Do more things that make you forget to check your phone
I’m addicted to my phone.
Constantly refreshing timelines, feeling anxious if I haven’t checked it in a while and of course (due to my job being ‘the internet’) always working.
Last weekend the boyfriend and I took a trip to Scotland to spend time with his family and relax. My phone, for the majority of the weekend, was left upstairs and I barely picked it up for 3 blissful days.
And you know what? I didn’t miss it at all!
I wasn’t thinking about where it was or itching to have a scroll through my feeds, I was so in the moment and chilled out that social media and looking through other people’s stuff just wasn’t important at all.
It’s inspired me to make a change…but it’s not as easy as cutting yourself off cold turkey.
I want to enjoy my time online again and not worry about missing out if I haven’t scrolled for 15 mins. The internet isn’t bad for us, but the anxiety, pressure and strain that comes from being online or having online access 24/7 is.
I need to breakup with my phone (it’s not you, it’s me) and claim back my online vs real word balance!
The perfect break-up strategy does not exis….oh, wait, I got you covered…
Yesterday I removed all social media apps from my iPhone. Yes, all of them.
I have a phone I use for work – con calls with clients, company emails, communicating with photographers and PRs, the usual. So I moved all my apps from my personal phone to here – after all, social media is mostly for my job so this is really where they should sit.
I then made a rule to turn my work phone off (yep, fully OFF! I genuinely can’t remember the last time I turned my phone off unless it had completely run out of juice and shut itself down! Who does that these days?!) after 8:30pm. Mentally I switch off from Social media at 6:30pm and try not to pick up my work phone after that time, but with my job I sometimes need to post instagram shots at night so i’ll just hop on to do that before hitting shut down.
My work phone then doesn’t go back on again until 9am the next day – that’s a whole 12 hours social media free!
NOTE: If you don’t have another phone to use, you can set Limits for your apps under the Screen Time setting on your iphone.
These work in exactly the same way – by stopping you from using different apps between certain times (downtime) or by capping your app usage after a certain time limit has been reached(limits).
DO NOT DISTURB
I’ve recently discovered the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on my this little phone of mine which stops your phone from lighting up, buzzing or ringing when messages, notifications and calls come through.
I turn my normal phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ after 7pm each night (you can even set it to do this automatically) so I’m not tempted to sit glued to my WhatsApp screen all evening.
Worried about missing an emergency?
Ok, so our phones are primarily used to get hold of people and ‘in case of emergencies’ (who remembers getting that lecture with your very first Nokia 3310!)
If someone rings you twice within a 3 minute period in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, then your phone alerts you and lets the call through so you don’t have to worry about missing anything important.
In our friendship group we also have a secret emoji code that we send out if we REALLY need to talk to someone. It’s a way for us to stay safe when out and about and also a comfort knowing that people will be there if we don’t feel great. Using that and two short calls means that none of us have to feel anxious about putting our phones on silent for fear of not being there for a friend in need.
Lastly I’m taking at least an hour for myself each day to do something I want to do.
Whether that be a trip to the gym to sweat some stuff out, a gentle walk with Toby, a bubble bath with my favourite book, a Netflix binge, yoga, baking, WHATEVER! I’m taking an hour just for me to do something I enjoy.
If I’ve got a busy day, I’ll get up a little earlier to squeeze it in or I’ll be super strict on my to do list & prioritise myself a lot more. There’s no point giving ourselves all this offline time if we’re not actually going to use it!
But the funny thing is, after all my apps switch off I feel like the world is my oyster, like there’s a big switch off in my brain as well as in my pocket. And I know it sounds silly, but since I’ve been following my new offline plan it even feels like I have more time in the evenings.
It’s time we claimed back our offline time – who’s with me?