Over this past year, probably due to provincial lockdowns, I have found myself spending a lot of time on my phone. Maybe it was to connect with the outside world during a time when we could not go out and socialize, or maybe it is an addiction. Once I started noticing I was on my phone a lot more than usual, I made it a point to turn it off and get outside or do something around the house to keep me busy. It is easy to get influenced to buy something you do not need or get sucked into the daily drama from your favourite reality show.
At one point, when restrictions lifted and we could go out and about again, I made it a point to be more aware of what I am doing when it comes to my phone. Sure, I still love to take a bunch of photos on a hike, but do I need to check social media while I am in the presence of other people? When we do get to be with other people, we should be enjoying it instead of being glued to a screen.
Want to improve how long you are on your phone? Did you know many apps can now tell you weekly and daily insights? Did you know you can also report on your screen time within your phone settings? You can also set limits on your screen time. Want to customize it more? You can buy Wi-Fi systems for your house to put limits on specific devices and even websites. The options to limit and control screen time are endless.
I know from experimenting myself, putting my phone away has let me get a lot more work done. It has improved my conversation skills, helped with my eyes and headaches, increased my phone battery life, and improved my sleep. But most of all, my mental health has improved greatly. I am no longer comparing my life to someone else’s. I am no longer looking at a model and thinking I need to look like that. I appreciate my surroundings so much more and appreciating the people I spend time with.
If you want to spend less time on your phone, here are some tips to get you started. It is not an easy process, but everyone has the capability to power down.
Turn your notifications off. This way you are not checking your phone every time it flashes a new notification. This will also save your battery life a lot.
Delete apps you do not use. Why do you need something you are never on?
Use app timeouts or download an app that will lock your apps or knock you off them for a set amount of time.
Do not keep your phone in your pocket. The easier they are to access, the easier it will be to check them. Keep them in a purse or backpack or keep them in your car if you are at work.
Set a bedtime. If you know you are going to bed at 10pm then you should shut off your phone at 9:30pm, giving you a half hour for your mind and eyes to have a break and will ultimately give you a better night sleep.
Buy an alarm clock. Many of us use our phones as our morning alarm but buying an alarm clock will allow you to shut your phone completely off at night and avoid the 15-minute social media scroll in the morning.
Do not have phones at the dinner table. I know this one should be an obvious, but a lot of households do not have this rule, how can you enjoy your meal if you are worrying about Kim Kardashian or work?
Have you heard the rule no TV’s in the bedroom? How about no phones in the bedroom? Improve your relationships and/or your sleep. Your room should be a peaceful place not one full of screens and flashing lights.