My Attempt To Minimize My Phone Usage Using An App...On My Phone

My Attempt To Minimize My Phone Usage Using An App...On My Phone

Baby steps, right?

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We go everywhere together, and we have a great time. We talk about current events and watch movies together. We do a leisurely scroll through Twitter and Instagram together daily. We have great communication skills. We sleep next to each other every night and check in with each other each morning. We are always there for each other and have been.

Above is not the description of a seemingly perfect relationship. It is actually describing how my phone and I function and seemingly always have.

I did not think I was addicted to technology. I thought I had a rather healthy relationship with my phone and then there was Screen Time. After finally getting around to updating my phone, I was simply curious about an app used to monitor your app use. I thought it was interesting to see how much time I actually spend with my phone in my hands. It monitors your app usage and how many times you pick up your phone in an hour. It evens give you an hour to hour breakdown and shows how the trends in your usage have shifted over the week.

Then, I saw my Screen Time data and my curiosity was replaced with minor shock. To give you an estimate, I spend four hours on my phone. I also pick up my phone 84 times a day. Yes, I am abroad, and I Google basically every single menu item I come across and sometimes even have to Google how to get back to my hostel, but that does not take four hours. Four hours is an obscene time to be spent on my phone.

So, I decided to limit the time I spend on the apps (you can also do that with this app). I set custom times for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It gives you a 5minute warning and then a screen with an hourglass appears telling you time has expired.

I even set it to have my phone go into "Downtime" between certain hours and I also throw on "Do Not Disturb" during that block just for good measure. I can still have access to all of my apps, but it makes you select "Ignore Limit" and then it will load.

I am definitely more cognizant of how many times I pick up my phone, but honestly, I have not seen a drastic improvement in my phone habits. I do read before bed now, which never happens. I also make myself less available once it hits a certain hour. Baby steps, right?

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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Ditch The Device and Live In The Moment

A reminder to everyone that we all should be present.

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Take a look at this picture. What's unique about it?

Image collected from E News Online, 2015

When I came across this image on the internet, I took a minute to truly analyze it. You'll notice an indifferent elder living in the moment as she's surrounded by everyone else capturing the moment with their phone. She'd be classified as a trendsetter in our society today. I wish more people would follow her lead.

Sometimes I believe I was born in the wrong generation, and I was the only one who felt like phones are being overused. However, the more friends I've met in college, the more I realize I'm not alone in wishing there wasn't an excessive amount of technology like there is currently. It makes me wonder why people don't take more strides to minimize how much time we're dedicating to our devices. It also makes me wonder why I am not making more of an effort to put down my phone. I've come to understand that our phones can be an addiction: getting likes on Instagram is an addiction, scrolling through Twitter is an addiction, texting your boo back every day is also an addiction.

My belief is that technology isn't going to slow down anytime soon and the fair majority of the population rely on the constant use of their phones. However, I hope more people, like me, make a greater effort to be present at the moment. I know our phones have become a necessity for several uses like staying in contact with our family and snapping a photo of memorable events in our lives...But when "capturing the moment" becomes more important than "living the moment", then my hope is we can all strive to be more like that trendsetting elder.

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