How using your phone less can improve your life…
No one denies the fact that mobile phones brought a lot of improvements to our lives. They help us stay connected with the people that are important to us, even if there are great distances between us. They help us stay informed and look for valuable and useful information, do shopping, act as an agenda, and much more. What most people don’t realise is that using the phone too much can have a negative impact on our lives. It affects our family and social lives, our social skills, and makes us feel sadder, without realizing the underlying cause.
More time for family and friends.
While it is important to stay connected with the friends and family members that are not anywhere near you, we should do our best to spend more quality time with our family and friends that are close to us. You see, time flies very quickly and the moments we spend with the people we love will turn into precious memories. Would you like to remember yourself constantly fidgeting your phone or you would like to remember the last adventure or great time you had with the most important people in your life?
Just think about it. And whilst the images we capture in these moments may be something to look back on, it is often the moments in time when we are so engrossed in the present that we forget to take photos, they are the moments that imprint themselves the deepest. I know for sure that the 7000+ photos on my phone only rarely get looked at again, it is the moments of deep belly laughs, or conquering a mountain that I remember the most, and they are the ones I want to keep close to me.
Your relationships will improve.
It is a proven fact that today’s relationships are highly affected by the use of mobile devices. Instead of spending time talking at the end of the day or in the morning, couples prefer to use their free time on their mobile phones, playing, checking out social media, or browsing the Internet. Then, partners don’t seem to realise what the source of their problems as a couple is. We need to put phones aside and enjoy time with our partners more if we really want to know how happiness really is. I recently downloaded an app called Onward that tracks your phone usage and then gives you tools to help reduce screen time. After just a week I went from 2 hours a day to 15-20 minutes screen time. I noticed that my compulsion to check social media became almost nonexistent, and I gained a bunch
of free time. My relationships gained a lot from it, and I was actively engaged in play and conversation. And mostly felt significantly less distracted by the urge to be connected online.
More free time. Get still and be present.
It is said that the small things in life that bring us happiness count the most. But how can we find these things if we spend most of our time staring at a small screen? If you can’t live one day without using your phone, decide on a specific time frame in which you will use it, taking advantage of the free time you will find to enjoy the things that make you happy. Reading a good book, watching a movie, seeing your friends, walking in the park and listening to the birds chirping, or discovering a hobby you really enjoy, anything is possible once you decide to use your phone less. Excess phone use reduces our attention spans, we become more reliant on our devices to be constantly entertaining us. As we adapt to this new way of living, we lose our abilities to get still, and to connect with our inner selves. It can result in a constant comparison of our lives to others, to feeling as though we need to do more, have more, and fill every moment of time getting more. However, what generally happens is the addiction of social media results in us only spending more time on social media, instead of actually acting in a way to improve our current state.
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb
You get to enjoy every single moment of your life.
You need to have in mind that the time you lose will never come back. Lost time cannot be recovered so you should do your best to make the most of every moment. Focus on the things that make your life more beautiful, like doing great things together with the people you love, enjoying that travel experience you always wanted to do, or start new activities you considered interesting but never found the time to enjoy them. The main idea is to increase the quality of your life by actually living and making gadgets a smaller sector of your life. If you think about your day and how much you use your phone, for whatever reason, whether it be 2 hours or 5 hours you are on your phone, consider how much you could be doing with that time if you weren’t consumed by the online world. There are small moments around us which could become big opportunities if only we were more present in our lives.
No more negative emotions, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.
When we spend too much time using our mobile gadgets, we will start feeling lonely, deserted, neglected, unwanted, and our self-esteem may drop. These things may not necessarily be real, but the lack of social interaction and not enjoying pleasant activities that contribute to our happiness will make us feel this way at one point. It is known the fact that today’s teenagers are much more prone to developing depression and anxiety problems, due to their constant and early exposure to technology and gadgets. Using them too much can severely deteriorate our lives, so we have to set clear boundaries when it comes to how much time we spend in the company of gadgets. We are exposed to so much information and so many people to compare ourselves to, that our own identities begin to get lost in the mass of shared photos, images, tweets, statuses, etc. This overwhelming sense of the unknown leads us to feel as though we are not sure where we belong in the world, and can have some significant implications. Putting down your device and getting your hands dirty in life, can be the biggest antidote to the constant chatter of the online world.
So whilst our phones are so many things to us, it is good to realise that we don’t need them for every moment of our lives. That instead of reaching for it first thing in the morning, we can choose to share a moment with our partner, or write some words of gratitude. That it isn’t really necessary to check our emails or facebook 10-20 times a day and we could actually be more productive if we just checked it once or twice. Life is filled with distractions. Try and narrow your focus. Increase your attention span. Read a book. Go for a walk. Have a dinner party and not need to upload a photo of it. These small things, can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. Give it a go.