Nearly half of Americans say they "can't imagine" life without their mobiles. Our devices have become extensions of ourselves, and while often a near-necessity (how would we get anywhere without Google Maps?), 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 where it's appropriate to unplug and live undigitally. Setting tech boundaries is imperative to being in control of the phone, and not the other way around. Here are 12 times and places where it really is best to power down:
1. During a Broadway show.
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.
3. When real life is cooler than screen life.
Which is most of the time, really.
4. On 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 john have become increasingly common. To lower the risk of drowning your phone, keep it out of the washroom.
5. At the dog park.
Your dog likes to explore and smell on her walk -- it's one of the the best parts of her day. If your head is down and your mind is distracted, you won't be able to notice her pace and body language. Make the walk around the block your bonding time -- she'll surely gift you with some extra happy wags.
6. 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 hamper 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.
7. 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.
8. In a yoga class.
There are so many benefits to yoga. The practice 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 your class. No one wants to hear a Marimba ringtone during savasana.
9. During a movie.
There is no reason to pay $14 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.
10. In your car.
11. 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.
12. During a Papal visit
You only get one chance to make a first impression. You get a lifetime to regret posing your gaudy pink cell phone case next to a respectable religious figure.
More on HuffPost: