Tool or Distraction?

This week’s post is written by our Guest Blogger and Coach, Kathy Murphy.  What she has captured here (and has challenged me on) is something I believe is worth the share and consideration by you.  Enjoy the read. And Kathy – thanks for your go ahead to post your work!


Recently I read Amy Blankson’s book, The Future of Happiness with the hope of picking up some tips about new technology related to our lives.  Instead I had my whole mindset turned upside down. Amy Blankson stated the average person checks their phone 150 times a day. You Say What?

With a conservative estimate of 1 minute per check,

totalling 2.5 hours a day of distraction,

912.5 hours a year, which equates to 38 days a year.


I reacted quickly by reaching for my phone, to do my own fact checking. Quickly it became evident that these numbers were absolutely correct. To be quite honest the 1 minute allotted per check is an under estimate, likely just used to prevent people from gathering up their family’s technology, laying it carefully in the driveway and then driving over it a few times in an attempt to quickly solve the problem.

Deciding to see how ‘average’ I was, I down loaded the app MOMENT, that was suggest in the book. This app did what it said and was free. Unfortunately, I found I was far more average than I wanted to be and some days even above average.

This app creates a new awareness around technology and allows me to see my phone for what it is, a tool and a distraction. Giving thought to the purpose of my phone allows a conscious decision to be made. Will, I be using this as a TOOL or a DISTRACTION? By becoming more mindful, I now model how I want my children to use their technology. With 3 teenage kids as my lab rats, I have seen the good, bad and ugly that technology has gifted us. Awareness might just be the best gift of all.

I have not stopped using my phone as a distraction, but I am sure proud of the fact that I’m below average for the number of times I turn on and check my phone each day. I have not convinced 3 teenagers that technology is toxic and nor do I truly believe that. The level of awareness around how frequently, and for what purpose technology is used for is now front and centre.

Knowing (Hoping) my children will not always live with me and understanding the collaborative power of 3 teenage minds when wanting to get around the rules, information coming from someone other than a parent is key. Thank you, MOMENT.  Children become aware of their technology usage and make decisions that will improve their quality of life. Learning to recognize technology for what it is, a tool or distraction helps set one’s own boundaries.

By no means is my phone only a tool, but by placing my phone in a drawer while working, giving family specific rings and turning off most dings, my phone has adapted to fit my life, no longer my life to fit my phone.  Thank you, Amy!


Kathy Murphy

Helping Parents, Teens and Young Adults

CTI Coach,

Over 1000 lives impacted


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