Think of all the times a day you either rely on your phone to do something or you use it just because. The last thing I see when I go to bed and the first thing I see when I wake up is my phone. When I am bored or uncomfortable I take out my phone. I know I am not the only one who is constantly relying on my phone throughout my day and feel lost without it. My question is, why? Why are we all so attached to our phones that we can hardly go from one room to the next without having it in our hands, we can’t walk down the sidewalk without looking at our screen, and we can barely have conversation with someone without thinking about checking our phone?
When we take time away from our phones we are able to live a more full and meaningful life where we aren’t more focused on what’s going on in other people’s lives than what’s going on right in front of us.
When you put your phone away you…
Relax your mind
There is constantly something you can be doing on your phone between checking your email, scrolling through Instagram, playing a game, and reading the news. The least you can do is give your mind a little time to relax and not constantly focus on what you are seeing on your phone. A phone is like a piece of social life that never goes away, give yourself the time you need by putting it away.
Give your eyes a break
The small text and light from your phone is not healthy to stare out for hours a day. It strains your eyes which can also give you a bad headache. Do yourself a favor and let your eyes take a break from always staring at the harsh light of your phone, especially if you are someone who lays in bed with the lights off scrolling though your phone for hours, which leads to the next point.
Putting your phone away before bed will help you sleep better. It has been proven that blue light, the light our phones give off, reduces your production of melatonin which helps you fall asleep. In my blog post How To Fall Asleep And Stay Asleep I talk about what I do to help me sleep and why putting my phone down helps me so much!
Notice the world around you
I used to only walk home from classes if I was looking at my phone because for some reason I felt like it was awkward to not be staring at my phone. I’m sure many people can relate to this. One day I realized that I was walking home completely on auto pilot and not paying attention to the things going on around me. Once I started putting my phone away on my walks home I felt so much more relaxed, it was a nice break after sitting through all my classes. I also realized I ran into more friends because I could actually see my surroundings!
Live in the moment
When you’re not on your phone you’re living in the present and paying attention to the things happening around you. I would hate to look back one day and realize I spent more time texting friends instead of talking face to face that I missed out on my life and what was happening in the present.
Stop comparing yourself to others
This is one of the unfortunate aspects of social media. When you follow so many public figures and ‘Insta famous’ people you begin to compare what you are doing in your life to theirs. In reality, social media is just a small snippet of the best parts of people’s lives, but when that’s all you see all day you begin to compare your life to theirs and feel like you aren’t doing as well. When you put your phone away and focus on your life and making yourself happy you will feel much more fulfilled.
Give more attention to family and friends
Theres nothing I hate more than sitting at a restaurant and seeing a family or a group of friends sitting at a table all staring at their phones not talking to each other at all. It makes me so sad. You take time out of your day to be with the people you care about the most, but you all spend your time engaged in other texting conversations with people that aren’t present, snap chatting people that are also not present, or just mindlessly scrolling through social media which you could do at any other time. Your family is so important and the people that are there for you no matter what, but they won’t always be there. It is so important to give them the time they deserve and put your phone away and engage in real, uninterrupted conversation. The same goes for your friends. With so much of our communication these days being through technology the time we get with our friends face to face is special and we should take advantage of it and not be talking to other people on our phones.
Become more respectful during conversations with others
This goes off of the point above. I think everyone can agree that when you are talking with someone and they pick up their phone to engage in a conversation with someone else it is extremely annoying and rude. It’s important to give someone your full attention when they are talking to you. When you are in a social situation make an effort to keep your phone away and give your attention to the people around you.
TIP: Use an app
About a year ago I came across an app that was extremely eye opening. It’s called Moment, and it tracks how much time you spend on your phone everyday. I was shocked to see how many hours a day I spend on my phone because I couldn’t have ever imagined it would be that much. For example, on my worst day I spent over FIVE HOURS on my phone from the start of the day to the end. I was probably just hanging out at home watching youtube videos and scrolling through Instagram, but still… imagine what I could have gotten done in five hours. I think it’s very important to have an app like this because before I didn’t realize how much total time I was spending on my phone; it doesn’t seem like much when you are checking your phone throughout the day, but it’s crazy how it adds up to a huge chunk of your time. Just add up how much time that is in a week! Being on my phone was practically a full time job. I am much more cautious of my phone use now and try to keep it away as often as I can.
In conclusion, technology is a huge part of all of our lives, and it’s hard to stay away from it, but it is so much better for ourselves and our relationships if we put our phones away and live in the present more. The less I am on my phone the more I feel relaxed, aware, and overall happier! I challenge all of you to use your phone less and live in the present more!
What is a benefit you notice when you use your phone less?
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