#MCM: Put It Down

“Who are you texting now?”

She asked the question, with a tone of frustration and an expression of exasperation.  “She” is my wife, and the question, well its a question I get asked at least three times a week, if not more.

“I’m sorry, baby girl, repeat to me the last thing you just said.”

My face is red with embarrassment, to even have to make the request.  “Baby Girl” is any one of my three daughters, and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had to make that statement, because I was looking at my phone, sending an email, texting, posting, or simply just scrolling.

I have a problem.  I don’t like to admit it, but apparently admission is the first step to recovery.  I’ve admitted it lots of times, still I don’t seem to get past that first step, before I’m picking my phone back up, “connecting,” “working,” or “sharing” (all fancy speak for not being present when I need to be.)

I know I’m not alone in my struggle.  I see it everywhere I go.  People driving with one hand and their phone in the other.  Sitting at a restaurant, and half the room is scrolling, texting, or gaming.  In my own living room, and every person over the age of 5years old has a device in their hand, and our faces are illuminated with that bright blue glow.  Its an epidemic, and perhaps I’m the most infected of all.

Its time to “PUT IT DOWN!”  How is it I’m shackled to a small black box who’s only lock is my five digit passcode.

What to do?  I know, I know, PUT IT DOWN!  But how?

I’m starting a new challenge today.  I may be taking on too much as I’m on day #15 of a 30 day health challenge.  But this challenge seems like a far more important one.  Its a challenge to put down my cellphone.  Here’s what it will look like:

  1. 5 o’clock Dock – At 5pm every day, I’m docking my phone and I WILL BE present with the people I love the most. If you really really need me, I’ll leave instructions on my voicemail of how you can reach me in case of an emergency.
  2. Face to Face before Phone to Face – When in a conversation with someone I will be 100% present, not looking down at my phone every stinking time it buzzes.
  3. Kill the Notifications – Turn off all notifications except texts and phone calls.
  4. Purge – Minimize the myriad of ways in which I’m connected – I am overly connected, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, GroupMe, Linkedin, YouVersion, to name a few.  I gotta streamline.

This is my Man Challenge Monday to myself, and I would invite some other men to join me. Who’s with me? Let’s Put it Down and let’s be better men!

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