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I haven’t wrote a blog post for a while however I got the inspiration to write one a few days ago. Since the the availability of smart phones in recent years, it seems that they have become an integrated part of our lives. Many people now days seem to have a mobile phone or a smart phone of some kind. At times we may wonder how we ever lived without a smart phone?

Since being in India, I have become aware while traveling on public transport such as buses and trains here, that people seem to have a less of a preoccupation with smart phones as opposed to us in the west. The people here seem to come across as being more engaged and more communicative with each other on buses and trains. They talk to each other more openly and there is a sense of community or spirit on these transport systems which I haven’t experienced in the west.

In this day and age, it is always good to feel connected and have the opportunity to communicate with other people when we want to. However at times it can feel that our smartphone is ruling our lives.

If you are engaging or have done any of the following, there is a high probability that your smart phone could be your master;

* Constantly checking your iphone or other smart phone device for emails, Whatsapps, Viber messages, Facebook news feed etc.

* Looking at your phone first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

* Feeling naked or that something is missing if you left your phone at home one day by mistake.

* Spending hours in a coffee shop or some other establishment that has wifi and losing complete track of time and of reality.

* Having a panic attack if your phone has 20% battery or less and it is now late afternoon.

* If you have been on a bus, train or plane and you haven’t chatted with the person next to you because of your preoccupation with your smart phone.

There are positives in having a smart phone such as;

* You can get information or news instantly in regards to what is happening in the world.

* You can contact people instantly if there is an emergency of some kind.

* You can make bank account transactions online to pay bills etc.

* You can learn new things with various apps such as learning the guitar, a new language ….

* You can chat to friends and family from all over the world with the simple click of a button. However there are certain drawbacks in regards to having a smart phone too such as;

* You are contactable 24/7.

* You may find it hard to switch off and relax.

* You can waste lots of time in your life that you could be doing other more worthwhile things such as learning something new. For example if you spend 2 hours per day on average on your smart phone this would equate to approximately 91 eight hour days!

* You can lose your communication and interaction skills with other people and even isolate yourself from life.

* You can also lose your need or desire to interact or socialise with other people.

Here are a couple of ways that I have come up with, that could help you to make your phone your slave rather than your master..

* Switch the phone on silent when you are with other people.

* Discipline yourself in regards to the times when you choose to respond to emails, texts, other messages etc.

* Place your phone in a different room to where you are sleeping and switch it off.

* When on a mode of public transport, look for other creative ways to occupy your time such as chatting with the person next to you or maybe just relaxing and enjoying the moment.

* Keep track of how much time you are on your smart phone everyday and be honest with yourself in regards if you used your time wisely.

* Have the courage to delete any apps that you believe are wasting a lot of your time.

* Limit your smart phone usage to a certain amount of time per day, for example 1 hour per day.

As always I would love to hear any feedback, comments or words of wisdom you may have.

Namaste. TW