A few days ago, I realized just how reliant I am upon my phone. I was on my new member retreat for my sorority, and the executive members took up our phones while we did "bonding" activities. We all kept blurting out comments about how we wanted to check to see how our Instagram posts were doing, or wondering if we had any texts. A little piece of technology was all causing us to "itch" because we couldn't access it for a few hours.
This may sound like a typical "disconnecting from technology" post, but this experience really made me think about just how much I'm connected to my phone. If I'm at dinner with friends, I check it. And this isn't just me - it's everyone. Our phones have become so integrated into our lives that we barely even realize it when we're absentmindedly scrolling through Twitter or checking Instagram or sending a silly Snapchat.
Recently, I've been trying to "cut-back" on my phone use. So far, I've found that it's quite refreshing to not worry about what I might be missing on the internet. And, when I do check my phone, there are many more updates, so I actually have a lot to look through, rather than exhausting all social media outlets in a matter of minutes because I'm checking them so often. Anyway, I thought I'd share my tips on disconnecting.
1//Walk Without It
When I'm walking to class, I normally have my phone in my hand so I can check twitter, instagram, and respond to any texts or snapchats I might get. What I've noticed though, is that when I leave it in my backpack, I not only get to class faster because I'm not looking down half the time, but I notice more, whether it's a person I know and can say hi to, or just the general scenery around me.
2//Turn Off Notifications
This is perhaps the most important. If you don't get a notification for everything, you're not going to be as inclined to go on your phone. You can obviously leave on notifications for certain things like texts, but I don't get Instagram or GroupMe notifications, which keeps me off the apps more than you'd think.
3//Leave it in Your Bag
When I'm out with friends, we'll normally all have our phones on the table and glance at them every now and then. Recently, I've started to leave it in my bag altogether, and, to be quite honest, I usually don't even miss it.
4//Check When You've Finished a Goal
It's so easy to get distracted by your phone while doing homework. To counteract that, I'll check it every time I finish something. For example, if I finish two paragraphs of a paper, I'll reward myself with checking my phone.
5//Turn it Off
This is by far the hardest to abide by. It's so easy to feel like you're missing something when your phone is off, but really, it'll all still be there when you turn it back on. I'm not very good at doing this, but I'm working on it!