I need to digital detox!

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It’s time to digital detox!

Over the last couple of weeks I have monitored my phone usage using the iPhone app “Moment” (try Offtimes for Android) which gave me some alarming results!

I had not realised the sheer amount I used my phone, or how much I picked it up to check it, but these results do not lie!

My average screen time over the last week has been 5 hours and 2 minutes – that’s around a third of my waking day! My total pickups average around 100 a day – imagine if I swapped out picking up my phone for lifting weights? I’d be seriously hench!

It’s made me realise that I need to change habits and desperately need to do a digital detox.

Apple and Google have recently announced that they will be making it easier for their users to put down their phones. This seems counter productive for them as they appear to rely on people purchasing apps and clicking on ads to make their money. However, this is actually to their benefit as much as the user. They want us to create healthy habits with our digital devices.

Besides – helping us to live a healthier life is good for their business ethos.

I’ve read many articles on how to approach a digital detox properly, going cold turkey is not a good idea and making small changes such as not sleeping next to my phone goes a long way to help the detox.

The moment app does flag up little warnings, like it told me the other day that I used my phone more than 70% of other Moment monitored users. I don’t know how many people that includes, but it was alarming enough for me to put the phone down! It also has a free coaching element which sets you on a course to reduce your usage. I’ve not delved but perhaps I should?

There is also a premium element to the app which offers a more in-depth coaching element. Though I chose against paying for the app and had the free version only.

As the results of my Moment monitoring show, Instagram is by far my worst addiction, closely followed by Twitter and Whatsapp (I can blame whatsapp groups for this!). So, how do I tackle my use of these applications?

Most used apps

App usage – an average of 56 minutes per day scrolling through Instagram!

Bedtime routine

The first thing I can do is to stop having my phone by the side of my bed – looking at the hourly breakdown of my usage, a large amount of time spent on my phone is early in the morning when I wake up, or last thing at night.

So, by keeping my phone the other side of the room I won’t be tempted to pick it up – this will also help with my snoozing issues I mentioned in my Healthy Habits post.

Social media apps!

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, they are all wonderful and wonderfully addictive!

My job requires me to use Twitter and my hobby (Life can be Toff) requires me to keep up with Instagram and Twitter – deleting the apps seems a little drastic. However, I need to go a way to stop using them so much.

The Twitter desktop is much better than on the phone so I need to make my habit of checking twitter a desktop check only and not use the app.

Instagram – I spend hours scrolling and liking on the app, something I can do on the desktop. I will limit my use of Instagram to just updating and engaging with my audience, as that isn’t so easy from the desktop.

Whatsapp – if it’s not urgent, it doesn’t require my attention!

All of these changes will go a long way to reducing the time I spend on my phone – and hopefully will also mean that as I won’t always have a desktop to hand, I’ll slowly start to pull away from my addiction to social media altogether.

Photography

Taking photos with my phone is a major convenience. I always have my phone to hand so am always picture ready. But do I need to photograph every element of my life? Do people really care that much? I very much doubt it, so if it isn’t worth taking a proper photo of with an old school camera, then it probably isn’t worth sharing!

This allows me to practice my photography more, as well as enjoy moments as I come across them.

Alternatives

By spending over 5 hours of my day checking my phone, it leaves me with quite a lot of time to do other things, so perhaps I should do more research and write more, post more regularly to my blog.

I have some exciting plans coming up for Life can be Toff, so I can invest my time into that.

I also want to pitch more ideas to magazines and get more published articles outside of my work ones.

Reading – as well as writing more, I can read more. I recently joined a book club with a fellow Instagrammer and am looking forward to the first brunch meet later in August. I’m waiting for the book we’re reading to become available at the library, but in the meantime I can pick up one of the many I am yet to read from my every growing collection.

Kicking the habit

I realise that a vast amount of time spent is checking the home screen, obsessing about whether there is a message or notification from social media. Therefore, my main aim is to kick the habit of clicking that home button and checking what is usually a blank screen. At work my phone will stay in a drawer (I barely get signal anyway) and at home I’ll keep my phone in another room – thus encouraging me to stand up and walking to check my phone, either I’ll be too lazy to do so, or I’ll get fit checking it all the time.

What I don’t want to happen is swapping my phone time for other screen time and find I’m using my desktop more. A large portion of my life requires digital, but it doesn’t have to rule my life!

I’ll post my results once I’ve made these changes – let’s see how I do! If I was to set a target, I’d look to reduce my phone usage down from 5 hours to less than 2 per day.

Do you have any top tips for my digital detox? Have you done one yourself? Have you ever considered monitoring your phone usage – You might be surprised by the results!

Peace out!

Jangles x

My Digital Detox

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*This post is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Moment, these opinions are my own and based on an app I found in the app store for phone usage monitoring.

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