For the first three days we are going to break down the first three rules with a side of phone fasting! Sometimes when we have time to think about the why, we’re more likely to do the what… at least that is what I’m counting on for my own self-control.
Be safe out there--not everyone on the road is participating in the #SmartFreedom Challenge,
Ash Wednesday Challenge: 30 Minute Phone Fast! + the original Ground Rules
Today’s challenge is to turn your phone OFF for 30 minutes (in addition to the car, meal, and bathroom prohibitions). You pick and choose the 30 minutes.
THINGS THAT DON’T COUNT (because they are already part of the Lenten Challenge!):
THINGS THAT DO COUNT (or “opportunities for growth”)
HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FREEDOM
I read an article once that said one of the highest contributing factors to accidental overindulgence at a party is that we just don’t know what to do with our hands… at a social engagement we feel we need a drink in hand because we’re just… awkward. The same thing applies to our phones. Small practices of having our phones OFF or IN THE NEXT ROOM can help us to rid ourselves of needing something in hand at all times. NOTE: If all you got out of this paragraph is that you need to replace your phone with a glass of wine, I’m okay with that.
We’re only talking about 30 minutes… think of all you could do! Fold some towels sans phone, spend some time in prayer, do a cartwheel or some stretches because you realized you haven’t done a cartwheel in 20 years and that really hurt, go for a walk, or just do anything you would normally do--only without your phone!
Remember to tell your loved ones that you will be out of reach intermittently for the next 3 weeks!
Use your judgment… if Airplane mode is what you need instead of OFF, try that… if On and Silent is what you need, try that… if zipped up in a bag, in the next room, with the door locked is what you need--go for it!
If you forget today’s 30 minutes, you have to add it to tomorrow’s challenge!! And no one wants that...
GROUND RULES SPOTLIGHT #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” it is 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.
Why Is This Important?
SAFETY!!! It is sooo dangerous to text or anything and drive. If it's dangerous when you are paying attention with your hands at 10 and 2--of course it’s only more dangerous when you’re distracted and correcting your autocorrects. NOTE: We prohibit use of Siri or any voice recognition in the car as part of this challenge because if we’re honest, we spend more time looking at our phone to correct what she thinks we said than we would just texting!
SELF-CONTROL: It takes discipline to have the phone off or out of reach in the car. It hurts!!!!!! Whether on a short trip or a longer drive from one end of Carencro to the other, it is important that we can just say no for a minute.
SETS AN EXAMPLE: Boom. Particularly for those with precious little children in tow… our kids, nieces, nephews, uber patrons, friends, etc. are watching. If we set an example for safety we are not only saving our own lives, but potentially saving the lives of others as well.
What To Do With Your Hands
Take some time to pray!
Okay… well, hold the steering wheel, perhaps that should be first.
Then take some time to pray! Enjoy the scenery. Contemplate all of God’s other children driving like maniacs hither and thither. Take a breath! Relax. You can get to those missed messages when you get to your destination. Besides... it's good for those trying to reach us to have to wait a little bit. It teaches them patience! Look at you... making the world a better place one unanswered message at a time!
For the overachievers, highly competitive, and #SmarFreedom Challenge vets, here's your bonus challenge: DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE... when you are also the PASSENGER IN THE CAR!!!! Keep your driver company & have what we at Ask Aunt Katie like to call "a conversation".