What's the first thing you do on your phone every morning? [Roundtable]

How does your phone tell you good morning?

Our phones are an extension of ourselves. They're more than just another a tool and we use them for almost everything and reach for them many, many times throughout each day.

For many, our phones are also part of our morning routines. Now we're not saying this isn't just a little bit obsessive. We are smartphone and technology enthusiasts from top to bottom. And we're not ashamed. And when we wake each morning here's how our phone fits in.

Jerry Hildenbrand

This is an easy one. I reach over and check Allo Messenger every morning to see the daily photo my daughter sends me of the newest member of the family. It's the perfect way to start the day, and taking 30 at a time for a Google Photos printed photo book is pretty cool, too.

Sorry if you were expecting me to log into servers and scan logs from my bed (I do that after breakfast). I'm just a softie for kids, especially when I get a chance to spoil them and promote bad behavior. I hope that makes me a great Grandpa!

Andrew Martonik

Generally, the day starts by wading through a mound of notifications that came in, which takes enough time for it to act as a wake-up routine. For me, that means right off the start tapping the jam-packed Gmail notification for my personal account, then doing the same for my work account. I quickly archive what I know I don't need to read, then save the rest unread for when I can actually comprehend the content.

Then it's onward to the usual rounds, going through the rest of the notifications. Usually, that means Twitter, Facebook, and Slack (everyone's been awake and chatty for a couple hours by the time I wake up) need to be checked. After that, I'll check the Twitter timeline to see what's happening, and I'm up and out of bed at that point.

Now and then I'll fire up Pocket Casts and listen to whatever ongoing podcast I have for the handful of minutes I'm triaging notifications, just to get my brain functioning a little bit.

Ara Wagoner

My phone wakes me up thanks to Tasker turning on Google Play Music, and once the music draws me out of dreamland, there's usually one of three things I do with my phone. The first is checking my notifications, if there's anything pressing like a missed call or text message, I can see it and reply. If my notifications are blissfully empty, there are a few apps I'll check depending on my mood. If I'm feeling playful or groggy, I'll open Disney Emoji Blitz to play a few rounds of my favorite match-three game.

If I'm feeling more productive or inquisitive, I'll open up my trusty Twitter app to see what's going on in the world and see if I missed anything jaw-dropping overnight, and to kill a little time while I try to get my mental gear turning. After Twitter, I hit Inbox to see if there are any good sales or pressing messages, and then it's back to Disney Emoji Blitz or DeviantArt until I have to haul myself away from my heavy, heavy blankets and put on some clothes.

Jen Karner

I'm really not what you would call a morning person. So by the time I grope for my phone after four or five alarms have gone off, there are always notifications. I mean like, a page of notifications that all want me to know what I've missed during my few hours of sleep.

I tend to check Slack first, to make sure nothing at work has burned to the ground. After that, I'll check on Facebook where I always have the most notifications waiting for me, and then after that, I peek into my email accounts. Of course, all of this happens while I'm still under the covers because waking up is hard.

Tom Westrick

I have a special playlist of slow music I listen to at night to help me sleep, and that's the first thing I hear when I wake up in the morning. I usually schedule my alarm to go off about 30 minutes before I need to be up and moving to give myself time to just listen to music and ease into the day.

I usually don't remember much of what happens between me waking up and me drinking a cup of coffee, but somewhere in there, I manage to check notifications and respond to anything urgent. Once I'm sufficiently caffeinated, I hop in the shower, in which case I change over to my general music library and use my JBL Charge 3 speaker to blast whatever I feel like listening to while I get my suds on.

Marc Lagace

The first app I typically gravitate to in the morning is Bacon Reader for Reddit, where I check to make sure that the world is still turning and maybe get a few chuckles in to start my day. Otherwise, I'm checking for any new notifications and then checking into my Gmail, Slack, and Trello apps to see what my work day looks like.

From there I log into my health apps like MyFitnessPal to log my breakfast, EufyLife to log my weight, and then find a new podcast to listen to on Spotify while I pop into the shower. Pretty basic stuff, however, it's kind of concerning that I've become really good at finding my phone in a half-asleep state, and that it's quite literally the first thing I go for every day I wake up. Feels like a habit worth breaking at some point down the line...

Richard Devine

Usually, the first thing I do on my phone is look and see what time it is. Then I usually roll back over and go to sleep! On a more serious note, since do not disturb is a thing, and a very good thing, I'll check any notifications that may or may not have come in (I'm not that popular) then I'll check social media. Then I might get out of bed.

What's particularly useful in my daily routine are the Slack and Trello mobile apps. As boring as it sounds, while I'm getting up and getting myself ready for the day I'll open both of those and see what the day brings. Because we're on so many different time zones at Mobile Nations there's usually something that needs attention, and I like triaging that stuff on my phone before I sit down at my desk with a large cup of caffeine.

Harish Jonnalagadda

I tried a radical thing at the start of the year where I didn't bring any phones into the bedroom. I tend to get up without needing an alarm anyway, and considering I spend a majority of my day looking at a screen of some sort, I figured it'd be a welcome change to not stare at my phone before going to bed. That worked for a few months — instead of browsing Twitter, I ended up reading for an hour or so every night, and it was great. I even came close to meeting my yearly quota.

That didn't last, however (I got lights I can control with my phone), so now I usually start my day looking at all the WhatsApp notifications I've missed overnight. Admittedly not the best way to kick off a day as most WhatsApp forwards are inane. Then it's off to Gmail to see all the updates from services I didn't know I signed up for, along with a flood of promo emails. Then I look through Slack to see if Google decided to buy BlackBerry, and because I don't drink any coffee, I indulge in a quick round of Mini Metro instead.

Daniel Bader

I'm not a morning person, and I usually rely on my wife's alarm to wake me up, so my phone is, as terrible as it sounds, my lifeline to finally getting out of bed. I have Samsung's convertible wireless charging pad next to my bed that doubles as a stand, even for phones that don't offer wireless charging and usually glance at my phone, bleary-eyed, for a couple of minutes before diving into the notifications.

The first thing I usually do is check the weather using Dark Sky, which I find to be the most accurate predictor of precipitation and other inclement weather in my area. Then I open Twitter, which is usually a terrible idea, so I close that and open the NYTimes app, which is less terrible but still also sad.

Less sad is when I, like so many others, open Slack to check in with the overnight crew, many of whom have been working already for many hours. Slack is addictive because, being in a remote company, it's the place everyone congregates, so there's usually plenty to catch up on. I'll finally end my morning romp (often while brushing my teeth) scrolling through Instagram, which is where I find myself spending much of my social media time these days.

Your turn

We know we're not the only ones who reach for the phone when we wake up. Tell everyone your morning routine and how your phone fits in!



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