I’ll never quite remember the day that we all went from using our phones for five minutes in the playground to Bluetooth Alicia Dixon’s ‘He Does Nothing’ to each other, to walking through a street full of strangers all glued to this electric device in their hands, swiping left and right, and only looking up to cross the road.
I’m guilty of it, I think we all are.
Phone’s and technology are absolutely incredible. I use my phone to write blog posts, my University textbooks are on there, I do coursework on it, write screenplays, it’s my only method of communication to my love throughout the week, I apply for jobs, buy train tickets, manage my bank account, edit my photography, my workout programme is off there, I mean you get it – technology at our fingertips has been one of the most incredible advancements to mankind. But in doing so, we are used to everything being so… well, instant. With Amazon Prime, Tinder, Same Day deliveries, we can have virtually anything instantaneously, and I’m starting to wonder about the side effects to that.
Sure my phone literally keeps my life together, it’s my alarm, the second I wake up it’s right there. BUT then there’s the downside to phone dependency. The smallest touch of boredom, and you find yourself picking it up and endlessly scrolling, and then before you know it, an hour or two has passed and your deadline still isn’t going to reach itself. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether it’s Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, how often do you find yourself just simply…scrolling?
You may have noticed that this past week, I’ve not really been active on Instagram (you probably haven’t but we can both pretend). There’s a real idea amongst bloggers that you HAVE to post every day, but that kind of consistency isn’t achievable for most people, and also for me, it just isn’t healthy. The thing about blogging, or Instagram is that they’re meant to be fun. And if something that is fun, then becomes a daily pressure, getting your theme right, nailing your engagement, spending way too long deciding between two (let’s face it, identical) photos, it stops becoming fun. So here I am, putting fun back into things that used to be. I’m taking away the pressure of Instagram, I’m putting my phone down and picking it up when I have a purpose. December is a time for family, and I’m really going to try and use it and appreciate my time, instead of wasting it. When I walk my dog, I’m going to leave my phone behind, and remind myself what it’s like to be present in the moment. Having a phone and social media, especially if it’s active can be like having a hundred tiny voices in your head, and sometime’s it’s so important to put it down and take some time out for yourself. Social media can be a really inspiring and positive place, but when it’s used as every teacher would say – in moderation.
Here are my no-phone challenges that I am going to commit to in December:
No phone during meal times.
Meal times with family is one of the only times throughout the day that everyone comes together. It’s a time for talking, and sharing, and I think putting the phone down will bring everyone a little closer.
No phone an hour before bed.
I can very much appreciate the effect that using your phone before bed, does to your sleep. By putting my phone down an hour earlier, who knows what will happen. Sleeping earlier, reading more, I’m interested to see, but I know that it will be better for me than a late night Youtube session. (True Crime can wait).
No phone during walks.
This is one of the times that I really appreciate half an hour of social silence. Just me and my dog out in the countryside, it clears my head, and keeps me present. I know I’m sounding like a Rupi Kaur poem, but trust me, give it one go and you’ll feel the difference.
No phone during study sessions.
I think this will be one of the biggest changes. Self-studying is hard, even for someone incredibly determined and driven, and believe me, having another world at your fingertips is the world’s biggest distraction. It’s not even that I’ll stop studying for mindless media. I’ll reply to an email, or message a brand, or book train tickets, but it’s so important to focus on one thing at a time. Our phone may be able to multitask this entire online world, but we can’t. Do things at your own pace.
It’s time that I looked up from my screen, and into the beautiful world around us instead. I’ll still be posting and writing as always, but it’s time to cut back the scrolling just for the sake of it. I’m interested to see the results. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on our generation’s phone dependency, good and bad. In early January I will do a revisit to this post with my results!
All my love,