Taking a break from your phone

So here’s the thing, I really like being on my phone and using it to talk to friends, but I feel almost like I’m on it too much. But the problem is I hate putting it down. How can I grow less attached to it?

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Taking a break from your phone

Shay Willis, Columnist

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Oh, phones. Those small little devices that almost every teenager and adult has sitting in their pocket nearly 24/7. Such a small object has such a large impact on our lives and we seem to not be able to live without it. We keep it with us all the time, using it at school, home, and even sleeping with it at our bedsides.

But why? Why do we feel compelled to have this small rectangular device with us at every moment of the day?

Personally, I believe it’s because we’re addicted. Every time we get a notification, hear that little *ping*, feel the vibration in our pockets, our brain sends little bursts of dopamine, a sort of feel good chemical, into our system. We like that feeling, and so we answer the beck and call of the phone and fall deeper into our addiction.

If you find your head snapping to attention when your phone buzzes or getting panicky in class because you just know someone, maybe a friend, texted you but you can’t check it, chances are you have a slight addiction.

Addictions are hard to get rid of, yes, but not impossible. By using a few simple steps and tips, you will find yourself less consumed by your phone and technology in general.

Don’t sleep with your phone in your room. This is actually a rule established at my house by my mom, and she has a good reason for it. Over the years, my sleep has gotten fitful and horribly unrestful, and she noticed that it started soon after I got my phone and kept it in my room when I slept. Picking up on the changes, she started to have me keep my phone in her room at night and it was probably one of the better things she’s done because I’ve been sleeping better than ever before. We believe that your brain, subconsciously, is wanting to check your phone throughout the night because it’s so attached. Now, your phone doesn’t always have to reside in your parent’s room; keeping it down in the kitchen works just as well too. Removing your phone from your room takes away that temptation and gives your brain a rest. By doing this, you’re helping to lessen your attachment and improving your sleep.

Set time aside to be technology free. Meal times are ideal, because not only are you unplugging, but your also allowing yourself to have some quality time to talk with your family about your days, politics, or maybe even something trivial. This time away from your devices will expose you to time without it and allow your mind time to rest.

Put your phone on Do Not Disturb during the school day. This way, if you do get a text in class you don’t know about it and don’t panic and focus on it. You’ll be less attached to the device and more focused on your school work which, in the long run, will benefit you greatly.

Host “unplug days.” Unplug days are days that you stay off all technology unless it’s unavoidable or an emergency. Unplug days are used at my house when either my sister or I are just too attached to our devices or have a bad attitude about having to put them away fro any given time. We’re very reluctant at first to put them away, but as the day goes on, we feel better and less attached to our phones and we’re able to put them away with ease over the next few days.

Make plans with friends that actually involve getting up and doing something. You’ll be up and moving and interacting with your friends away from the screen which’ll strengthen your relationships in a more effective and positive way. In addition, your mind will be preoccupied with fun activities to notice that you’re not on your phone, and by the time you’re done you might notice that the urge to check it isn’t as severe as before.

It doesn’t take much to get away from your phone, but I know that the tasks can be strenuous. However, with just a little bit of effort and time you can lessen your desire to be on your phone and spend more time away from the digital screens of our devices.