Smartphone Detox – It is time to simplify your life #nomoreFOMO

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A smartphone detox seems to be at the top of everyone’s mind, because we live in a society that lives in FOMO [fear of missing out]. Having a break every now and then is necessary to keep our sanity.

However, it isn’t the easiest thing to do, because of how addicted we are to our phones. I mean, seriously, smartphones are everywhere in today’s society. You can look across a restaurant and odds are you will see several people on a smartphone.

They keep us “in the know” with what is happening, and if we do not have them, we feel like we are missing out on so much.

How many of us have been scared because we do not know where our smartphone is or upset because our internet is not working properly?

It is sad to think that we feel so lost without our phone. The thought of leaving it at home on a date night is unbearable!

I am guilty for allowing my smartphone to have priority over spending time with my fur babies, “forgetting” I need to cook something for supper, or using it as a way to procrastinate.

I know I am not alone, because society tells us all that it is okay to allow these feelings and actions to happen. But you know, not even ten years ago life was much less dependent on being “in the know”.

I remember going to college with a Razor flip phone, and LOVED IT! #bestphonetoeverexist

I did not check Facebook unless it was on my computer. My phone did not have a weather app or email.

Smartphones did not exist, but better face-to-face friendships did! The term “social media” was not a thing, but phone calls to friends were!

The difference that ten years has made in the way we function as a society is honestly sad.

It is great to that we can communicate with people all over the world so easily. However, when we let that get in the way of relationships with our spouse, kids, friends, etc…. it really strikes a cord.

I love my online community, but letting it jump in the way of living in the present with my family and friends is not okay. They should be priority over social media.

So I am going to change! I am challenging myself to a smartphone detox!

If this strikes a cord with you, I hope you will join me!

Smartphone Detox Guidelines

Before I get into the guidelines, know that I am not trying to remove the options my smartphone allow me, but rather change the way I use my smartphone. I want to be more intentional with how and when I use it.

Also, I currently do not allow notifications for any apps on my phone, except for phone calls and text messages.

If you do, all notifications will need to be disabled in addition to these guidelines. This includes banners, alerts, and the little numbers that like to attach themselves to the app icons.

1 // No phone in the bedroom.

I live in a studio apartment style home, so I will be keeping my smartphone in the kitchen or bathroom to keep distractions before bedtime to a minimum. I also use my phone as an alarm, so I am also using this as an exercise to wake up earlier.

2 // No social media while getting ready in the morning.

All social media apps and YouTube will be banned from my morning routine. If I feel I need some noise, podcasts and music are acceptable, because I use them as motivational and focusing tools.

While I do use YouTube for motivation, it is easier for me to become distracted, as some videos do require you to look at the screen versus simply listening.

3 // No smartphone while eating any meals or snacks.

I did this during the Mental Cleanse Challenge and enjoyed my mealtime a lot more than if I were on my phone, too.

4 // No smartphone after 8 PM.

I have a night shift option on my phone. However, the thought if putting it away for the evening seems more relaxing than a change in screen color tones.

With a minimum of an hour break from my smartphone before bed, my mind will be able to let go of what may or may not be happening, and I can prepare for a restful night of sleep.

5 // Social Media Block Time.

I have a horrible habit of checking my social media apps every so many minutes! When you think about it, it is ridiculous! Instead, I am going to create a block time that allots time for each social media app that I value.

6 // Data Block Social Media Apps.

One way to cut down on using social media apps is to block cellular data usage. This will only allow me to access these apps when I am connected to Wifi, which is at home or work.

7 // No smartphone during date night.

While my husband and I do not do date nights often, I do think it is important to make them phone-free. Leaving the phone in the car will count, but please do NOT use it unless it is an emergency.

I live 25 minutes from town. If something happens while I am commuting, having my phone, at least in the car, is my best option. So leave it in the car, if you cannot leave it at home altogether!

How long is the smartphone detox going to be?

This is something I cannot answer. Everyone’s relationship with their smartphone is different.

If you think you need to detox for 7 days, do that.

If you feel you need to detox for 30 days, go for it!

What I am personally going to strive for is a new habit altogether. I do not want to be so dependent on my smartphone that I feel lost without it.

Smartphone Detox Activities

Knowing this is not going to be as easy as hoped, I’ve created a list of Smarphone Detox Activities to remind me of things I can do in lieu of picking up my phone.

Yes, some of these are things are part of our normal routine, but often done with a phone. It is important to focus on them in a present way without a phone in hand.

If you have suggestions in addition to these, I’d love for you to share them below in the comments.

