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Mental Health

I Think I’m Addicted to my Phone…

Five hours. That's how much time I wasted on social media yesterday. I wish I was joking. I wish there somehow was an error on my phone's usage data, but somehow, I had it on screen for five hours yesterday. To top that off, I know it was in addition to my binging season 2 of "Downton Abbey," so I can say confidently I wasted at least 12 hours yesterday. TWELVE.  I think it's sufficient to say that I'm addicted to my phone. Instagram is by far the easiest for me to lose time on. There is something just so enticing about the discover feed curated to my likes and recently viewed pages, and it gives me new content at the refresh of the page. If you doubt my addiction, ask my roommate; I've had to delete the app to protect my G.P.A. If you're anywhere near as lost of a cause as I am, you'll want to read these tips that I've found on how to fight your phone addiction.

1. When studying:

 

Image via Inside Higher Ed

 

If you're studying with some friends, ask them to hold on to your phone until you've finished your work, or, if you're alone, leave it in your room altogether. If that feels too drastic or you don't feel safe walking around campus without your phone, consider turning it off and leaving it in your bag for the duration of your studies.

2. When with friends:

 

Image via A New Cell Phone

 

Something that my friends and I like to do is put our phones in the middle of the table, and the first person to get their phone has to buy dinner. While this is hardly ever enforced, it's a great way for us to make sure we are enjoying everyone's company and not just sitting with each other on our phones. Similar things to do with friends is to leave your phone in your bag the entire time or turn it off completely. It's a frustrating thing to be sitting with a friend who refuses the decency of pulling their eyes away from their phone.

3. When walking to class:

 

Image via Southern Methodist University

 

While it's tempting to scroll through Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter on the way to class, this is actually the perfect time for a little introspection, mindfulness, talking with friends or just appreciating the day. I know this helps me set my attitude for the day on the right track, and I definitely recommend trying it.

4. When in class:

 

Image via Inside Higher Ed

 

Dear mom, if you're reading this, I'm sorry to say I don't always pay attention in class. Sometimes my phone is just so tempting, calling to me with its enticing apps. Even though it's easy to get bored in a long lecture and sit on your phone, it really is a bad idea for many reasons. The best way to fight this boredom is to sit properly, drink some water, and take notes on the lecture. It goes by much faster than if you were just slouching there with your eyes glazed over, wishing you were in bed.

5.  When taking a homework break:

 

Image via Shutterstock

 

Somehow five minutes turns into five hours. There is no worse feeling than looking up from your phone during a homework break and seeing that you've wasted over an hour, so try some alternatives, such as grabbing a snack, making some coffee, standing up and stretching, going to the bathroom or getting some water.

While phones are a great thing, they have a horrible tendency to interrupt our lives and can even cause problems with relationships, mental health and school. Social media has been shown in studies to cause mental distress and jealousy, and sometimes taking a break from our phone is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Take it from me, turning it off for a few hours can work wonders.

Jaymie is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. She is most definitely addicted to coffee and loves glitter, flowers, and all things fuzzy. A true El Paso native, she is a huge fan of Khalid, appreciates some good Mexican food, and loves hiking. catch her on Instagram: @jaymiepaigeruddock
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