utilize smartphones usage effectively

50% of adults admit that they feel that they are addicted to their smartphones. Now, if 50% of adults feel this way, without question, kids and teens are feeling this even more so. We as adults should know how to use social media and our smartphones with wisdom, and make good habits, and yet most of us will freely admit we don't. And so if we don't know how to use our phones correctly, how are our kids going to know?

My name is Leah Remillet. I am the founder of the CEO Kid, and I am a consultant and a strategist. And I want to share with you, not only the research that I've done in understanding how to make better habits with our smartphones, but also I want to give you five strategies and habits that you can start to implement within your family, for your kids, even maybe for yourself, to help you better utilize your smartphone and make sure that you are using it in a way that helps you, and empowers you, and doesn't hold you back.

Here's the thing just because you have a smartphone, doesn't make you smart. So let me tell you a little bit about how this journey started. A few years ago, I decided to take a seven-day break from social media. I did this, I'm going to admit, not for myself. I did it with a group of teenagers around the world, and I was doing it to support them.

I wanted them to know that if you're willing to get off of your phone, or off of social media for a week, I will do it with you. So, that was the plan. And I'm going, to be honest, I didn't think it was going to affect me. I really only use social media for my business, so I thought "This isn't really going to have much of an impact, but I want to support them."

I couldn't have been further from the truth. I could not believe how much better I felt throughout this week, and by the end, I felt more creative, I had more energy. I was getting so much more done. The list went on. Well, I shared this with an entrepreneur friend of mine and told her about the experience and the results, and she was so excited that she decided she was going to try it as well.

And she would take a break for a week. Now, this is someone with a huge following, 85,000 plus followers. So I say that only because I want you to know that so often we might feel like, "Oh, but I can't do this."

Anyone can take a break. So she went ahead, took a break as well, and again was astonished by the results. One of the things that she shared with me was she was in the middle of regular life and thought, "Oh, this would be great for a story. I better stop, style it a little bit, and take a picture." And then she remembered "I don't have to. I'm on a break." And she got to go right back into being present.

So once we both finished this, we decided that we wanted to learn more. We wanted to get more information, and we wanted to figure out how we could utilize that information to help people have better habits with their smartphones.

So that's exactly what we did. We put this out to our audience. We had so many people choose to participate, and they filled out a survey every single day of this social media detox, so that we could better learn and understand how we were feeling because of social media, and how we could better use social media.

So here's what we found out after the week, 94% of our participants said that they felt more positive about life. Now contrast that with the rise in depression, anxiety, suicide, among our teenagers. There is a direct correlation.

92% felt more engaged in their life. Contrast that with kids who are binge watching shows or YouTube, and just allowing their phones to be a numbing device, instead of going out and truly living.

And 92% felt that their face-to-face relationships improved, with the key relationships being within the walls of their home. Now as a parent of teens, I absolutely know that we, like you, would relate that we want to have these great, amazing relationships with our kids. And we know that time is running out.

So understanding that social media is hindering our feelings of positivity, our engagement, our relationships, it helps us to better realize that we absolutely need to get a handle on this. We would not put our kids behind the wheel of a car and say, "Oh, I hope it goes all well," and not give them any training. And yet we hand them a smartphone that has access to the entire world, with no training, and just hope that it's going to be okay.

Too often it's not. We can do better. And when we have the knowledge, we can really make a difference. And that is what I hope I can help you with right now. So here are five strategies that you can start using right now that I really believe can help your family with smartphone usage, so that it empowers us instead of derailing us.

So the very first is to set phone-free zones in your home. In our home this is bedrooms. So there are no phones in the bedrooms. They charge in the kitchen, and the kitchen table is a phone-free zone. When we're eating dinner together, no phones are at the table. That way we have places where everybody truly feels that they can connect.

There's so much research coming out about teens saying, "Yeah, I think I have a problem with my phone, but so do my parents." So we want to make sure that we're both making the changes. This is something that we can do together. And really that's going to be the secret to success with talking to your kids.

When we say, "Hey, I believe in this. I believe this will help us. I believe it can help me. It can help you. I want the best for you. I believe in you. I trust you, but I don't want this phone to hurt you." When we can have those kind of conversations, we can really make positive changes.

Utilizing Smartphone Usage for Children

The second strategy is to turn off all notifications. Did you know that the companies who are utilizing notifications, many of them are hiring the same consultants that the Las Vegas casinos hire to get better and longer engagement on their gaming machines? That's right.

The same people trying to get you to go chi-ching over and over and over, are being hired to get you to stay on your phone longer and longer and longer. And they are successful. Every year the amount of hours that we spend on our phones is increasing. The only way that we can counter this is to get smarter and more strategic.

Number three, how can we get smarter and more strategic? Another way is to bury the apps that are the biggest distractions. So don't make them so easy to access. Often our most distracting app is right there on the front home screen. Instead, pop those into folders and then place them further back down your swiping line. And I would even take this a step further, and about every 30 days set an alarm that everybody goes in and changes the location of those apps.

So that folder moves one more screen because we actually get used to, and we train our minds to know, "Oh, now I know where it is," and go to it faster. One of the things that we found when we surveyed all of our participants is that especially on day one, how often participants were going to where the device normally was, and then the only reason they caught themselves was that that app icon wasn't there during that week.

So if we can move them around, bury them, then we're going to help retrain our minds to not go there without thinking, thoughtlessly, were you just on habit. I mean, as adults we've had the experience where we went on to our phone to do one thing, and then we're on something else and we're like, "Wait, what was I supposed to do?" This is absolutely happening to our teenagers as well.

Number four, set timers. So, okay you can be on social media apps right now, but you have this much time. One of the most beautiful things about this is just that it helps us to really become aware of how often we are spending so much more time than we meant to on our phones. So maybe they went in to use a social media app and they thought, "Oh, I've been on there 15, 20 minutes." And it's really been an hour.

And the last thing is to make sure that we are using the downtime and the limits. So on our smartphones, we can set downtimes. We can set where this is where the phone shuts off for the night. And this is when it powers back on. This is when I've reached my limits for these apps, and so the app is no longer available for the day. And you can set parental controls so that they can ask for more time if they need it.

You can say yes or no, but by us being more involved with our kids' phones, we will be able to help them, empower them, and have real conversations so that they can feel better, and do better, and live better with this amazing technology we

This video is a part of the Children and Electronics initiative. An initiative hosted by Learning Success to help parents learn how to better regulate screen time for their children.

You can find the complete series at

Just because you have a smartphone, doesn't make you smart.

Key Takeaways:

Every year the amount of hours that children spend on their phones is increasing.
There's a direct correlation with depression among teenagers and excessive phone usage.
Smartphone usage can either empower or derail users.

Children and Electronics with Leah Remillet

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