Its Time to Unplug

It’s 7:45 AM and your alarm goes off. You wake for a moment and wonder how it’s been 7 hours since falling asleep when it feels like 20 minutes. You reach over and unplug your phone, turn off (or let’s be real, snooze) your alarm and open your favorite social media site, just to slowly shake off the remaining drowsy feeling.

As you get ready for the day you pop in and out of social media, your text messages, and emails, checking in on what you’ve missed overnight and preparing for what lies ahead. Throughout your day you constantly check your phone for the time or a notification. Sometimes you look at it and forget why you unlocked it in the first place. When they day is through you scroll and repeat: what did I miss today; who haven’t I responded to yet; what picture haven’t I posted yet? You lay in bed and give yourself another 5 minutes on your phone, which inevitably turns into 45, and you finally plug it in and roll over once your eyes have strained long enough to tell you you’re tired.

I don’t know about you, but I have had many days that look similar to this.

I hate feeling addicted to my phone and wonder how I’ve gotten to this point when in middle school and high school I only used my phone for calling or texting (as long as I stayed under the monthly limit… sorry, Mom). Now it seems like our whole world revolves around our phones and we have such intense FOMO when we don’t check what is going on. It sometimes feels like there is nothing we can do about it because we need it in today’s ever connected society.

Well, I disagree. I know we don’t need it because I look at my cousin, who is 5 years younger than me though wise beyond her years, and she still has a flip phone (yes, a flip phone). And even then, she barely remembers to bring it around with her or answer my phone calls (thanks…!). She is not constantly connected to social media, comparing her life to everyone’s posts or advertising pieces of her own life like many of us do. I know because of her that you don’t need to be on 6 different social media sites to feel connected, and you can actually do more with your time when you aren’t scrolling through your feed half the day. According to one study, teens spend as many as 9 hours per day on social media. I know many of you who are reading this are no longer teenagers, but I can only assume our time is comparable. Think about all the things you could accomplish in those hours instead of scrolling and giving your thumb a workout!

So maybe you want to rely on your phone less – here is a good way to start:

Schedule your do not disturb – {for IPhone} Go into Settings -> Do Not Disturb and turn the scheduled toggle to ON. You can then set the time you want do not disturb to start and end. No more pesky GroupMe messages keeping you up at night or waking you up in the morning.

Keep your phone away from your bed – I am guilty of this one because I use my phone as my alarm (as most of you probably do). But, that does not mean we can’t find a plug away from the bed to charge our phones overnight. That way when the alarm goes off, we are forced to get up and may be less likely to snooze for half an hour. You also will not be as likely to stare at social media before bed or when you wake up. {Try to avoid checking Facebook or emails until after you’ve gotten ready for the day.}

I challenge you to cut an hour out of your phone/social media time every day this week and replace it with something productive: meditation, reading, or maybe starting that job or internship search you have been putting off.


Good luck, friends!



Currently Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Up Next: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

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