I have a confession to make: I am addicted to my phone. Let me explain. Over the weekend before Christmas I left it at my brother’s house. I decided I would collect it the following morning, which meant around 18 hours phone-free.
On Saturday evening my fingers started twitching as I sat next to my husband – drinking fizz and munching on Ferrero Rocher. I wanted to stick the glasses of champers on Instagram, next to a neatly piled stack of Rocher with a # saying something like #festivetreats. I wanted to put a comment on Twitter about Stay Another Day by East 17 being my all-time favourite Christmas track. I wanted to scroll down on Facebook and see all the selfies of people out on the town. People with childcare on tap – not jealous at all. I couldn’t, though. So instead I spoke to my husband. We had a good laugh.
At the end of the night he said “I love you without your phone” and I felt a pang of guilt. I am never one to sit with my phone at the dinner table but when it comes to the sofa – scrap the fluffy cushions and pass me the iPhone any day.
The following day we took the kids to soft play at David Lloyd and I noticed a sign up saying “Tech Free Sundays”. David Lloyd Clubs conducted a study with 1000 parents and their children (aged six-16). On average, children today will spend two hours and 50 minutes every day on their phones, but only two hours talking to their immediate family. It’s not just me I need to worry about. To combat the technology obsession, David Lloyd Clubs is trialling “Tech Free Sundays”, where family areas in its 83 clubs across the country will become no-tech zones – encouraging families to reconnect with one another.
The timing of seeing this sign was a serious wake-up call. It is too easy to become immersed in the lives of others over our own loved ones. I love my phone but something has to give. I want to be a better role model for my kids so I thank David Lloyd for helping me to do this.
JoJo Fraser is a mental health ambassador and author of the popular blog mummyjojo.com