For many of us, our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. If you don’t think you’re addicted to your phone then try leaving it in another room for a couple of hours without checking it. Or, worse, try going out without it. If I ever leave my phone at home, which is rare, I feel as if something is missing and this is edged with the slightest tinge of panic – What if I break down and can’t call anyone? What if someone needs to contact me in an emergency? What if I get lost and can’t consult Google maps?
We are increasingly dependent on our smartphones. For many of us, when we wake up, they are our first port of call. A quick scan through the news and our social media sites leave us feeling satisfied, up to date and in control. Messages throughout the day keep us in contact with our nearest and dearest and we can snap photos of anything that catches our eye and instantly share these things with the world.
However, although we can stay connected with the outside world, we should perhaps question just how much of our immediate and inner world we are disconnecting with. Is it really necessary to be checking your phone at the dinner table, rather than chatting with your family about what has happened during the day? Or when you go on holiday and spend more time seeing the area through your phone lens than in reality? When you’re on the train do you look out of the window? If your phone bleeps when you’re talking to a friend do you immediately check it? Do you spend a long time on social media before you go to bed?
Here are a few ideas to get you out of your phone zone and into the present moment:
- Try going out without your phone – even if it’s just for a walk around the block. Really see and enjoy your surroundings.
- Have a digital detox – just for a couple of hours at first, then perhaps build up to half a day.
- Really listen to your friends and family – switch off your phone when you’re together at family meal times and during outings.
- How many times a day do you check your phone? – try counting.
- Resist the urge to check your phone – see if you can ride out the temptation
- Try sleeping with your phone away from your bed so that when you wake up it’s not the first thing you see or use.