Friday, 5 October 2018

Improving my Relationship with my Phone.

Illustration by Ella Masters.


I am well and truly addicted to my phone, and honestly, I hate myself for it. I don't want to spend my time constantly looking at the screen, and losing hours of my life scrolling through Instagram. I love my phone, but sometimes I wonder if I was happier before iPhones were a thing. My phone is both my favourite and least favourite thing. It's great that I can fit so much technology in my pocket, that I have google maps if I get lost and I've always got a camera on me. But honestly, sometimes WhatsApp notification leaving me feeling anxious, and I feel a constant pressure to document life rather than just live it. Sometimes I find myself scrolling and before I've even realised it's happening I've wasted an hour. So with that in mind, my phone and I have headed off the couples therapy and I'm working on building a new positive relationship with it that isn't all consuming.

Here are some of the ways I'm making my time on the phone more positive:

Turning it off 

Actually switching it off, and putting it in a drawer, as if it's a Nokia 3310. It's weird what a difference this makes. It's a reminder that I can be without it, I don't feel tempted to use it as a means of procrastination and it taught me that the world will not end when it's not on. I actually get things done when it's off and when it comes back on, hell I'm reading twitter updated that I haven't already seen four times before and social media actually becomes enjoyable again.

Not sleeping with it under my pillow 

My excuse for sleeping with my phone under my pillow has always been the alarm app, but honestly, I just found myself scrolling Instagram at 2am instead of snoozing. No smart alarm is going to make me less tired in the morning if I'm spending my nights staring at the light of my phone. So, I finally gave in and started placing my phone the other side of the room before bed, it cuts out the late night phone time, which means I sleep better and getting up in the morning is so much easier when I have no choice but to cross my bedroom to turn off that alarm.


Making use of screen time 

The new iPhone update came with the Screen Time feature so you can track how much you're using your phone, only allow use on certain apps for a certain amount of time, and personally, I think it's great, it's worth utilizing. I've set the downtime on my phone so, once it hits 10pm each night, my phone locks the majority of my apps, making it harder to access them. It gives you the option to unlock them, for the night or just for 15 mins, but it's a great reminder to give myself a bit of time away from the screen before settling down to bed.


Deleting some apps 

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I've found deleting certain apps has meant I've spent less time on my phone, using apps which I didn't make me feel good. I used to find myself spending my time on Snapchat and Facebook and really gaining nothing from it. Deleting the apps takes away that temptation.


Unfollowing 

 I'm sure you've heard it a thousand times before, but unfollowing those whos updates you don't enjoy changes everything. Laura Jane Williams once described Instagram to me as my own personal magazine which I get to curate myself, with that in mind, I tried to make sure it's a magazine which I enjoy every part of, that I come away from feeling good. I'm feeling more liberated with the unfollow button and social media has become a nicer place to be.


Forest App 

Once again, something I've previously mentioned, but if you struggling to put that phone down, or find yourself reaching for it when you should be working, this app is perfect. You set a time limit to grow and virtual tree, and you cannot use your phone until the tree has grown, it's surprising motivation working to grow fake plants.


I hope this helps if you're looking to tone down the phone addiction, I'm certainly spending less on my time looking at the little screen since I've put these things in place.


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