From good morning to good night, you’re probably attached at the hand with one thing and one thing only: your phone. Whether checking e-mails, catching up on the news, listening to tunes or posting to social media, your head is down and your back is hunched. Whether you’re commuting to work, waiting for an appointment, eating a meal or spending time with family and friends, you’re all about the screen time. From sharing and snapping to talking and texting, you’re more robot than in real life.
While we think that our pocket pal is a necessary tool to make it through the day, that’s not always the case. If you’re routinely engaging with your phone more than with the people around you, it’s a problem. By doing so, you’re failing to live in the present and missing out on valuable moments (that can’t be repeated by the touch of the play button). As a result of scrolling on the (extra) regular, you’re weakening your in-person social, communication and relationship building skills, which are all important to succeeding in both your personal and professional life. Plus, in addition to the social harms, extended screen time is harmful to your vision and may cause long-term damage.
Beyond conforming to the norm, worst of all, you’re either feeding an addiction or showing the (ultimate) sign of disrespect. On the whole, it doesn’t matter if you’re kicking it solo or keeping with the crew, the issue of attachment is at play. Less a tip, more a test: try to make it through one day of the week sans mobile and messages. One day down? Do it on a weekly basis. Find out the benefits of being present for a full 24 hours, read on.
By breaking the habit, you’ll experience a new sense of freedom. Leave your phone behind and let go of the hassle. Not only will your schedule feel less hectic, but you’ll also find yourself picking up on the little things. Rather than constantly checking to note if you have a notification, you’ll learn to observe. By taking a minute to tune into your environment, you’ll organically improve your existing relationships and increase the number of new ones in your life. Feel free to finally chat with the person you see every morning while grabbing a coffee.
When you use your phone less, you’ll build self-confidence. Forget about logging in to one (or all) of your social channels to touch base with friends. Make plans, stick to the plans and make the most of quality time with friends and family (phone-free). Trade FOMO for all the feels. You won’t regret it.
Get back to the basics: read a book, write a letter and use a (throwback) calendar. There is something about flipping the pages of a book and holding a pen that is forever satisfying. And while you’re keeping the pen and paper combo alive, give your body a break. Roll your neck, lose your hunch and stretch your fingers to work out all of the killer kinks.
If tucking your phone away for the day is not your jam, start with baby steps. Try to remove all of the social apps from your phone and limit the time you’re staring at the screen. Set an example for your family and kids, as their usage will be a reflection of yours. You’ll be sure to feel happier and healthier.