Chances are, if you look around, you will see many people on some sort of device. Whether it be a laptop, a tablet, a phone, doesn’t matter. Most people have their noses in their device, especially the Millennial generation. But don’t be so quick to judge these people. As someone on the upper end of the millennial generation, I can attest to so many reasons I may be on my phone. And it may surprise you, but most of those don’t have anything to do with being bored or killing time.
Most millennials grew up with technology. I was around 10 (I believe) when we got our first computer. We had dial-up internet and the AOL interface! And if someone called the house, you were kicked off the internet. School papers were still turned in on actual paper, and we had to go to the library to do research. Very quickly, technology advanced and it became ever more present in our daily lives. Cashiers don’t have to do any actual math anymore, the machine does it for them. You can drive up to an ATM to get cash rather than having to go inside the bank. Technology has made so many things more convenient, but also means we rely on that technology more and more.
One of the first things I do in the morning on my phone is log into my bank account. I check it daily to make sure that nothing looks funny, and our credit cards haven’t been stolen (one of the downsides of so much technology). My bank app tells me if our paychecks go through so I make sure we are getting paid. Transactions on the credit card are listed. I can see the savings accounts we have set up for ourselves and the boys and make sure we are putting enough away. We pay all of our bills online and the bills come at all different times of the month, so I can pay those as needed. I haven’t written a paper check in a long time, and have never balanced a checkbook because I have had online banking since I got my first bank account as a teenager.
All my emails are synced on my phone. Between my husband and me, we have several businesses of our own, so it’s important to keep up with clients when we are on the go. There are times that a quick response is needed, and we can do that with our phones. I also get emails for updates from Tyler’s preschool, so don’t want to miss one of those. One morning, for example, we were sent an email that there was a suspect on the run near the school, so they let us know they were in lockdown and to bear with them at pickup because the doors would be locked. I was out running some errands when this email came in and went straight to pickup from there, so if I didn’t check my email on my phone I wouldn’t have known anything about it.
Community Events and Information
Just because I am on facebook, doesn’t mean I am playing. There is a facebook group for the community I live in. People post anything and everything in there from suspicious people out and about to lost/found pets to events that are happening. There are a lot of fun events for the kids that happen here, and I get most of that information from our community facebook page. Others also ask for recommendations for various things that I have been able to go back and search, like when we needed someone to come fix our garage door and someone had just recently asked about companies to hire.
Setting Up Playdates
My boys love being able to play with other kids. Whenever we set up a playdate, it is usually done through either a facebook message or a text message. It’s important for kids to be able to play and interact with other kids, so I may be setting up times for the kids to meet with others at the park or playground or at someone’s house.
Looking Up Recipes
Pinterest alert! I am on pinterest often checking ideas for some recipes I can make for our family. I try to find healthy meals, but sometimes also find great ideas for a snack or dessert. Being a food blogger, it’s also partly business related to be looking for ideas for recipes that we can make our own and adjust to our family’s preferences. Of course, the boys don’t eat half of what I make, but Justin and I enjoy the food!
Once I find those amazing recipes, I start my grocery list. When I actually go to the store I prefer a written list so I can cross things off as I go. But if I am out I will add things we need to the shopping list in our Alexa app, or in notes on my phone. I’ve also been known to email these things to myself.
You should see my reminders app. It’s full of things that we need to get done. Things I will think of while I am out somewhere and forget when I get home. So I’ve started to make sure that I write them down, or rather type them out in my reminders app. I love that I can set a reminder time so it makes me go back and look at the list.
My Kindle Paperwhite goes with me everywhere. And if I don’t have the actual device with me, I have the Kindle app on my phone. I love to read. I read a little every night before bed. And having a Kindle is so much more convenient because it is smaller than a regular book and also holds multiple books. When I was in college, if I had some down time between classes, I was often found sitting by the fountain with my Kindle in hand, soaking up the Florida sunshine.
I have to empty my phone every couple of weeks because it runs out of memory with all the photos and videos I take. Most of those are of the kids, and of the recipes I create. Being a scrapbooker, and a Legacy Republic consultant, I know just how precious these memories are, and how fleeting the time can be. I am always capturing photos and videos of the boys to help create their legacy. And with that comes also making sure to back up the photos and videos so I don’t ever lose them!
My parents live in Florida. We live in Texas. FaceTime is a great way for us to keep in contact, and let’s the boys talk to their grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc. without having to talk on the phone. Ryan doesn’t say much yet, but he loves to see everyone on the phone and still communicates with them in his own way.
There is so much information available on the internet. I use my phone to check the news because I don’t ever watch it on tv, but like to stay informed. Every day I check the weather to see what to expect, know how to dress the kids, and plan our day around the weather if needed. I have the app for the local school district, which Tyler’s preschool follows for an academic calendar so I can check days off. The school app also keeps me informed since Tyler will be in kindergarten in less than two years at these schools. Sometimes I may be researching for an upcoming blog post, or looking up the next appointment I have scheduled for the boys to see their doctors.
Ok, and sometimes, yes, I may be playing a game. Although that’s actually very rare for me. Unless you count going geocaching, because I do have to use my phone for that.
I try not to keep my face glued to my phone, but it’s also just part of how technology has evolved. I am not just staring off into a screen, I am paying bills, working, checking what needs to be done, staying informed about my community and the world. My phone is where I take photos of my children and family when we are on the go and I didn’t want to being the big camera.
Yes, we all need to make sure that we take the time to enjoy the world around us. But we can’t be “unplugged” every second of the day. It just doesn’t happen. But before you are so quick to judge that mom at the playground who is on her phone, think about the millions of things she could be doing to try to help her family at that moment.