Thursday 24 January 2019

Did I manage to break up with my phone?

So in December I thought it was time to spend last time on my phone. Some days it was ridiculous on my tracker it was saying that I was on my phone for 4+ hours, some days 6 hours! When you think about it in the grand scheme of things it is a lot of wasted time. I was angry for allowing myself to spend so much time mainly scrolling pointlessly through social media. I saw another blogger had put this book on her insta stories and it came around at the perfect time.

I ordered the book and when it came I enrolled one of my best friends Ella to do it with me. We had recently had a discussion about reducing our screen time and what we would do with the time not spent on our phones. As always with everything we were excited and enthusiastic and gave ourselves a weekend to prepare. I started off really well and got on board, I sent Ella a picture of the next day's challenge each day so we could keep up. I loved writing the list of why I was wanting to give up screen time, and I found so many reasons why I wanted to and what I would do with that time. When I am work I go on my phone for maybe one hour a day and probably an hour when I get home. It is on my days off that I massively downfall. I often sit watching Netflix or catching up on all things do with my blog.

I got off to such a good start and was really on board with the idea. The book gives you a few goals each day for 30 days, and the obvious aim is that by the end the time on your phone has massively reduced. It is set out really well, and I like that it is gradual process rather than just going cold turkey and giving up your phone completely. On one of the days it tells you to delete getting notifications and I found this really useful. I 1000% open my screen when I get a notification which leads me open to scrolling. Taking off all social media notifications was great. The biggest difference I saw was taking my notifications off my email. Every time I opened my screen and there was an email I would check and delete it. In some aspects it is good that I cannot get on my work email at home, which means that all my emails to my personal address are usually junk. Even if they are not junk they are from my favourite online shops and nothing essential. I still have my mail notification off now and I am still seeing the positives. Taking the notifications off social media lasting approximately 5 days and I am disappointed that I reverted back. However, I found that I was checking those apps more often with anticipation of what could have been.

I was doing really well sticking to my goals, but I really did struggle. I realised that I am actually addicted to my phone, and the bad relationship I have with it. I am dependent on it, and I don't think I am the only one. I don't think people realise how much time they are on it. I do use my phone to catch up on YouTube and I didn't see that as a problem and I still don't as I often watch it at night as a bit of downtime from the real world. It was definitely the amount of pickups that was the problem, it was on average 40 pickups a day. That added up to 30% some days of my waking life. I find that number actually embarrassing and absolutely obscene.

As the days went on I was feeling great about it. I was putting my phone on charge more than arms length away, my time was reducing and I was seeing improvements. The most important thing I realised was scrolling through social media was actually really boring and repetitive. I think we live in an age where we think we are missing out, comparing ourselves to others, and that is not good for our self esteems. I hadn't ever thought about it like this before. I wasn't actually enjoying spending all those hours on my phone, it had just become an everyday norm in my life.

I really struggled with the task of having an entire 48 hours off my phone and I actually didn't complete it. It was hard for me to choose 48 hours where I wouldn't need my phone. I didn't like the idea of not being able to contact someone at all in the outside world. I did manage to stay off social media for the allocated time, just not off my phone completely. I am not really sure what happened but after day 25 I thought I had it all in hand and I was a changed woman and I did not finish the full 30 days.

I am disappointed to say that in the new year I have quickly reverted back to old habits. I feel like I do spend less time on my phone, but I have still not cracked stopping scrolling on social media. Sometimes I do really well less than 2 hours, other times it is 5 hours again. The time really varies which is an improvement, but I still want a bigger crack down. I am going to go through the book again, and highlight the particular pages which I felt that first time round really had an impact on me. Ella actually feels the same as well, it is so easy to slip into old routines which have become every day life. I want to revisit the list I made at the start with the main reasons for the crackdown, as I still feel passionate to try and tackle this problem. I am not going to stop myself from going on social media at all, as I do enjoy some aspects of it. I can pinpoint that my downfall is at night, and that is where I need to make the changes.


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