Be Better from a Social Worker.


Hello all! My name is Coralyn, and I live in beautiful Bend, Oregon. I work as a social worker at the local hospital where I help families through the transition to end of life.

This week’s Be Better challenge was to take phone breaks. I didn't think this week’s challenge would be all that difficult because I feel I don’t use my phone that much. I also have pretty strong opinions about people being on their phones all the time instead of engaging with others.

Although the challenge wasn't super difficult, I did realize I use my phone much more often than I thought I did. I also realized I am guilty of using my phone to avoid interacting with others or to put off doing things I think are difficult or even to escape feeling difficult emotions.

Not to state the obvious, but there are two ways to learn things in life: positively and negatively. For example, I can learn eating healthy makes me feel good by eating healthy everyday, or I can learn eating healthy makes me feel good by eating junk food and realizing how horrible it makes me feel.  This week I had experiences with both the positive and negative side of learning about my phone use.

Let's start with the negative so that we can end on a positive note. I recently came back from a vacation in Europe. This week I spent some time with friends talking to them about my trip. We were in the middle of a very engaging conversation, and I reached for my phone to show them some pictures of my trip without telling them what I was doing. I continued talking while scrolling through my photos.  When I found them, I looked up and the tone of the conversation had completely changed. In fact, some of them had started their own conversations. I immediately realized my being on the phone had inadvertently expressed I wasn't interested in talking or engaging with them. Obviously, showing pictures on your phone is not a bad thing, but my friends had no idea I was doing that.

On the positive side, I was playing cards with the same group of friends several days later, and I consciously left my phone in my purse so as not to be tempted. That evening was very enjoyable, and I got to know a lot of my friends even better because we were present and connected. As human beings we are hard-wired for human connection. I did notice when some of my friends were on their phones, it created a barrier that prevented them from being fully present or as engaged.

I really love Be Better because it allows me to focus on small ways I can improve my life weekly as well as to make a global impact! I mean seriously... I don't use my phone for a few minutes a day and money gets donated to a wonderful program! What more could you ask for? Be Better is awesome!