It’s incredible how many times a day we look at our phones. A recent study suggested that the typical mobile phone user touches their phone 2,617 times every day. 2,617 times. That’s over 100 taps, clicks and swipes every hour.
But are we doing this consciously? And do we actually want to be looking at our phones this often?
A lot of our phone use is active; making calls, sending texts, checking up on emails, using apps, browsing social media. In other words, we are using our phones out of our own choice. But, a large part of when we look at our phones isn’t down to our proactivity; we do it because our screen happens to light up with a little message – a push notification. And how many times have you been disappointed to see that the notification wasn’t exciting, and definitely wasn’t useful?
Then there’s the constant checking. Checking your social posts in 10-minute intervals, to see if you’ve had any likes yet. Or refreshing the page for the 3rd time in the last 5 minutes, just to be sure that no one has posted anything scandalous that you might’ve missed.
It’s these things that we do, sometimes even without consciously realising, that are getting us to the point of being reliant on our phones and on online interaction.
But, there’s a way to prevent it – and we’re not asking you to hand over your phone or place it out of sight. In fact, we want you to carry on using your phone as much as you need to. The only catch is that you need to be more aware and more mindful. We’re talking about digital minimalism – and the best part about it is, there are no strict rules to follow.
Here are our tips to help you take the plunge into digital minimalism:
We’d recommend starting with turning them off for social media. But, you could do this for your emails, or even for your text messages (if you’re feeling that brave). The point is not to put you out of the loop entirely, but to put you in charge of when you want to check your phone.
- Streamline your social media
If there’s someone or something you hate seeing on your social feed, don’t just scroll past it – get rid. Unfollow, unfriend, unlink yourself from what you don’t want to see.
- Give yourself a challenge
Maybe you’ve been threatening to disable your facebook account for a while, or you’ve been meaning to unsubscribe from a bunch of daily emails, or even thinking about deleting the apps that take up too much of your time. Whatever it is, don’t put it off. If it’ll help you to cut back on time spent on your phone in the long run, it might be worth putting in 10 minutes for a clean-up.
The main goal is to give up anything that is causing you mental fatigue, or making you feel unhappy. So, focus on you, and do what’s best for you and your digital consumption.