The Benefits of Putting Your Phone Down

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Recently I tried this new thing where I turn my phone to several quiet hours before bed and keep it out of sight until the next morning. The reason behind this was the simple fact that I was letting my phone overpower my entire life to the point of anxiety and stress slowly building up to an all-time high. Technology has advanced incredibly over the past decade and, while I absolutely love my electronics, there are specific cons to being on them too much.

If you want to free up some much needed time or just give yourself a break from your phone (because of the reasons I list below maybe), then I would suggest starting off easy. Set the alarm a few hours before bed as a reminder to turn your phone on silent and keep yourself from touching it until morning. You can also try setting your phone to airplane mode during your work hours or even try deleting one of your most used apps (like Facebook or Twitter). Removing these apps means you are not tempted to waste time endlessly scrolling (and you can still use it on your computer whenever).

Lowers your stress/anxiety levels
Phones are great in the fact that they keep us connected with the entire world all while fitting comfortably in our pockets. Unfortunately, that deep connection can create stress, which is never needed in our day to day lives. When you start scrolling through social media, you can almost become saddened by the fact that 1. You cannot take as great of pictures 2. Your body/face/what-have-you does not look like that persons or 3. You don’t live a life as grand as in the photos.

While I love Instagram, it also has drawbacks that can cause insecurities. We know most of the photos are staged or enhanced yet we still feel this sadness. Phones can also be a constant reminder of things we want to do, things we need to do, and to-dos we didn’t even know we needed. This continuous reminder causes an added stress that can turn to anxiety if too many hours are spent worrying about the little things. Taking a break (or deleting certain apps) from your phone can remove that stress so you can go about your day without constantly worrying.

Let’s you live in the moment
We have all met that girl who lives on her phone, taking pictures of everything from meals to random commutes to the grocery store. This is all fine (and most of us are guilty of this), but it can also create a distance from the real world. If we are continually trying to document memories, we aren’t necessarily living in those moments. You see this with new mothers who always take pictures or videos of their kids doing something super adorable. I had a friend who started having a meltdown once because she missed a chance to videotape her kid’s first words.

While we love these adorable photos, you miss the big picture when you feel the need to document everything. In her case, the entire event became this shameful memory instead of the beautiful moment it should have been. There are certain things that you want to capture for a reminder of the fantastic time you had, and there is a time to just live in that moment. Next time you see something absolutely beautiful or something makes you laugh to try to just enjoy that feeling instead of getting your phone out to capture it.

Creates ‘bad space’ in a relationship
While I talked about needing space in a relationship, I also know there is such a thing as bad space. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and seen a couple completely ignoring each other while scrolling through their phones? Have you done that? When I go out with my significant other, we make it a rule to keep our phones away or in the car. This way we are cherishing each other’s company without technology getting in the way. Same goes with bedtime. What do you do right before closing your eyes; say goodnight to your loved one or scroll on your phone?

It might seem insignificant but these small gestures can create a distance in a relationship that nobody wants. When we choose our phone over our partner, it is slightly similar to cheating. You are openly stating that something else is more important than them. We are going to be on our phones while around our significant others but make sure to keep them away during the important parts. You can even have a mutual time out from technology so you can spend time talking and just having fun in their company. You’d be amazed at how freeing a few hours away from that small little box can be!

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5 comments

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