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Technology has become so integrated into our everyday lives that our phones, tablets… even fitness trackers are now able to send and receive text messages and emails, make calls and keep us on task with calendar reminders and alarms.
But I am here to offer a friendly warning.
Before you are tempted to use your smartphone as an alarm clock, consider all of the negative ramifications that doing so can have.
In fact, you could think of it as being forced to entertain an annoying house guest. Someone that tries to distract you, puts negative thoughts in your head and messes with your daily routine and quality of sleep.
Using your phone as an alarm is not only unnecessary, but can actually be detrimental to your personal growth, romantic relationships and even your health.
If you’re one of the many people already using your phone for this, the good news is that it’s never too late to quit.
In this article, I’m going to give you 5 good reasons to stop (or never start) using your phone as an alarm.
Reason #1: The phone alarm makes it hard to resist phubbing your partner
Ok… before we delve into this one, you may be wondering what phubbing is?
Don’t feel bad. I hadn’t heard of it myself until recently.
Simply put, phubbing was a phrase coined in Australia to describe the act of “snubbing” someone while using your phone. Snubbing + phone = phubbing.
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s do a quick gut check.
Ask yourself, “Have I ever been guilty of phubbing my partner?”.
More than likely, the answer is yes.
In fact, I’d say that every person with a smartphone has been guilty of staring at it while sitting or laying next to their partner…. not because we don’t want to talk with them, but because it’s easy to get distracted when those different sounds go off or alerts pop up.
After all, if you put your phone down, you may miss something. But would that be the end of the world? Are there that many things that can’t wait?
If you use your phone as an alarm, you are essentially giving yourself permission to phub your partner the very moment you wake up.
Let’s play this out.
Alarm goes off.
You reach for the phone to dismiss it… and then you see some of those shiny notification alerts just waiting to be read.
You contemplate putting the phone down and ignoring them, but you’re only human. Besides, reading just one short work email or text from your sister never hurt anyone.
Well, maybe not literally… but every second spent disengaging with your partner is one too many.
Life is short and relationships are fragile. If you love your partner, let them know by putting them first.
This means keeping the phone out of the bedroom so that the romance stays in it.
We touched upon the temptation of checking messages first thing in the morning after the phone alarm goes off… but does it ever really stop there?
Work emails, texts… check.
Wait! What’s this? A comment on my Facebook post? An alert that my fantasy football team is projected to lose this week? Someone tested a cure for Covid-19 on a dog?
Smartphones are called that for a reason, as their algorithms make it possible for the phone to know what interests you.
In fact, it does this so well that your phone will bait you into spending more time on a certain page… while leaving you coming back for more.
Without even realizing it, you’ve just added another 30 minutes to the 10 already spent reading emails and texts.
And that’s 30 minutes of your day you’re not getting back.
Reason #3: You can expose yourself to negativity
Ok. Let’s be real.
Very little of what we read in the news is positive. In fact, it can be a downright bummer.
I stopped watching the nightly news on television shortly after our second child was born. And, yes, that was an actual thing before today’s news started popping up in our email, web browser and phone.
For me, it was downright depressing some days to think about raising children in this world. Rarely was any of the news happy… because happiness doesn’t sell as well. It was filled with controversy and loss. Devastation and despair. Corruption and scandals.
If I didn’t like watching the news on tv, why would I want to have it pop up first thing in the morning when I reach for my phone?
It would be a different story if the first thing that you saw was a positive affirmation or daily mindfulness quote… but Debbie Downer will find her way in.
And it’s not just the media spewing negativity… many times it’s your “friends” on Facebook and Twitter. Reddit or Instagram.
But you don’t have to let it be.
STOP using your phone as an alarm and take back control of your mindset in the morning.
Reason #4: EMFs (Electromagnetic fields) from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can impact sleep and contribute to insomnia
We all know that getting enough sleep is so important when it comes to our mental and physical health.
To ensure this, you’ll need to take a good look at your daily routine… and pinpoint what, if anything, may be impeding our slumber.
Things like caffeine, poor diet, lack of exercise or fresh air, work or life stress… technology overload. Experts say these things need to be avoided close to bedtime.
In addition to the obvious distraction risk, smartphones and tablets using WiFi or Bluetooth actually produce electromagnetic fields (EMFs)… which some researchers believe can influence brain activity during sleep.
As a matter of fact, more and more people are jumping onto the harmful EMF bandwagon… opening the door for companies to capitalize on the potentially adverse effects by selling EMF blocking sleep masks, sleeping bags, smartphone cases and copper shields.
Yes, copper shields.
If you STOP using your phone as an alarm, it won’t have to be next to your bed. And if it isn’t next to your bed, then you aren’t risking exposure to EMFs.
Whether you buy into the hype or not, keeping your bedroom an EMF-free zone gives you one less thing to potentially have to worry about… and less worry means fewer restless nights.
Reason #5: You’ll be more likely to disrupt your daily routine
Many of us depend on a calendar to keep our days, weeks and months straight.
Life moves fast and the more involved you are in things, the busier it gets.
Between work, social obligations, family commitments, hobbies and activities… establishing a routine is vital in order to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks.
For instance, my current daily routine goes something like this:
|6:00am||wake up, have coffee, put kid’s lunches together|
|6:30am||check my work emails|
|7:00am||wake kids, make them breakfast|
|7:6||through in a load of laundry, make sure kids get dressed for school|
|8:00am||check (4) teacher emails for the daily agenda and last minute items|
|8:30am||get kids to school|
|8:30-12:30am||household chores, to-do list items, assist with virtual school|
|12:30-1:30pm||workout and shower|
|1:30pm||make kids lunch, maybe eat a bite myself|
|2:30pm – 4:30pm||work on my articles|
|4:30-6pm||afterschool activities, prep dinner|
|7:00pm||get kids cleaned up and into pajamas|
|7:30-8:30pm||bedtime routine with kids, family time|
As you can see, my day is pretty structured. It doesn’t always run smoothly, being a mom of four, but it gives me a nice outline to work with.
It makes me feel as if I’m getting what I want and need to get done each day.
My phone is not my alarm. It is not even in my bedroom.
Now what would happen if I changed that? If I used my phone as an alarm?
More than likely, I’d wake up at 6am and check my text messages. My emails. Facebook. The weather. ESPN.
And before I even realized it, it would be 6:45 and I’m now behind schedule.
Something would have to give so as not to ruin the rest of the day… but what? The kids will be up in 15 minutes!
If you STOP using your phone as an alarm, you will be less likely to disrupt your morning routine… which would create a domino effect on the rest of your day.
Final Tips for How to Stop Using Your Phone as an Alarm
Don’t get me wrong… technology is a many splendored thing.
But it can also be our downfall if we are not careful.
As with anything in life, technology should be utilized in moderation… so if you STOP using your phone as an alarm, you are already cutting back usage.
Fortunately, I have some tips for wearing yourself off this bad habit, such as:
There are many great things that our phone can do for us, but waking us up should not be one of them. It’s not necessary and there are many alternatives.
A positive start to the day paves the way for productivity… so it would be silly to let something as trivial as phone alerts and text messages stand in the way of that.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.