Smartphones are a modern convenience that has made processes simpler and information easier to access. It has become an integral part of the daily lives of many, so much so that our smartphones feel as if they have morphed into an extension of our bodies. Consequently, we have become so dependent and accustomed to having it with us that going without it can make us feel troubled and restless. When that happens, it's time for a change.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you panic when you've misplaced your phone?
- Are you on your phone during social situations or in the presence of family?
- Do you carry your smartphone everywhere, even to the bathroom?
- Do you go to sleep and wake up looking at your phone?
If you answered yes, knowing when to unplug from your phone is important. Take steps to limit your phone usage and decrease your dependency.
1 - Set boundaries. Designate times throughout the day to take advantage of "Do Not Disturb" and silent modes on your phone. Your emails and notifications will still be there in a few hours. You’ll adapt and the initial pain of not seeing a text or notification the minute you receive it will subside.
2 - Out of sight, out of mind. During family time or hanging out with your friends, put your cell phone in a place you won't hear or see it. Challenge your family and friends to do the same so that everyone can be present and in the moment together.
3 - Don’t sleep with your phone. If you use it as an alarm, seek an alternative or buy an alarm clock. Banish the phone to the other side of the room. Or place it on your nightstand-face down before getting into bed and keep it that way unless there is an emergency.
4 - Go on a full detox. Use a weekend to immerse yourself in a full detox. Put your phone away on a Friday and don't pick it up again until Sunday.
Still not convinced a digital detox is for you? Think of not having to worry about your battery depleting so quickly. Think of all the data you'll save. Think of all the extra time you have to do something more productive and memorable.