Beyond obsessed with this phone case {and photo!} from Rebekah Steen, the goddess behind Goldfish Kiss. {Source.}
Beyond obsessed with this phone case {and photo!} from Rebekah Steen, the goddess behind Goldfish Kiss. {Source.}

Our phones, which are practically glued to our hands, are used as alarm clocks, watches, maps, mirrors, and music players–and those are just the things that only affect the actual user. We’re also tweeting, texting, snapping photos, and scrolling through our Tumblr/Facebook/Insta feeds 24/7, whether we’re out in the actual world or just hanging out in bed on a Sunday afternoon. Just thinking about it can be weirdly stressful! We’re constantly connected and constantly plugged in. While that’s awesome, so much screen time can also incite major FOMO, increase anxiety, and hinder our ability to truly live in the present moment, which is, obviously, decidedly less awesome. Look, I’m never going to tell you to throw away your iPad, to stop watching Netflix, or to delete all of the social media apps on your phone. There is something to be said, however, for being conscious about the time we spend in the blue-white glow of a cell phone screen, and striving instead to be present. It’s time to reassess our tech habits! Here are four ways to live a slightly less digital life.

  1. Designate blocks of tech-free time. A few on-air personalities from my favorite hometown radio station recently participated in “No-Tech Tuesdays“, wherein they all forewent TV, laptops, and cell phones from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday nights. My sister and her family are entirely phone-free most Sundays. What do people do when they aren’t plugged in?! Literally anything else. Go for coffee. Play a game. Read a book. Do a project. Clean your place. Talk to the people you live with. Get outside and run. Play with your dog. Think about all of the stuff you could be doing if you weren’t being constantly seduced by technology!
  2. Wait at half an hour to check your phone before you wake up, and give yourself half an hour at night after checking your phone to go to bed. Take this tip as a “detox every day” strategy. Checking your phone as soon as you open your eyes is no bueno for a few reasons: it can make for a stressful start to your day, it can make you less productive, and it can be a major distraction, both personally and professionally. When it comes to pre-bed screen time, looking at a laptop, tablet, or cellphone is one of the worst things you can do for your sleep quality and circadian rhythm, thanks to the artificial light each device generates, and it can also lead to eye strain, attention problems, and weight gain. No thanks! Build in some screen-free limits and live fresh.
  3. Make a one screen rule. TV. Phone. Laptop. Pick one and go with it. Focus on just ONE screen. Baby steps, guys. As a major multitasker, I am so, so guilty of the multiple screen offense. It’s really bad, and it can definitely create unnecessary stress and chaos. I often have to remind myself that doing one thing at a time is a GOOD thing, and that usually, if I’m doing five things at once, it’s totally voluntary and unnecessary. Netflix + laptop + cell phone? No. Do not need. Take it from me and stick to one screen. You really don’t need to be entertained, distracted, or otherwise involved with more than one device at a time. Give your full attention to the people by your side or the task at hand.
  4. Make your bedroom a phone-free zone. Think about it: do you really NEED to have your phone in your bedroom? I mean, if you set your morning alarm and have your phone in another room, you actually have to get up and out of bed to go turn it off, so there goes that excuse. A designated device-free space is super chill–it practically promotes relaxation. No noise. No distraction. No stress. Isn’t that exactly what you want in your room? A sanctuary?! If you need further convincing, take a peek at this article from Medical Daily. If you can’t {or won’t…} commit to a phone-free boudoir, at the very least, ditch your tablet and/or laptop-in-bed addiction.

How do you take a break from tech?

xx,

Liza

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