9 reasons why you should take a break from your smartphone ASAP
“Your smartphone has already replaced your clock, alarm, calendar and camera – don’t let it replace your family and friends!”
Believe it or not, we spend about 4 hours 15 minutes on our mobile phones every day, on an average. Here are 9 reasons why you should cut that number into less than half:
- To sleep better: cell phone use before bed equals insomnia. Using your phone right before bed is a surefire way to sleep badly and have less energy the next day. Worse is charging your phone on your nightstand and also using it as an alarm. Break the habit. Charge your phone in another area of your home and get a traditional alarm clock.
- To feel better: did you know that Facebook use is linked to lower self-esteem? It’s perfectly said that “On Facebook, you’re comparing your reality to someone else’s highlight reel.” While that may be true, it’s hard to internalize it. All we see is someone else’s seemingly perfect family laughing and enjoying an expensive vacation. It makes others feel bad about themselves. At the very least, that’s a reason to leave the phone behind.
- To protect your eyes: we all know this benefit of switching off the smartphone!
- To save money: Anybody with an Instagram or Pinterest account can attest to being blasted with images of products, clothes and luxury brands. In fact, as social media use increases, so does a person’s materialism. When that many images of what we don’t own are coming our way, we tend to want to buy more.
- To improve your focus: have you ever counted the number of times you were distracted by your phone while trying to complete a task? If it is always right by your side. Even “silent” mode doesn’t stop a screen piling up with notifications. Taking a break can help you read better, study better and finish your work with drastically improved focus.
- To improve your communication and connection with people: communication mediated through smartphone screens makes us less empathetic. Texting can be convenient, but we lose the inflections, tone, and facial expressions that are so key in our bonding with and understanding others. In fact, simply having a smartphone in our line of sight causes us to pay less attention to the people we’re with and keep our conversations more superficial; when there’s a good chance we’ll be interrupted, we don’t see the point in trying to connect with someone on a deeper level. Next time, ignore the smartphone to communicate with those away from you, and connect with the person in front of you – you’ll see the difference!
- To become happier: yes, cell phone usage is linked to emotional instability. Most of us know that our phones do a little more than provide communication and convenience, but as our world grows more and more mobile, studies have now proven that the effects can be particularly harmful, right down to our happiness and stability.
- To be ‘present in the moment’: My niece was performing on stage, and all I did was to hold the iPhone camera steady for her three-minute dance. Then, it was over. Just like that. I felt like I didn’t even really watch it. How often does this happen? Our meal becomes Instagram ‘food porn.’ An engagement quickly turns into getting the picture of the ring onto Facebook with the appropriate check-in and accompanying hashtag. If every milestone is reduced to merely an opportunity for a social media post, are we really living at all?
- To promote a work-life balance: when we are constantly connected, others learn that we are readily available — particularly bosses and fellow employees. If you leave your phone at home here and there and let a few hours go by without responding (you can do it!), you implicitly communicate that you value your own time too. If you work 5 days a week, consider taking a full weekend without checking your email from your phone.
And most importantly, to remember who you are. Remember what food tastes like and looks like without taking a picture. Remember what it feels like to talk to a friend face-to-face. Remember what it is like to drive around and to actively figure out your own way without GPS. Say no to your smartphone and say ‘yes to life’!
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