How Ditching My Smartphone Let Me Recharge and Reconnect

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Like many Americans, my cellphone is with me 24/7 — in the car, on my morning run, and yes, in the bathroom. I use it to check on my family, stay on top of my kids’ activities and navigate from point A to point B, among other things.

But more and more, I’ve noticed that I also turn to my phone to fill what might otherwise be a quiet moment. Instead of letting my busy mind wander, I scroll through social media sites, check email and watch YouTube clips. I’m even guilty of sending texts while sitting at a stoplight or in heavy traffic.

I’m not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2015 National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors, 42 percent of adults reported answering calls while driving — and that doesn’t include people who are texting or on social media. Walking is problematic, too. A 2013 study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention reported a noticeable increase in phone-related pedestrian injuries since 2004. People strolled into traffic, collided with poles and even walked straight off a bridge.