Love Your Life, Not Your Phone

What’s the very first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?  And what’s the last thing you do before falling asleep? If you’re thinking, “check my phone”, then you’re in the same boat as everybody else in our generation. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to check your phone in the morning and at night, but when else are you checking your phone? Are you subconsciously lifting it up every five minutes, maybe even less? Are you checking your phone while you’re in class? Are you checking your phone when you’re at work? Are you checking your phone when you’re out on a date or trying to spend time with family or friends? This is where the cold hard truth about technology is revealed: we no longer know how to live our lives without our phones.

Phones are extremely important to have in the sense that you need a way to communicate with others when you want to maintain a relationship, get a question answered, or need help in case of an emergency. But nowadays, that’s not the majority of what our phones are currently being used for. We’re constantly taking Snapchat photos of moments we’re supposed to be enjoying in the present. We’re constantly checking Facebook, answering texts, scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. We’re constantly texting people instead of spending time with the people we’re with. We now struggle to truly live in the moment. This may not bother some, but for those that it does, here are some steps you can take to try to detach a little from your electronic friend.

 

1. Take it one step at a time

There is no need to completely cut yourself off from your phone all at once. In fact, it’s extremely unnecessary. Remember, the point is not to completely stay off your phone, but to just be able to live in the moment a little more.

2. Try distancing yourself from your phone…literally

Next time you’re in your room trying to do homework or trying to spend time with a friend or significant other, and you catch yourself constantly looking down at your phone, try to place your phone on the other side of the room where you won’t be tempted to constantly look at it.

3. Turn off notifications

When you’re trying to live your life in the present, it’s easy to be constantly distracted by a vibration on your phone or a lit screen telling you so-and-so just shared something on Facebook. Try to limit the interruptions by turning off your notifications and checking your accounts later on when you feel like it’s the appropriate time to do so.

4. Turn off your phone

Whether you’re in class or hanging out with someone, do you feel like you really need access to your phone? If not, go ahead and turn it off. Live your life in the moment and forget about all the things on your phone that you're "missing out on".  If you plan on it being off for a while, however, notify anyone who may try to contact you, such as your parents, that your phone will be off so that they don’t get worried when you don’t respond.

5. Realize the importance of spending time with the people you’re with

This idea is a lot easier to understand than to actually act on. When you’re with someone, you need to realize the importance of spending time with that person. Texting, GroupMe, phone calls, etc. can always wait. “But what if we’re sitting around not doing anything?” you may ask. Well, there are a variety of things you can decide to do that don’t include your phone. Just remember, there are many people older than us who remember a time where cell phones were virtually nonexistent. The next time you have the chance, ask them what they used to do in their free time. You may be surprised by the answers.

 

Your life does not have to completely revolve around your phone. No, you don’t have to text your BFF every few minutes. No, you don’t have to record the amazing concert you’re at. No, you don’t have to turn to your phone because “there’s nothing else to do.” Life is going on and it’s going to keep going whether you’re living it or not. There are many ways you can manage the amount of time you spend on your device. If you are sick of feeling tethered to your phone, then stop waiting and start acting.

Be in charge of your phone. Don’t let your phone control you.