This may come off as contradictory – an online publication of sorts telling you to get off your phone? Weird. Yeah, this article might not be the best marketing campaign… but hey, we’re new here and at least it’s honest!
You might already have a New Year’s resolution in mind, and that’s awesome. I’m usually not one to participate – probably because most resolutions that I hear about involve restricting diet, and I don’t know how to say no to cheese. Personally, I’d rather ramp up the physical activity to balance out the nachos. But all in all, I think getting behind a resolution is great. It’s a chance to reflect on the last year/s and ask yourself: What do I want to do better?
This turning of a decade feels different, though; the number 2020 seems serious. So, I asked myself how I could be better and concluded with this resolution: spend less time on my phone. No, I’m not getting rid of my smartphone, but I would like to be more mindful with my phone use. This goal isn’t anything new for me. I’ve haphazardly been trying to find cute ways to do this for at least a year. But the voice that says you should get off your phone and go do something is meek and easy to ignore, and we often continue to look down at the bright light below. My main motivating factor is knowing that if I quantified the time spent scrolling, on any given day, I would be frustrated that I didn’t use that time to read a book, experiment with a new cocktail recipe or watch a movie.
I think it’s important to clarify that I don’t think all phone usage is terrible. I say scrolling like it’s a bad thing, but social media has become a main hub for inspiring content and connections – that’s why we’re here! However, I also think you and I both know that there’s a difference between actively engaging with posts (stopping to look at a photo, reading the caption etc.) and scrolling for scrolling’s sake. Also, there’s a difference between experiencing an event + choosing to photograph a special moment vs. snapchatting an entire concert. While I’m no longer an amateur concert videographer, I’m still learning to take less photos of fireworks on the 4th and absorb the scenery instead. At the end of the day, it’s about mindfulness and finding balance – can you tell I’m a millennial?
By no means have I scientifically researched this topic, other than observing my surroundings and knowing my own habits of grabbing at my phone. My gut feeling that we all could spend less time on our phones seems to be backed by some worthy sources, though. Studies often tell us that having our heads to the ground is not only causing us to miss out on the life around us, but also may be causing unwanted feelings of anxiety and depression. Don’t worry this isn’t going to gateway into a pharmaceutical ad!
Even if you don’t plan to take up a cellular resolution, maybe now is a good time to reflect on your relationship with your phone. It would be swell if our phones only brought value to our lives, but … they don’t. Smartphones have been proven to distract, evoke the comparison game, and absorb time – cool, glad we carry these things around with us all day! The whole essence of Fools’ Gold is to inspire you to experience or make something new. So, get off your phone (after reading our articles) and go live life! Oh, and if you could just check in on Instagram to like our photos every once in a while, that’d be cool!
10 Ways to Phone/Life Balance:
- Set aside time in the morning and before bed as no-phone zones
- Sick of that feeling that anyone can interrupt you at any moment? Me too, shove your phone in a drawer for a couple hours (you can always turn your ringtone on high, for emergencies)
- Turn off notifications and be mindful when visiting apps
- Want to read an article or track down a new recipe? Be intentional with the task you want to accomplish. Using a computer or tablet is usually less distracting
- You can also delete your time-sucking apps altogether, and only access them from a computer/tablet – again, more intentional!
- Enforce time restrictions on when you’re allowed to relax with your phone and absorb brain bubblegum; there are apps that will do this for you!
- No Phone Friday’s – Pick a day of the week to decompress and don’t use your phone (unless someone calls, or you need to calculate how much to tip your waiter)
- Put your phone away, when you’re sitting down for a meal (especially with fam and friends!)
- If you’re driving to a destination that you’ve visited previously, turn off your phone navigation and leave early – good for your memory!
- Practice absorbing yourself in one activity at a time. Watching a movie? Put your phone out of sight. Going for a short walk? Leave your phone at home