No-phone zone implemented in one Dubai household

  • Saturday, November 12, 2016
  • By Ion Gonzaga
  • 0 Comments


Mobile phones have become our 'best friend.' In fact, we hold it, touch it and look at it more than we do with our loved ones. We even take it to bed.

I used to do that. We all do.

Now, at home, mobile phones are not allowed in the bed (and on the dining table, among others). We're strictly doing this for almost three months now and we're enjoying the positive effects.

There are challenges in the beginning, and I mean CHAL-LEN-GES.

We fail every now and then and we always try make reasonable excuses for browsing Facebook and Youtube "just one last time" before putting it away. That's how attached we were.

Eventually, we improve day by day and we're reaping its benefits.

Here's what's happening:

1. Meaningful conversation

We're able to encourage our 4-year old daughter to talk more (as if she's not already talkative enough). She shares more about her day in school and we get to ask more questions as well. Never mind if she's on repeat. Many times, her young mind speaks about her dreams and aspirations of what she wants to become.  We discover her more at the time before she becomes Little Miss Sleepyhead. She loves it when your ears are 100% on her.

As a couple, we're also able to get more minutes of quality conversation about absolutely anything. Instead of chatting on Facebook with someone else, or posting on our walls, real talk happens. Sometimes we also remember important subjects we want to discuss at the days end, so it's recommended to reserve a time for that.

There are many realizations that only a good night conversation could reveal. So we don't let the gadgets interfere with this anymore. CHAL-LEN-GING.

Notice lots of more happens?

2. Additional reading time

BOOK reading it is. Instead of Youtube, we engage her more into storytelling. It's more fun when this is your habit. At many instances, she's the one telling her own fairy tale already. Instead of spending my remaining energy on browsing my mobile, I use it to play characters while reading her a story. More fun.

I've also devise a night reading plan for longer nights, and it proves really helpful.


3. Falling asleep becomes easier   

These days, scrolling news feeds had replaced counting sheep to help us sleep. We thought browsing stories on Facebook reduces the day's stress. Apparently, it does the other way around more often than not.

Eliminating smartphones in bed is the smartest thing that ever happened to us. Better sleep, better body. Enhanced energy the next day.

Also, when we wake up, the phone is NOT the first thing we look for. [Read about my social media fasting here]

In short we (continue to) become healthier in many aspects - spiritual being one. Sometimes the  most spiritual thing to do is sleep (rest).
No one's exempted in this house rule. At times, our daughter reminds us when she sees phone in the bed that "Phones are not allowed in bed mommy/daddy." It's really good to hear those words from her. Even though she's exposed to technology, she knows that everything has a proper time and place of use. She learns that nothing beats real interaction.  At her age, she's not tied to something 'invaluable.' I'm a happy dad.

We are also trying a ' less phone weekend' rule. We'll only hold the phone for important purposes. When matters are important, people would call. Unfortunately, many of us rely on chat for everything. But people should call.

With the phone away from bed, goodnight means better night.

Please, if you find this useful, I encourage you to also practice a no-phone zone at home.

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Top photo from Google Image Search Results | 10 signs you might be addicted to smartphone

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