Generation Y likes to spend time on their phone, but a recent study found that the more time people spend on Facebook, the unhappier they are.
I felt a certain distress during and after the American election, and found myself checking my phone more often than ever. Scared to miss something, ready to tweet news articles and snapchat my friends about unimportant things. At first I didn’t know where this distress came from, but I quickly realized that it was social media.
Young adults spend (on average) more time on their phone than with their partner, and I was rapidly becoming one of them. I knew I had to slow down and put my phone away in order to enjoy my surroundings again. Here’s what I did:
I turned off notifications
No Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or Instagram. I didn’t only turn off the lock screen notification, but also the so-called ‘badge’, which is that annoying red dot on the corner of the app icon. Not having something or someone constantly asking for my attention helped me become less stressed.
I found out how much I was using my phone
There are various apps, such as QualityTime for Android and Moment for iOS, that monitor your phone usage. I used Moment, and got a good reality check when it showed me how much time I spent on my phone and how many times I had picked it up in just one day. What I loved about this app in particular is that it constantly reminded me how much I was using my phone and helped me to make a conscious effort to use it less.
I scheduled a digital detox
This is something my partner and I like to do together, usually on Sundays. This phenomenon has become so popular, that it’s even possible to go on digital detox retreats. What we like to do is leave our phones at home and go for a walk, grab some lunch or watch a movie. The key here is to just be in the moment, and not worry about liked, shares and messages.
I stopped checking my phone first-thing in the morning
Many people will advise against using your phone as an alarm clock, but I’m a little stubborn and still sleep with my phone next to my pillow. I did stop checking my phone first-thing in the morning though. I now keep it on airplane mode and allow myself to wake up, make some coffee and take a shower before I check my messages. Reading bad news or tweets from people that are in a negative mood sometimes makes me feel negative as well. By enjoying some time by myself in the morning, I have become a lot happier!
Do you want (free!) extra blog posts delivered right to your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter!