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 meal time 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]
- 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
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!
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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