I’ve been going through an addiction that most people don’t take very seriously. It’s called a mobile phone addiction.
I wanted to highlight just how serious this really is and to show you the steps I am personally taking right now, to cut down on the use of my mobile phone, so that I can focus on having amazing moments instead.
The main reason why I decided to take a digital detox from my phone addiction is because I felt myself getting dumber. I wasn’t having opinions, I wasn’t having great conversations with people, and instead of learning new skills, I spent my time scrolling! I felt my brain deteriorating and I wasn’t ok with that.
My boyfriend worked out just how much time I spend on the phone and I think this is going to shock you too.
He told me if I live to 100, I will be spending 20 years non stop, starring at the screen. If that’s not scary as hell, I don’t know what is.
To break it down more and for you to be able to really grasp it, that’s 3 months every single year that you are missing out on because you are on your phone.
Living life is much more fun than staring at your mobile phone, so here are some steps to get your social media detox underway. The goal is to get you away from the screen, and start living!
1. HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
Choose someone that you spend a lot of time with. You need to have them around you as often as possible, it’s now their job to nag you, tell you to get off the phone and keep you accountable to stay off your phone when you are sitting their mindlessly scrolling.
2. TURN YOUR PHONE TO GRAYSCALE
Social media companies are super smart and they use colour to draw your attention. So when your brain sees the icon and the colour, it is going to react by automatically checking your social media for no particular reason. Turning your phone to grayscale diminishes the factor that triggers your brain to say “It’s social media time”.
3. CUSTOMISE YOUR ‘MOMENT’ APP (OR ANDROID EQUIVALENT) TO SUIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX NEEDS
You can tell the app what time you don’t want to be on your phone, which helps you to restrict yourself. I initially put a restriction on from 9am to 7pm and whenever I logged into my phone, the most annoying sound in the whole world would start to play every 5 seconds! That was a constant reminder to get off your phone unless you really need to be on it.
I also have a daily limit on my phone of 2 hours, so not only does it send me a reminder every 15 minutes, but it also sends you little sad emoji’s if you go over your 2 hour limit - which is really heartbreaking!
4. HAVE A MORNING AND NIGHTTIME ROUTINE
I’m not allowed to check my phone until I have completed my morning routine every day, which means I have to meditate, journal, have a cold shower, drink a coffee and THEN I can check my phone.
I’m also trying to get into the rhythm of not checking my phone 2 hours before bed time. It’s not just to combat the social media addiction, but also to encourage a deeper sleep. Checking your phone before bed, really impacts your sleeping patterns, meaning that you are affecting the health of your whole life.
5. FIND A SUBSTITUTE TO FILL YOUR ‘NEW TIME’
You’re going to have a lot of extra time on your hands, so to avoid getting super ansty you’ll need to find things that you enjoy to fill up your time.
6. DELETE OR HIDE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
It can be as simple as putting them in folders on the last page of your phone and tucking them away out of sight so that it doesn’t trigger your brain to check them. You and I both know that you don’t need to check them, your brain just loves that dopamine hit that it craves so often!
7. LEAVE YOUR PHONE AT HOME
You don’t need to take your phone everywhere you go, you will be perfectly fine without it. Test it out once a week and work your way up!
These small things are going to help you appreciate life more and help you to think more clearly. Most of us are too addicted to our phones these days to ever think about what we want, to be productive, to get the most out of life, so just drop your phone and lets get this adiction under control. There's never been a better time to take a step back into a digital detox!
Do I have it completely under control? No, but it is a process and I am getting better! I am enjoying life more, being more present and slowly but surely everything is coming together :)