How to actually take a break from your phone
The typical mobile phone user touches their phone 2,617 times every day. 2,617 times!
That is crazy to think and most likely you will be reading this on your phone, somewhat ironic. There are detrimental impacts from being on your phone too long, we already know that attention span is at its lowest rate in history but also, being on your phone too much may impact your social skills, disturb your (already messed up) sleeping pattern and could impact your short-term memory.
Funny how phones were created to fix our problems yet they are causing even more problems. We’ve all had that feeling of panic when you can’t locate your phone and you’re getting your friends to call it and you find it in the back of the sofa or your back pocket.
The frustrating part about this debate is it isn’t as easy as you think to put down your phone, due to our technology addiction. But we all know too well they also have the potential to become a negative presence in our life if we allow them. So, how can you ACTUALLY reduce your screen time?
A common approach is slowly reducing your screen time, starting two hours, just putting your phone away, turning it off and leaving it in a drawer. It is best to leave it somewhere where you won’t see it and get distracted. But please remember where you left it. Slowly, increase the time and you will start to see a decrease in usage.
Quit cold turkey! Nope, not talking about tobacco. Use your phone ONLY for texting, calls and maps. Lent is often a good time to do this, that is 30 days where you can reduce your screen time, it is a challenge but at least you have a start and end date which gives you something to aim for. Science says it takes 30 days to get into a habit.
Apps! Ironically there are a few apps available on IOS and Android that offer rewards for time off your devices. Screen Zen is one option. When you lock your phone for some time, a little garden will start to grow, whilst that may not be an incentive for a lot of people, it looks cute and makes you want to grow another one.
Christopher Mims writes a weekly technology column for The Wall Street Journal. His simple and proven way to keep life in a healthy balance with his phone is to put it in a kitchen cabinet at the end of the workday. In his words, “The more you physically remove the phone, the more you can build a habit of having some ability to ignore it when it’s on your person.” Simply, when you finish your day of work, put your phone in a drawer or cabinet.
- The best way that works for me is turning your phone on “Do Not Disturb” even if you don’t need it on. This drastically reduces my screen time as it stops your phone lighting up. Either way, when you don’t see notifications coming through your phone, you are less likely to pick it up and check. Realistically who cares that user76898975643 posted for the first time in a while?
It can be easier said than done and we get that but, it is possible if you just put your mind to it and stick at it. Give your brain and eyes a break from that blue light and find peace in other activities. Do some cooking, journaling or some kind of workout on youtube. There are many other things to do than being on your phone! Live in the moment and continue making IRL memories.
All this being said, time for you to put your phone down and turn it off.