#36alive 61: Step Away From The Phone

After listening to a podcast earlier this week with regards to computer addiction, it really got me thinking about how much time I spend staring at my phone. I have often preached about how many people I see doing this but recently I have been guilty of it more than anyone. Whenever I get a spare 30 seconds or so, maybe when standing in a queue, or waiting for the kettle to boil, I instinctively reach for my phone without even realising it, it’s ridiculous. This was really emphasised yesterday when I stopped carrying my phone around with me all the time and I kept on putting my hand in my pocket to get it, only it wasn’t there. This really hit home how much time I look at it.

If you’re in a social setting like a pub, restaurant, train, bus, just take a look around at the amount of people staring at their phones, I’d hazard a guess that this is most people. I was recently in a pub on a Saturday lunch time (I was watching the football before going to teach a workshop, not hitting the bottle early…..honest), and there were a lot of football fans gathering in the pub before heading off to the match. This included children, all of which were either staring at a phone or a tablet rather than talking to each other. This could cause many issues for our next generations with people actually forgetting how to talk to each other and developing a forwarded headed posture that is becoming so prominent these days. The further our head juts out away from our torso, the more, it weighs. This can cause tension in the neck, headaches, and shoulder pain which can snowball down to the rest of the body creating a whole host of issues.

While there is no denying that phones play a big part in life and if you want to get along in today’s society it is pretty important to have one, especially if it is used for work, try cutting down on it’s use. There are a number of ways to do this, some more dramatic than others. I have heard of people going on retreats for a week that ban the use of phones phoneacting as a digital detox. I’m not suggesting that everyone does this but for now, how about putting the phone down (not literally if you’re in the middle of a phone call, it’s rude to just hang up on someone) and maybe using it for its original purpose only, phone calls.

Here are a few things you can do today to use your phone less, using your time more wisely, you might be amazed at how much more time you have and much more productive you are.

  • Turn off your wifi, and internet usage, using your phone for texts and phone calls only.
  • If you need to use social networks for work then how about only assigning yourself 30 minutes every three hours to respond to calls, texts, and emails rather than constantly typing / scrolling away at the damn thing
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode, checking in every two / three hours.

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