There is no doubt that cell phones have made our lives so much easier. Not only are they "smart," but everything we could ever want is now in the palm of our hands (besides instant pizza, of course, but we will overlook that issue). Finding ways to be on your phone less, though, is hard when it might feel like an extension of you. However, it really shouldn't be taking over your life. Yes, there are those times when you rather look at 20 cat videos than talk to another human being, but when your friends keep on making comments about your cell phone addiction... well, there might be a problem.
Instead of scrolling through Instagram or constantly checking Facebook (guilty of this) for the latest updates on your friends, why not actually go hang out with them? Look, I'm not saying that you have to break up with your precious 5.5-inch screen of joy entirely — because, let's face it, that's impossible. But, what I am saying is to just be aware of how much time you are spending with your little loved one, because like every relationship, it's good to spend some time apart. And although it's a great way to connect with people from around the world and it's always readily available, it just not a good idea to always have it illuminate your face 24/7. Here are five ways for you to spend less time with your electronic appendage and more time with reality.
1. Don't Check It First Thing In The Morning Or Keep It Out Of The Bedroom Entirely
You're just waking up from hopefully a good night's rest, and the first thing you do is grab for that cell phone. Whether you like it or not, it's really not good for you. Not only are you not letting your eyes get adjusted, but you're letting the outside world control your actions. According to Sid Savara, an expert in personal development, in an article on his website, once you check your cell phone first thing in the morning, "you risk doing what someone else wants you to do." Don't let those work emails sabotage your perfectly good cup of joe or that extra 20 minutes you were hoping to stay in bed. Give yourself some time to enjoy the moment before you get your hectic day started.
2. Turn Off Your Notifications
It might not be easy to say goodbye to all your Instagram notifications, but it's a must to take some much-needed time off away from your cell phone. While it's really cool to see how much people love your photo or your tweet, it can get really distracting — more than you realize. Florida State University conducted a new study where by just receiving a text message, it can distract you dramatically. You know what they are talking about: If you check your text message, it automatically leads to a Facebook scroll, which then takes a turn to an email check. It's never ending.
3. Consider Alternatives To Using Your Phone
If you are commuting somewhere or you are waiting at the doctor's office, read a book or write down some ideas. Let your mind wander and get lost in your everyday thoughts instead of allowing it to absorb everyone else ideas and creativity from the Internet. You always know the best ideas come to you when you are taking a shower. Want to know why? Because you are not distracted by anything. *Mind blown*
4. Remember: Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
Throw your cell phone in the deep abyss that is your bag or keep it hidden somewhere where it's not easy to reach. When you don't see it, it won't temp you to go after it and check it. When your mind is free from the digital chaos, it will allow you to focus entirely on the task that is at hand, especially when you are at work. According to a Microsoft study highlighted by the Telegraph, human's attention spans have shortened due to cell phone use. Kind of terrifying, no? If you absolutely need to know who is texting you, and if you have an Apple product, allow them to be sent to your computer. This way, you won't be distracted by social media channels and get back to work more easily.
5. Turn Off The Data
This is for those extreme cases where you really have it bad. This is also perfect if you don't have a lot of data to play with originally. Let this be a reminder of what you are striving to achieve. Once you realize you can't go on the Internet through your phone, it will send a signal to your brain as a reminder of how not to get stuck in the same old routine. Try to give yourself a few hours each day. Withdrawals are natural, but after the first day of this, you will be set.
Don't worry, after taking these steps, you will be free as a bird. Explore your world, my friends!
Images: Giphy (5)