We’ve all seen this scenario play out; you sit down to a nice dinner out surrounded by friends and when your food comes, it turns into a Vogue photoshoot starring your plate of hot lasagna. I get it. Food posts are trendy and who doesn’t want to show off their fabulous ordering skills? The problem comes in when that camera transforms back into phone and the notifications start pouring in. Pretty soon we’re all sitting at a table, transfixed on a screen rather than making conversation with those friends we were just so excited to meet up with. The first step to changing these bad phone habits, just like in any recovery process, is admitting you have a problem. Hi, my name is millennial, and I’m addicted to my phone.
Here’s our five-step program to getting away from your screen:
- Don’t start your mornings on your phone. It’s so easy to turn off your alarm clock and turn right onto Instagram and e-mails. However, this can create a lot of instant anxiety. Being bombarded with work, people trying to sell you things, and all the gossip from the previous day does not make for a productive mindset. Try spending the first 45 minutes of the day off of your phone. Drink your coffee or celery juice, write down a to-do list for the day, get mentally and physically ready, and then tackle the outside world on your terms.
- Schedule out posting times. For those of us who use social media for work, it can seem like we always need to be on it. Thanks to apps like Planoly, Hootsuit, and Unum, you can designate certain times of the day to planning out your socials. Some of the apps will even post on your behalf at set times. Once those are set up, you have no excuse to be constantly scrolling.
- Use Instagram for influence, but not comparison. At any given time, you’re going to have one friend in Bali, one friend becoming the next Martha Stewart, and one friend performing open-heart surgery with one hand. Meanwhile, you’re one your 7thepisode of a docuseries about Parmesan cheese and Netflix is asking you if you’re still there…and you are. We all have our non-newsworthy days and that’s perfectly fine! Remember, Instagram is a highlighted version of someone’s life and is in no way reality. Use the influencers you follow for exactly that, influence. Let them motivate you to possibly get off the couch or to work towards a goal but don’t dwell on comparing every post to your own life.
- Set Breaks.Whenever you are involved in an activity that takes your full attention, give it your full attention. How many times a week do you actually turn your phone fully off? Try it. When completing a task, turn your phone all the way off. For example, cleaning your house. No touching your phone until your done. You’ll notice not only is your screen time decreasing, but you’re probably performing whatever task is at hand a lot more efficiently.
- Charge across the room.Not only does phone light disrupt your natural circadian rhythms (those things that help you sleep on time), but the blue light actually causes skin damage. So not only will you look haggard the next morning from letting your phone keep you awake, but your skin will also age more quickly. All around, we’re not a fan of blue light. At least 30 minutes before bed, charge your phone across the room. This way, you don’t have the temptation to look at it if you can’t fall asleep right away and physically having to get up will help you stop hitting the snooze button in the morning.