One of my monthly goals for every single month this year has been to spend less time on my phone & every month I feel as though I’ve failed. During the month of April, I put this goal back on my monthly goals list and so far, I’ve made a really conscious effort to spend less time on my phone. I hate constantly feeling like I NEED to be connected.
There’s always someone to respond to.
There’s always new tweets or pictures to creep.
There’s always a new blog post to read, an email to open, gossip to stay up to date on, or some sort of “crisis” going on that someone needs help to figure out or advice about.
It’s so ridiculously annoying.
I miss the days when I could only be on MSN for a few hours a night because someone might be trying to call the house.
I miss the days when I hung out with friends and we weren’t all constantly on our phones.
I miss the days when I went for a walk outside and didn’t check my Twitter feed every few steps.
I miss the days when I had to call my friend on, gasp, a LANDLINE to ask her if she wanted to go to the skate, but I couldn’t leave the call too late because her dad would be back on the Internet after his afternoon break and her landline would be tied up.
So far during the month of April, I’ve barely used ANY of my data.
My phone doesn’t die at 2pm like it used to, now it dies around 7pm which isn’t too bad.
I listen to more music while I walk and people watch A TON instead of constantly refreshing Twitter.
I leave my phone in my bag while I hang out at my bf’s house between jobs instead of sitting in bed on my phone for a few hours.
I don’t feel the need to respond immediately when someone texts me now, I can wait a bit to respond and not interrupt whatever it was that I was doing by sending someone a message.
It’s been really nice. I feel less stressed, less like I’m my own worst enemy, more happy and believe it or not, more connected. I feel connected to things THAT MATTER. Daniel and I have had so many good chats lately. I’ve sat and chat with my mom for lengthy periods of time at night and haven’t even stressed over the “where are you?”, “helloooo please respond” texts that I knew I was probably getting. I don’t feel as though I am constantly comparing myself to someone on Instagram or getting angry over someone’s totally ridiculous and uncalled for tweet because I haven’t seen it. There’s been less anxiety and anger over drama that doesn’t even affect my life at all because I haven’t paid enough attention to anything on social media to care. I plan on using the rest of April as even more of a phone detox and hopefully in May, be on my phone even less! I love doing fun things and not being concerned about what’s happening on Twitter.
Some things that I’ve been doing lately to really help me from checking social media, responding to messages, checking my email, reading blogs and whatnot lately have been:
Turning off my data: I keep my data on for certain things – email, messages and music, but for social media apps, games and the like, I have it turned off so I can only go on it if I’m connected to wifi ( which I barely ever am because my phone sucks! ). I keep it on for email because I get a lot of emails for work and volunteer responsibilities. I keep it on for messages honestly because I HATE the green bubbles and the blue bubbles for iMessage make me feel less cringey when I’m messaging someone ( this is a me problem, I fully accept it… ) & I keep it on for music because I heart me some Apple Music. But other than that, I keep it off because it’s honestly ridiculous how much time I waste scrolling through social media and blogs.
Hang out with people who hate their phones, too: Soooo basically Daniel and I both hate phones. He may hate them a little bit ( ok, a lot ) more than I do, but still. We both get it. We are completely fine going for a walk and leaving our phones in our pocket. Talking in real life is such a great thing and I love that we can spend time together and not be glued to our phones.
Do activities that require me to put your phone away: Things like road trips, movies, dinner out, spending time with family or friends that you don’t see often encourage you to go on your phone less. There’s nothing that scares me more than someone texting and driving & there’s nothing I despise more than movie-texters or people who sit glued to their phone while you are out for dinner. My grandpa loves having my brother and I over for dinner and I actually enjoy talking to him and my brother and not worrying about who did what on whatever social media platform, or who has drama with who in whatever group chat. I also love spending time with friends that I don’t get to see often because of our crazy schedules, because then we are forced to meet face-to-face and actually communicate with one another in real life & since I don’t see them too often, I’d feel guilty sitting on my phone the whole time!
Dedicate time for wifi-time: For me, first thing in the morning is when I get caught up on all things Twitter and blogs. I know a lot of people frown upon going on your phone first thing when you wake up, but I actually don’t think it’s that bad of a thing. If it inhibits you from getting out of bed for hours then maybe you have a problem. But I like to read the local news on Twitter and then read my favourite 3 blogs, check in on family on Facebook and then I proceed with my day. Some people read the actual newspaper and drink their tea, I read the news on my phone and drink my morning tea. It’s just the time we live in I guess. That & the local newspaper around here is on strike and they are doing some funky things to their employees so I can’t support the newspaper anymore.
I really have been loving being a little bit less connected. I know that I still use my phone a whole lot more than I should, but baby steps! Do you have any tips and tricks to disconnect? What do you like to do in your time when you aren’t on social media? Weigh in!