I know!! You’ve been through this a million times, tried everything and failed!! It’s just so hard to imagine our lives without our gadgets, especially phones! The smarter our phones became, the dumber we got as slaves to them. It made our lives easier while robbing us of the quality. But don’t worry! I’m definitely not here to preach you from atop a pulpit! I’ve been there and back a few times and still wrestle at times with my addiction to my phone and fidgety-ness that it leads to. So, you and I are in the same boat. But there are things that can help. We just need to strong will to do it – for the sake of our health and well being! So let’s try once again, shall we?
First of all, I think it’s a great idea to reinforce the reasons why kicking the err…gadget periodically is so important. No preaching here either! There is real science behind how it induces anxiety and lack of sleep. The fact that being constantly on our phone leads to anxiety and sleeplessness is reason enough. This is what being stuck to our phones does to us:
1. Being glued to our phones is depriving us of sleep and it’s more harmful to teens.
(That last peep at Facebook before bed is the end of quality sleep. The back light from the gadgets make us more alert and drives away melatonin in our body which induces sleep. Oops! No science lessons! But it’s true! So if you go to bed with your phone hoping to catch up with some reading, you will miss sleep!)
2. Study shows that excessive use of Facebook leads to feelings of inadequacy. Why not! When everyone on FB posts only the best moments of their life!
(In fact you should reconsider the whole last peep at Facebook strategy! Don’t you notice how everyone else seems to be so happy on Facebook? Or on vacation with the family? Except you! And research backs up the feeling of inadequacy that this induces in us. So, let’s stay away from the negative vibes!)
3. FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out is a tyrant that orders us to be online all the time – at least as much as possible. And this leads to anxiety. We have to be on the alert for notifications and have to check it and respond right away! Now, that’s a lot of stress!
One post wouldn’t do justice to all the ill effects of being addicted to our phones or social media. So let’s dive straight into a few things we can do to purge the malaise.
1. Start small: Don’t just switch off your phone and hope that it’ll work. It won’t! Begin by keeping your phone away for a few hours on weekends.
2. Find offline pursuits: Reminders, to-do lists, reading apps, games – our lives are programmed on our phones. Work on things you can do away from your phone – watch movies on TV, read physical books, binge on Netflix, catch up with the neighbours, call a friend from the landline (remember the note down the number from your phone!), step outside for a walk, watch the world go by with coffee in a cafe – the choices are as boundless as your creativity!
3. Get offline alternatives: For instance, I got stuck for my alarm and timer when I tried to put away my phone. Get a real alarm clock, a wrist watch and a notebook. This way you don’t need your phone for simple things like looking at the time.
4. Kill the temptation: Staring at your phone that’s lying next to you will make you invariably pick it up. So find ways to kill the temptation. Make a rule – no phones at meal times – and have the family follow it too. Leave your phone at home when you step out for dinner so you can focus at the table.
5. Get a detox partner: Just like fitness, it is better to work on digital detox with a partner. Accountability always helps us stay on track.
6. Have patience: It is okay to slip – even many times. The important thing is to keep at it. Don’t give up after failing a couple of times and fall back into addiction. That would be failing in the real sense. Trying again isn’t.
Do you also grapple with the social media conundrum? What are your tricks to tackle the monster? Tell me about it and lets do it together!