Many of us are guilty of being compulsively attached to our smartphones these days. We wake up and check the phone. We munch on breakfast while checking the phone. We head out for lunch with our head down still glued to the phone. Sometimes, even when it’s not in use, we still feel the need to keep it within arm’s reach - just in case. It has become an extended limb that we just can’t seem to get enough of. But with the world being accessible right from our fingertips, can you really blame us? The problem is that this modern compulsion has become our modern addiction. We’re hooked. And because of this, our virtual life has begun to overshadow our real life.
So, how can you manage your smartphone usage? Here are some tips to balance it all out so you can get back to being more present in your own life.
Be Aware Of Your Usage
Tune in and become aware of just how often you reach for your phone, and try to recognize what’s making you so eager to grab it. Maybe it’s boredom or stress, or maybe you just feel lonely. Whatever the reason may be, by becoming aware of your habit, you can actively work on reducing it. And instead of relying on your phone to distract you, look for other alternatives like reading a book, having a face-to-face conversation or picking up the phone to call a friend to see how they’re doing. Make an effort to get back to that human interaction that's so important.
Focus On Discipline
Self-discipline is one of the greatest challenges for us all, whether it’s regarding finances, exercise and diet, or unplugging from technology. But when you reach a point where your finances, for example, really begin to suffer because you’re overindulging, there’s no option but to reassess your habits and make a change. The same should also apply to your smartphone usage. If you’ve reached a point where your relationships are beginning to suffer or your friends don’t bother to invite you out anymore, then it’s time to enforce change. Focus on putting the phone down and turning your notifications off to resist the urge to reach for your phone. It will take time and effort, but with enough practise and determination, it will get easier. And you just might get invitations to go out again!
Enjoy Life Minus The Screen-Time
Too many of us are obsessed with capturing life through our screen that we end up missing out on the actual experiences. But ask yourself, are those ‘likes’ from people you barely know online really worth it? Likely not. So give yourself a break from being plugged in and seeking the attention or approval of others. Instead, get back to enjoying those special moments in life – birthdays, hikes in the forest, camping with friends, dinner parties and stimulating conversations – minus the screen-time. You'll notice just how much you've been missing out on.
Time seems to fly by with not enough hours in the day. And it’s not hard to see why when we’re constantly glued to our smart devices. As convenient as they are to stay connected with the world, remember that human connection and face-to-face interaction is far more important for our health and our happiness. So start today by practising putting the phone down and focusing on what matters for maintaining personal relationships, friendships – and really appreciating what life has to offer.