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8 Places where your smartphone doesn’t belong

For most Kenyans life without their mobiles phones is unimaginable. Our devices have become extensions of ourselves, and while often a near-necessity, they can also be more burdensome than functional.

Excessive smartphone use takes us out of the present moment, but it’s more than an annoying habit. Research has linked disproportionate smartphone use to anxiety, depression, stress and a lack of focus.

There are still moments in our very digital age when it’s appropriate to unplug and live un-digitally – or analogue if you may. Setting tech boundaries is imperative to being in control of the phone, and not the other way around.

So here are some of the places and occasions where it really is best to power down:

1. In the toilet (or in the shower) – Sadly, most of us are guilty of texting on the toilet. Some studies have found that the average person’s smartphone is actually germier than the toilet seat.

But it’s not just icky. Cases of people dropping their gadgets in the toilet have become increasingly common. To lower the risk of drowning your phone, keep it out of the washroom.

2. At home with your child – Lead by example and let your child know face-to-face conversation is the way to truly honor those around you.

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Extend that attention you give to the phone to your loved ones.

3. During a meeting – Using your phone during a meeting isn’t going to solve any inefficiencies. In fact, you and your colleagues are destined to get off track.

Just feeling a buzz or hearing a beep can humper your ability to focus, so it’s best to keep your phone on vibrate, tucked away in your pocket. That dreaded meeting will be shorter and more productive.

4. At a wedding ceremony – The couple has hired a photographer and your grainy smartphone photos are actually just making said photographer’s job harder.

Allow yourself to witness this special occasion tech-free and reminisce in a couple of weeks when the gorgeous, professional pictures are posted to Facebook.

5. In the gym – There are so many benefits to working out. The workout can clear your head, improve your sleep and present you with a new-found sense of gratitude.

For one inward-turning hour, you’re given the privilege of living in the present moment. And if not for your own benefit, switch to airplane mode out of respect for the other people in the gym.

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Using the phone under the cover will deny you sleep and affect your relationship negatively.

6. Under the covers – The only activities that should occur in your bed are sex and sleep. Make this a rule to live by and you’ll snooze more soundly and improve your relationship.

7. At the movies – There is no reason to pay Sh 1,000 to see a flick in theaters if you’re going to behave the same way you do when watching a movie in your living room on the couch.

8. While driving – Because in Kenya it’s the law and because it’s a terrible idea everywhere.