When ever I walk past a restaurant and see couples sitting together, lit by candlelight, dressed to the nines and on their phones I always feel saddened. Do we really not have anything to say to each other?
I can’t talk, I am definitely no better than any of these other people (some might say I am worse…) I wake up and check my phone – Instagram, emails, snapchat and Facebook. I check my phone throughout the day countless times – partially due to my job but also due to the fact I have no idea how to unplug.
According to Research NZ smartphone owners say they are using their smartphones more frequently than they did last year. Of these users, 86% are using their mobiles to connect to the internet – hello Facebook and Instagram!
When you walk down the street you can see that these statistics are accurate, everyone is on their phone. So, why not try a digital detox. Think about it, when you are on vacation overseas and you don’t have internet access. All you use your phone for is photos and it is an absolute breeze! Sure, you feel relaxed from your holiday but you are also feeling great thanks to the digital detox you are involuntarily undertaking.
I’m not suggesting you go cold turkey, that would be mean. Instead, you should try this 7-day Digital Detox for real people.
Monday: Go through and turn off push notifications for things that you don’t need like Instagram likes and comments, facebook tags etc.
Tuesday: Leave your phone outside of your bedroom at night – get an analogue alarm clock if needs be or put your phone somewhere that you would still hear the alarm.
Wednesday: Give yourself 15 minutes this evening to check your social media feeds and once your time is up, leave your phone in another room – keep it on loud so you don’t miss a call from you mum if needs be.
Thursday: Turn it up a notch today and stay clear of social media after 6.
Friday: Turn of notifications for everything but texts and calls today and only allow yourself to check your phone at three different times such as morning tea, lunch, evening for 15 minutes. Then put it down!
Saturday: Pick up a paperback instead of a screen, or rather than watch a movie play a board game or cards.
Sunday: This is the big one. Today, try and go 24 hours without your phone – this is a real detox. Go out and leave your phone at home – the world will survive without your #foodporn gram or your #wishyourwerehere beach snapchat.
It is totally normal to feel stressed out about turning your phone off, and you will have the urge to check it.
At the end of this there are three things you will notice, you will feel more mindful and relaxed because you have been enjoying the moment, you will have a better relationship with the people around you and you will have more time for yourself.