7 Ways To Unplug From Your Phone

7 Ways To Unplug From Your Phone

Engaging with the world is easier than you might think
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Shannon Smirnow

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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