Brianna Brents, Marketing Intern
The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. Social media, texting, emails, apps, you name it; it all keeps us glued to the screens of our smart phones. Remember the days when we would communicate with people face-to-face with no hesitation? Or the times we would actually pick up the phone and call someone to have a conversation? It’s no secret that technology is a part of who we are now. Having the internet at your finger tips is great, but moderation is key—I think it’s time that we unplug from our cell phones every once in a while.
How many times have you been at a restaurant and seen a table full of people on their phones instead of talking to each other? Or have been in a classroom with students on their phone instead of focusing on the lecture? Probably a lot! Below are some things you can do to break free from your “cell phone addiction.”
Take a Break
Choose a few days out of the week where you turn off your data connectivity for a few hours—give yourself some “recovery” time from all of the text, emails, tweets, and news updates. Think of it as a reboot for your brain.
Although it may be more convenient to use the alarm clock on your phone, try using a regular alarm clock instead. That way, your phone won’t automatically be in your hand when you wake up—you’ll be able to do other things besides scroll down your Twitter news feed, or check how many likes you got on a post you made the night before.
When you’re in class, in a meeting, or even out with friends, it’s okay to turn your phone on silent. Leaving your phone on vibrate or having the sound on constantly makes it harder to focus on whatever you may be doing. When your phone is on silent, it gives you a chance to live in the moment, instead of constantly being interrupted by your phone. You still have the freedom to use your phone, but at least you’re not jumping every time you hear a tone or feel it vibrate.
“Do Not Disturb” is a great option for people that have a hard time studying or doing homework. When your phone is in this mode you won’t receive any notifications. Even if you’re just eating dinner or watching a movie, this mode gives you the chance to enjoy things with no strings attached. You can even control whether or not you want to receive certain phone calls, which is found in settings. For iPhones, simply tap “do not disturb” and a moon icon will appear in the status bar…and don’t worry, if someone calls more than once, this mode will accept the call in case of emergencies. For androids, download the app in your Google Play store and follow the same instructions.
Next time you’re thinking about sending a text to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, try calling instead. Verbally talking to someone is more meaningful than sending a typical “hey what’s up” text every once in a while. Interacting more over the phone and face-to-face can make a big difference in the relationships you have with others. You will notice a change in the way you connect with others when you interact with them on a more personal level. This is due to the fact that you can actually hear and see their expressions, versus just reading them in a text.
A cell phone detox is not going to be easy; believe me, I tried it myself. In the beginning I felt anxious, and being disconnected from social media made me feel like I was missing out—but I survived. It won’t hurt to take a break from your cell phone and unplug every once in a while. Start your cell phone detox by trying this app created by Unicef USA. For every 10 minutes you don’t touch your phone, Unicef and other donors will help people across the world that don’t have access to clean water.