Tag Archives: cell phones

Addiction – It’s a Part Time Job

My dad likes to give me a hard time about how much I use my phone. He’s even gone as far as saying I have an addiction. Of course, I defend myself and insist this is not the case (probably with my phone in my hand).

But then I read a guest post on David Snape’s blog about a man who ditched his smart phone for a hundred days… And survived. After reading it, I thought “how nice!” But immediately decided, IMPOSSIBLE! He lived. I’d die. However, I did decide to download the app BreakFree to track phone usage. Curiosity, really. Or denial.

This is hard to admit. But then again, I guess any problem is. And apparently, I have a phone addiction! Here goes:

I average four hours of use per day. Not on phone calls, but just apps or messaging. FOUR HOURS A DAY. Simple math brings that to TWENTY HOURS a week (not including weekends). That’s a part time job!!!!

It’s not like I have nothing to do. I have seven kids. I homeschool them. Laundry is an everyday ordeal, not to mention homemade meals three times a day and cleaning. But somehow, between my claims of having no time, I find four hours each day to play on my phone.

Now, because I use my smart phone as a computer, I don’t get on the actual computer unless I have to print something for school. I also use it as a camera. I blog from it. I don’t use Facebook, but apparently other things can suck the time out of your day just as easily!

So what’s to be done? I can’t just give it up. I mean, I need my phone… what about GPS??

The app has many tools for limiting phone use, including turning off message and other notifications during select do-not- disturb hours set up by the user, disabling the internet, having auto messages sent to callers during DND hours, etc.

My main issue is I actually believe I don’t have enough time in the day to do x, y and z. Obviously because of my denial of where my time does go. So it’s finding a balance between use and life   and learning that pesky little thing called time management.

So we’ll see how it goes. Admitting the problem is the first step to recovery, right?

Confession: I Yell at Automated Service “Representatives”

Before I begin, can I just ask what exactly we did when our phone service was down and we had to call customer service to have it repaired before cell phones?  Go to the neighbor’s house at 8:00 in the morning?  I will have to ask my mom because I simply do not remember.

Once, when I was about 8 or 9, I called a friend to invite her over to play.  Her mom answered the phone and said, “She will have to call you back.  I’m on the other line.”  I had never heard that expression before, had no idea what it meant, and therefore thought the mom either didn’t want her daughter talking to me, or the mom was just being mean and saying something to a little kid that made no sense.  So I cried.

Anyway, I digress.

This morning we awoke to no internet.  Hubby said the land line was down too (yes, we are so last decade for still having a landline).  So I went to check if my iPad was working.  But no WiFi either!!  So it was time to make a service call… from the cell phone, of course.

After a series of pressing numbers and yelling answers into the phone, and “I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize your response, please re-say or enter your response now,” and then the kids making some more noise, I screamed at the non-living voice on the other end:


“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your response.  Please hold while I connect you to someone who can assist you.”

“Thank you, stupid fake person.”

Boring hold music began.  I turned it on speaker phone so that I could fold laundry at the same time.  A fake person had told me that I had at least 10 minutes of wait time, so I was multi-tasking.

The hubby rolled over in bed and grumbled that the noise was awful.  I glared and said, “Yes, I thought the same thing when it was screaming its awfulness in my ear.”  We really do secretly love each other.

“Thank you for your patience.  Please continue to hold.  Did you know that you can enter a trouble ticket by logging on to our website at http://www.att.com, and clicking on the “service” tab on the screen?  Most questions can be…”

“SHUT UP!  If I had internet, I would NOT be listening to your fake voice and horrible hold music now WOULD I?!”

More music played.  I continued to fold.

“Are you interested in saving your environment?  Did you know you can go green by signing up for paperless billing…”

“I do NOT CARE about the environment (okay, I do… just not when I’m on hold)!!  Now SHUT UP!”

Music continued.  Seriously… was this stuff composed by an actual person?  Or is it somehow artificially generated as well?

After awhile, my call, which was very important to them (hey, the fake person promised me that about 20 times while I was on hold!), was finally answered in the order in which it was received.  And by a LIVE PERSON!   Oh the joy!  A trouble ticket was created and the call was ended.  Someone would be out sometime before the middle of the night.

So… I had plenty of time to take the kiddos to the park, meet a friend for lunch, and then come back home before dashing out for the next series of errands.  And would you know, the internet was magically working again in that short time span of about 3 hours?

I called to cancel the trouble ticket from the car.  The kids were all talking at once and the poor automated service representative could not keep up, so I was transferred to a live person within 30 seconds.  Go figure.