to celebrate, here are two images i’ve already created with my various camera apps (yes, i’m a total dork):
and so, in the interest of maintaining a rather public accountability, and keeping open this valuable conversation about when we use our technology and how, i want to share with you my iPhone rules (Draft #1, subject to revision or amendment i’m sure).
first of all, my over-arching mission with integrating the iPhone into my and my family’s life is that it will be:
- used to celebrate and document our family life (e.g., photos and video, note-taking, blogging)
- a tool that aids in my household manager roles (e.g., budgeting, cooking, banking, organizing, planning)
- a connecting point with the wider world that will then nudge me to pray for and to encourage others
- something that will simplify and streamline workflow so that i can be MORE present to my real life rather than less
- a method of clearly communicating with my husband (sharing to-do lists, synching calendars, using the same budgeting software)
- a gift for enjoying my geeky photographer interests! 🙂
secondly, i have carefully chosen what apps are and are not going on the device.
these are the apps (apart from the built-ins) that i’ve chosen to install:
- VSCO Cam, Instagram, AfterLight, and Over (yes, 3 camera apps. this is, afterall, the biggest reason i wanted an iPhone!)
- Gmail (i’m looking forward to being able to drop friends a quick note when i’m thinking of them)
- LMCU (our credit union’s app for depositing checks and checking balances and paying bills)
- You Need A Budget (the budgeting software that is changing our lives)
- Wunderlist (to-do list organizer because I write a million lists)
- Calendars 5 (google calender synced with Tim’s)
- Pinterest (for easy recipe access, mostly)
- Olive Tree (a Bible app; i’m not sure i’ll ever want to use it as much as a paper bible, but it’ll be there just in case)
- A Flashlight app (so i can read in bed without disturbing Gus, who still sleeps in our room)
these are the apps i’m choosing NOT to install/use:
- Facebook (FB is my gateway drug into the never-ending exploration of the corners of the internet. i figured that if i just left it off my iPhone, i’d be about 60% less likely to end up surfing all over everywhere online, thereby becoming disconnected from the life that is actually unfolding in front of me in the physical world.)
- Safari (I disabled it) or any other internet browser (i’m not as firmly committed to this one. I just wanted to see what it was like to use my phone without it. I suspect that having it disabled will streamline my use of my phone to truly meaningful purposes. during the day when i inevitably think of something i want/need to look up online, i can just make note of it in Wunderlist and then when i’m at my desktop computer at a designated time of day, e.g., during naps, i can pull up the list and use it to direct my browsing.)
- Games (well, i’m not a gamer anyway, so this isn’t really sacrificial, but i’ve been told games are huge time-suckers)
third, i’m forming rules for the conditions/places in which i will or will not use it. here’s what i’ve got so far:
- meal-times are phone-free times. the phone don’t even come to the table.
- there is a docking station for the iphone and it will “live” there rather than in my pocket when we’re at home. the docking station is pretty centrally located so that i can grab it to shoot a photo or video in relatively quick fashion, but it will not be so near that I can reach over to grab it absent-mindedly all throughout the day.
- i’m thinking of setting up internet-free time each day with tim so that we can be more likely to connect. but this isn’t established yet.
- unplugged sabbath days (exception: only to look up information about or directions to someplace we want to go)?
- i will absolutely use it to read an article or email a friend or peruse the instagram feed while i wait for my kid to fall asleep, or during nap times.
and now, the disclaimers:
you may think, “gee whiz, this lady is seriously over-thinking and over-managing her iPhone use! lighten up!” and i see why you say that, dear reader, i really do. but i know myself and my tendency to get snared into escapism and time-wasting on social media, the internet, and techy gadgets like this, so it feels wise to go in with a plan, and with intentions that can guide me. not to be all legalistic about it, but simply to keep choosing the life that i most deeply desire to live (which is not, it so happens, a plugged-in life).
also, it should just be said, i am in no way suggesting that the above “rules” ought to be universal. each person will have his/her own considerations in thoughtfully engaging the technologies in his/her life, and the conclusions that are reached are not as important as having taken the time to think it through.
and i know that all of what i’ve written above will probably not work out quite as cleanly as i hope, precisely because i drafted it up before i actually acquired and began using the iPhone, and also because i’m sure there are things i haven’t anticipated. so we’ll revise as needed. there’s so much grace for this process. so much.
thanks for going on this journey with me! i think this is an important conversation to have. and i would really really love to hear more from all of you about this subject. comment below!