Technology is something that has been around our generation since we were children. We’ve grown up with the newest and greatest technology, and most of us have been connected for as long as we can remember. I used to love the fact that I was very good about being able to put down my phone and spend time with family or do homework. Although, as more and more things happened in my life, I found that I was becoming the person I hated. I had started using my phone for everything, and you could always find my face in my phone. So, I decided that I no longer wanted to be tied to my phone and found ways to unplug myself. There are many different ways to do it, and these are the seven ways that I found to be most helpful for me.
7. Use a real alarm clock.
This might not apply to some people, but every night I would set my alarm clock on my phone because it was the easiest thing to do. But this also meant that I could convince myself that it was okay that I played on my phone for a few minutes before I went to sleep and a few minutes when I woke up. Before I knew it, an hour had passed and it was either one in the morning or I was going to be late to class. This new alarm clock helped tremendously, and I found that I even slept better.
6. Keeping your phone in another room when you're sleeping or doing work
I didn’t think that simply leaving my phone in another room when I wanted to get things done would be one of the greatest tips I found. I would refer to this as I lost my phone on purpose. Sleeping without it in the room left the temptation from wanting to look at it when I couldn’t sleep. As for doing work, I got so much more done because without it next to me I was less likely to want to play on Facebook or answer messages.
5. Give yourself a chunk of time to be on your phone
Now I don’t know about everyone else, but it’s easier said than done to just completely let go of your phone. There are still things that either I want to do on it or that I have to do. This is why, during my experimental week of trying this, I found a few hours every day where I could sit down and answer people back, play on Facebook, or give a call to someone I hadn’t in a while. This not only allowed me to cut down on using my phone throughout the day, but it kept me organized because everyone that needed something from me (unless an emergency) was able to call or text me then and I could handle the situation right then and there. Secondly, I was also able to connect better with people because I could focus on a conversation instead of having to sneak a peek at my phone every so often.
4. Don’t have it connected to other devices
I am the biggest culprit of this. I have all Apple products and I 110% thought that it was the coolest thing that all of my devices were able to connect. This is where I have to say where my connection problem started. There was never a time that I couldn’t answer or play on my phone, computer, or tablet because they all had the same things and were always all connected. This also came to affect me when it came to school. If allowed to, I like to use my computer in class to take notes, and I was more engaged in my computer than I was with class. I also found that disconnecting text messages from my Fitbit helped too because that meant that I wasn’t tempted to look at my phone when a message would pop up on my bracelet. Disconnecting the three devices has saved me a lot of issues in the long run.
3. Leave it in the car or bag when going out
The other biggest problem I was having was that I was going out with friends or family and spending more time on my phone than engaging in conversation with people. It wasn’t until my sister called me a hypocrite for telling her to put her phone down at the table that I realized that I was just as bad. Most of the time, it was hard for me to leave my phone in the car just because I always want to be prepared in case of an emergency. But instead, I started leaving it my purse or backpack and putting it either on silent or on airplane mode. No matter what I was engaging with, everything that was going on was in my world and not just what my phone was telling me.
2. Carry a book around
This was a personal thing for me. I found that if I had a large gap between classes that I spent that gap going through my phone. This is something I felt I wanted to stop just for the sake of my education because the more I played on my phone, the less I was ready to pay attention in class. I also thought to myself "how I can fix this problem?" I found that I hadn’t really read a book for enjoyment in a very long time, and I absolutely love books. So this might not be a tip that everyone can relate to, but the idea behind it is that if you enjoy doing something other than looking at your phone, you could use this time to catch up on it.
1.Have a technology-free day
This may seem kind of extreme to people, but trust me. When you go almost twenty-four hours, seven days a week on your phone, the best thing that you can do is turn it off for a day. What I would do is that I would tell people who would be concerned if I didn’t answer my phone that I was turning it off for the day, and if something was dire to contact somebody like my roommate or one of my teammates. Then I found things, like reading, that I hadn’t done in a while or with the few days of nice weather that we have had every other week I would try and go outside. The list I found was endless when it came to things that I wanted to do or that I put off because I was so busy. An entire day might be hard for some people, so maybe a half a day can help to get you unplugged.
These seven tips are just ideas that I knew would connect to my own personal life, and they're how I run my days and weeks. I’m not saying all of these will work for everyone else, but if you really want to become more technology-conscious, give any one of these a try and you will see the difference in your life completely. The connection you start to have with people alone makes it easier knowing that you’re not on your phone constantly. To those who try, I wish you luck in your unplugging journey.