Switching off from technology and social media is virtually impossible these days and unfortunately we would be very naive to believe that we can completely turn off for longer than a few hours given that most of us have to use the internet and social media for work which obviously can’t be avoided.
Gone are the days of independence from technology, I mean, for most of us our phones know us better than we know ourselves and at this point are pretty much just as integral to our beings as our actual organs. I don’t know when I am due to ovulate; but you can rest assured that my phone does!
Tearing the tech out of your hands can be a difficult task, however I have found a great medium where I can avoid spending my life scrolling through squares and can actually sit in the real world for a pretty good portion of my day. Here’s how I managed to brave this heroic task…
Don’t check your phone when you wake up.
Yes I need to use my phone for an alarm, or 9. But once I have pressed snooze for the millionth time, I put my phone down. My boyfriend wakes up and scrolls through Facebook and is instantly in a virtual world, but I don’t want to be sucked in from the second I wake up, and guess what – I can survive without having to!
By not picking up your phone first thing, you are more inclined to leave it longer before entering the world of social media and this time is really important in setting yourself up for the rest of the day. In fact, if I’m busy working, it won’t be until lunchtime or even post 5.30 that I will even click on the gram.
Allocate time to step away.
If you are inevitably going to grab your phone first thing, or your job calls for you to enter the virtual world from the moment you open your eyes, don’t fret. There are plenty more hours in the day to focus on the physical world.
Try setting yourself breaks throughout the day where you leave your phone upstairs, or turn it off completely. Maybe just spend an hour reading a book or going for a walk, or if it’s safe to do so, leave your phone at home. It’s amazing how quickly the craving goes when you don’t have the opportunity to check your phone at all.
Make certain events a phone free zone.
This is really important to me. There is nothing I hate more than phones at the dinner table. If I am at a restaurant or just having dinner at home with my boyfriend, phones are a no go. It makes me so sad to see couples or friends out for dinner or for coffee completely absorbed into their screens rather than the exciting conversation they could be having with each other. If you set a rule for these occasions, it will become a habit and you won’t think twice about putting down the phone.
Use an alternative to your phone where possible.
Yes, there actually was a way to read before the Kindle and online blogs… they are called books – shocking I know! There are also alternatives to lots of the magical things your phone can do. You could dust off your old sat nav if you don’t know where you are going, invest in a calendar so you don’t have to rely on your calendar app, listen to the radio and maybe even write a card or a letter.
I actually write letters and cards all the time. Ok fine, mostly to my boyfriend and I am sure he’s fed up with finding homes for them all and not to mention the hundreds of trees that have lost their lives to fund the mountains of paper I have used (can you do anything right these days…), but it’s so refreshing.
Sometimes I look back over my messages with my partner and my friends and think it’s so instant and so flippant, but when I buy a card I really think about what I want to write. I articulate myself in a completely different way and I put a lot of effort into the presentation and experience the recipient is going to have. Plus people really do love receiving post that isn’t a bill so I would highly recommend.
Keep moderation in mind.
Look, it’s 2019, we’re not going to avoid technology or screens and at the end of the day, embracing progression is the best thing we can do, just keep moderation in mind. If you have sat with your face deep in your screen for 3 hours and you can’t actually account for any of that time with anything productive, it might be time to think about keeping this activity in moderation.
Balance this out with a date with a friend, or a walk outdoors, or just something more productive. If you don’t have a problem then crack on – I’m impressed as it is hard these days! But also be realistic with yourself and the time you are spending in a virtual world, and do what you can to experience the real one just as much or preferably, more often that the virtual one!
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