How do I break up with my phone?
Hi Kindlings! Recently I've been trying to be mindful and present but I'm seriously attached to my phone. I hate it when other people are on their phones all the time, but I find myself doing it far too often and I'm sick of feeling like a hypocrite. So my question to you is what are some tips to help me reduce my phone usage?
- I'm on 1%
Welcome to the modern day plague. The smart folk of app developers and smartphone user experience teams have been excelling at their jobs to the point that we find ourselves rejecting the real living breathing moments of our lives for curated, optimised on-screen lives measured in likes and now ‘reactions.’ (Thanks Facebook for reducing my emotional range to 5 quantifiable categories!)
How can we manage our usage to make sure we aren't missing out on the magical off-screen experience called life?
Smartphones ARE really damn useful and at the price we pay for them, they NEED to be. The conundrum however is: how can we manage our usage and addiction to make sure we aren't missing out on the magical off-screen experience called life?
Here are some practical tips to help you balance your virtual world with real life:
Change your notification settings
Did you really need to know that you’ve just been tagged as “someone who likes Game of Thrones?” Getting into the back end of your notification settings is great way to cut back on unnecessary distractions. Go through the 10 apps you use the most and figure out what things you actually want to know about. Want to get in the habit of checking Instagram just once or twice a day? Start using badge notifications.
Make sure you trial how different settings work for you. For example, you might find that in fact you find yourself on your phone more without some notifications on the lock screen, because you now feel the need to constantly check for them manually.
Turn your phone off at night
Give yourself at least half an hour before bed to do something other than scrolling through a feed of unending content. You brain probably doesn't need any more of an overload at the end of the end and besides - ain't nobody got time for that.
Set your charger up somewhere that isn't in your bedroom, or at least isn't within reach from your bed. But I need it to wake up in the morning, I hear you say. Buy an alarm clock. Problem solved.
As soon as you remove the phone from your bedroom you will not only get a much better beauty sleep but also reduce your chances of staying in bed too long and getting into the office late, again.
Do not disturb mode is your new bestie
Schedule ‘Do not disturb’ every night so that overnight distractions don’t tempt you to check your phone.
You can adjust your settings to allow calls from a selection of your most important contacts. Or turn on Repeated Calls and if it's actually urgent you won't end up missing the call.
At work? Finishing an assignment? Or out to see a friend for coffee? Get into the the habit of switching on ‘Do not disturb’ manually from the lock screen.
Try a monitoring app
We swear by monitoring apps! Last week we gave it a go and suddenly realised that all the excuses we made for not having time to study or go to the gym, were lost in the 4 hours of our lives we spent online each day.
Figure out how much time you’re spending on your phone, what apps you’re using the most and if you actually need to be doing that. You can also set goals to use under a certain amount per day, or reminder to take a break if you’ve been on your phone for too long.
So if you're still here, ask yourself the following:
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?
You can get through this. We believe in you. Put your phone the fuck down.
Lots of love from the Kindlings community.