The Quarterly Check In (Of Your Mobile Device)


Look around you.

Are you in your car?

The driver stopped next to you at the red light … she’s gazing into her phone. Thumbs sliding laterally, eyes darting vertically.

The kid waiting at the crosswalk is doing the same thing.

Maybe you are too…

Are you at a coffee shop?

A huge majority of your fellow patrons are engrossed in a device.

How many coffee shop patrons are actually talking face to face? Is anyone merely reading a book — or even a non-connected kindle?

It’s possible, but not likely.

That’s the point of this exercise. To gain more time in your day to look around you … and at your fellow human beings.


Today, you are going to check your cellphone ONLY FOUR TIMES.

You can tailor your checking to suit your own schedule. But here is an example based on my routines.

Let’s assume a 12-hour “connected window” for your day … 8 am to 8 pm.

Before 8am, I will not be checking my device. I will meditate, cook breakfast, play with my daughter … anything except for checking.

First check: 8 am. No need to set a time limit for this check, but realize that once you are finished with your checking session, you will not be looking at your device again until…

Second Check: Noon

Third Check: 4 pm

Last Check: 8 pm
“Smoke ’em while you’ve got ’em” when it comes to your twitter feed, new york times, gmail, calendar … anything. Have a nice long check, and then get ready to say goodnight, because after you’re done, it’s a no-device zone until bedtime.

The point here with each check is to not set a time limit. Really concentrate on doing everything you need or want to do to tide you over for the next four hours.

Is checking your phone only four times per day unreasonable?

There is only one way to find out.

Become a Digital Detachment reader: | twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *