Thursday, February 23, 2017

{7} Ways to Spend Less Time on Your Phone

I am constantly trying to sever my (sometimes deep) ties to my phone.  Smart phones are wonderful things that can do so much, almost anything you need, but they can also be huge time suckers.  I know that.  You know that.  Everyone knows that.  A few ways that have helped me put away the phone and actually live life.  Sometimes I even get two days out of a charge! (Who else remembers the early days of flip phones when you could get a full week out of a charge??)

1) Delete social media apps
I have the Instagram app because it's the only way to use it but I don't have the Facebook app.  Or the Facebook messenger app.  Or the Twitter app.  I don't use Snapchat or whatever else "the kids" are using these days.  I delete my internet history multiple times a day (I hate that websites track me) so logging into Facebook is about a 60 second process, which is plenty enough time to realize I should be doing something else.  Making it harder to get to the social media makes it much easier to stay off! (Like freezing your credit card, give yourself obstacles!).

2) No games
I have not a single game on my phone and haven't for years.  Sometimes I miss Words with Friends but then...not that much.

3) No push notifications or auto e-mail checking
The only alerts I get from my phone are phone calls (duh), texts, and Swipes.  My email only checks when I refresh it.  I don't get push notifications from any apps.  Saves data, saves battery, and saves my sanity.

4) Keep follow lists low
I have little problem unfollowing people on social media if they become too post heavy.  Instagram is the biggest one, I frequently review my followings and edit out the ones that are no longer interesting or useful.  I've unfollowed or unfriended people on Facebook.  The less you follow the less there is to keep up with!

5) Particular times for social media
I talk about this often but it's been 18 months and is still the schedule I stick with 95% of the time.   I don't refresh Instagram when I'm bored or check Facebook 20 times a day.  It might take me 24 hours to reply to comments or messages but I am ok with that.  We don't need to be connected all of the time!  (Sometimes it takes me a day to respond to texts and I get those notifications immediately!)

6) Take social media breaks
Starting this year I've decided to stay off social media on the weekends.  I check Facebook and Instagram during quiet time on Friday and then not again until Monday.  I occasionally pop in to post something quick but don't scroll my feed.  It's amazing how freeing it is and how much more time I have for reading! (Not that I need that...)

7) Have other things to do
I almost always have a preschooler around me to talk to.  Or I have a book with me.  Or other people to talk to.  Or a puzzle to do.  Or sleep to catch up on.  Or the rare times I'm waiting in the JoAnn cutting line alone, I use that time to respond to e-mails or comment on blogs sitting in my Feedly or just observing the people around me.  (And trying not to buy more flannel because I certainly have more burb cloths than I currently/ever need.)

(I didn't even get into my favorite "stay off your phone when you are around other people" rant!  If you've been reading awhile then you've already heard it.  My feelings haven't changed.  Stay off your phone when around other people!  Or at least stay off social media when there are actual humans in your presence you could socialize with.  Your life will almost always be better for it!)

I'm not perfect about my phone but I think I am slowly improving.  How do you stay off your phone? (Besides not owning that...that's not helpful to me.)

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