchy neighborhood--(1) rethink that decision, (2) keep your phone on you… You know the difference between being on call at the hospital or being on call just in case your friends might want to make plans. You can't enjoy the benefit of cancelled plans if you don't make them to begin with. You know when and where you can turn your phone off, or on silent, or just leave it in the next room.

(6) Be gentle with yourself. We’re using the word Challenge because these are challenging!

(7) Toughen up, buttercup. You wanted to be challenged. Let it hurt.

(8) Ask for help when needed. We will be posting weekly “How is it going?” or “Victory Lap” posts in the facebook group. If checking in with the group will not put you into a social media spiral, you are welcome to take the opportunity to share your shame or glory!

(9) Not required, but a suggestion: Do a little phonexamen at the end of the day… How did today go? Thumbs up or down? When did I go into screen zombie mode? What triggered it? Was I in bed? Was I in a waiting room? At a stoplight? What will I do tomorrow to catch myself before I phzone out?

(10) Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you can take your gaze off of the screen and back onto the King.

Don't forget to share this challenge with your friends!

You can't suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) if your friends are also MO.

NOTE: Not getting the daily emails? Let Aunt Katie know.

Click here if you still need to Sign Up for the Challenge!

Click here for the #SmartFreedom Welcome Message!

Click here for the DAY ONE CHALLENGE!

#SmartFreedom #GROUNDRULES #Challenge #Freedom

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