  • Go for a walk
  • Work in a garden [flowers or veggies]
  • Exercise
  • Read a book [already have 2 picked out for this detox]
  • Go fishing or hunting [whichever is in season for you]
  • Have lunch with a friend [remember to leave the phone in the vehicle!]
  • Draw / Be creative / Create something
  • Pamper yourself
  • Journal / Meditate
  • Go to the park / Picnic
  • Declutter or tidy a space [You did not think I could leave this out, did you?]
  • Yard work [mowing the yard, raking leaves, plant a tree, etc.]
  • Crochet or knit something
  • Cook a fancy meal
  • Watch a movie with your significant other

Take action

If you’re ready for a smartphone detox, I’ve created a printable for you that includes all of the guidelines! You can get access to it in my FREE Resource Library! Click the photo below to gain access!

Final thoughts

If you feel the same as I do, I encourage you to make these guidelines a new habit with me.

Let us build a community that focuses more on being present with the people [and fur babies] that mean the most to us!

Use the following hashtag on all social media platforms so that we can connect and encourage each other!

#thetannehillhomestead

I am looking forward to seeing who joins in the smartphone detox with me! Please get in touch with me by commenting below, emailing me, or using this hashtag on all social media platforms!

It is time to simply our lives a bit more! Are you with me?

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The relationship we have with our smartphone is really sad. I'm taking the reigns and making a change with a smartphone detox. Are you with me?

12 thoughts on “Smartphone Detox – It is time to simplify your life #nomoreFOMO”

  1. I’m totally with you. I’ve tried doing all you suggested and I’ve lapsed. So from here..right now.. I’m starting again. Oh.. except I have to check on your latest posts..but not until between 1-2pm 🙂
    Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Yay!! I am glad you are going to give it a second try, Viven! For the past few weeks, I have started working on a few that I knew would be difficult. It is not easy, but I am already seeing how this detox is going to magnify everyday experiences that were masked due to my smartphone. I am so excited you are with me for the detox! That makes it all the better! 🙂

  2. Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.

    I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Great tips, I think I am going to pick one or two to implement myself. It’s hard to balance screen time with real life sometimes, especially for a blogger!

    1. I completely agree with the difficulty in finding balance with our phones as a blogger. It is hard to know when it is time to put away our phones, but, just from the little bit of time I “practiced” before this detox started, I can tell it is going to be a positive change. So glad you are implementing a couple into your life, Jordan! I would love to know which ones you choose and how these changes work for you!

  3. Love this detox Erin! It’s so sad that society as a whole is so addicted to smartphone and it is rate that I see people out in a restaurant without them. I personally have always made a no-phone rule during meals and allocate myself so much time for something (checking Facebook, IG, and e-mails) and then I put it away. I miss the more simple days when phones were less involved in our daily lives.

    1. That is great, Cara! I love that you already have these guidelines in place for your home. It is something I am working on in my home, and so far, it is going pretty good! Block timing and putting my phone away at night are probably going to be my biggest struggle. However, I know they will be worth figuring out in the end.

  4. Hey, Erin! I got rid of my phone completely in January 2015, and I have never missed it. I don’t think that I will ever get a cell phone again. It drives me crazy when people are on theirs around me instead of talking face to face. I was to the point that I never answered calls on mine, and I dreaded texting anyone back. If I need to get in touch with someone now, I just email them from my computer. In case of emergency, I could still use my old phone to dial 911, even without service on it. I think that you will be happier the less you use your phone. Still loving your blog, by the way! 🙂

    1. Brigitte, your story is incredible! I wish I could be without a phone, but it connects me to so many people in my life [outside of social media]. I do agree with having the opportunity to be happier the less we use it. I have left it inside more often and put it on silent just to gain some space from it. This feeling of needing to “be in the know” all the time has really taken a toll on society. I am hoping this post reaches enough people to maybe be a small change moving into the future. I am so glad you enjoy my blog! It really means a lot to read those words! 🙂

  5. Love this! We literally just got smartphones a month ago and I immediately noticed how much we were on them. I have a horrible habit of checking social media constantly. It kind of drives me nuts but it’s so hard to stop! I’ve been working on spending less time of social media and it’s been wonderful 🙂

    1. Right??!! I feel your pain, Christine! I love the convenience of them, but I almost wish I did not need them. Since I only have notifications for texting or phone calls, I have put my phone on silent and sort of hid it. Funny enough, I do not miss it when I do this!

  6. I found that I was texting or online way too much with my phone! Plus my eyes started to hurt from the tiny screen. About 2 years ago I deleted all social media from my phone and haven’t touched it since. It was AMAZING how much time came back into my day. And about 2 months ago I banned texting from my phone barring emergencies. Again, another gain in time to my life back. I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on life and living by starting at the rectangle in my hand! lol
    Thanks for the awesome post! I’m going to be sharing it.

    1. That is great to hear, Bobbi! I love how you also did a texting ban on your phone. For me, texting keeps me off of a phone call, which saves a lot of time. But hearing that it works for you is amazing! I am glad you enjoyed the post!

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