Life without your mobile phone — seems like a pretty grim thought, right? But once upon a time, cell phone usage was only for emergencies, not for every second of the day. Not to sound like mom or dad, but have you ever wondered if maybe you should use your cell phone less, maybe even “break up” for a short period of time?
If you are interested in seeing what life without your mobile phone would be like, read on for some life hacks to help you in your cell phone detox.
Cell phone ≠ happiness
Have you ever felt trapped by social media, texting, games — any of the activities your mobile phone offers you? The idea that we can become addicted to technology, through our cell phone usage, may seem crazy, but researchers are starting to look at the relationship between technology and our happiness. “Reasons Cell Phone Usage Reduces Happiness” posted by Steve Baskin January 22, 2014, for psychologytoday.com, shared the conclusion of a Kent State University study that found “high frequency cell phone users tended to have a lower GPA, higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life (happiness) relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often.”
But why is this? And is a break up with your mobile phone the answer? Baskin wrote that while we may think our tech-based interactions are just fine, they are not the same as face-to-face meet ups where we have the chance to see a whole range of non-verbal communication, like body language and tone. Sorry — winking emoji’s are not exactly a substitute for hearing someone say something sarcastic.
Life hacks to use less technology
So how exactly can you break up with your mobile phone? And will less cell phone usage suddenly make your life better? First, taking some mini-breaks from the cloud may not be as hard as you think with the life hacks offered in Buzzfeed’s “22 Ways To Break Up With Your Cell Phone” by Carolyn Kylstra, posted December 27, 2014.
- Figure out how often you check your mobile phone. An app like Checky will track how many times a day you check your phone.
- Make tiny changes to your cell phone usage. For instance, another app, Moment, lets you set a limit for how long you can be on your phone or it will track the amount of time you have been using your cell.
- Just turn off the notifications. Listen, it is practically impossible for anyone to resist that little ding that tells you you’ve gotten a text. So shut it off to help avoid any temptation.
- Put your phone away before a meal. It may sound hopelessly old school, but back in the day, people talked during a meal — to the person across the table from them.
- No phone by the bed. Buy an alarm clock, because chief among all cell phone usage life hacks is not having it by the bed. “Keeping your phone away from where you’re sleeping means that you don’t have easy access to it before you go to sleep or right after you get up. This will make falling asleep easier… and it’ll also make it easier to get out of bed and on with your day in the mornings,” Kylstra wrote.
Break up for one month
Need hard proof that life without your mobile phone won’t kill you? Tim Ferriss reposted social entrepreneur Lane Wood’s “One Month with No Phone — How to Go Phoneless in a Major US City” on his blog, fourhourworkweek.com, December 23, 2013, with what you need to know.
Wood found that his period without a phone (he did still have an iPad mini) made him more aware of how technology influenced his interactions with others. “I’m much more present, and I’ve grown incredibly irritated at my friends when they have their phone out for absolutely no reason,” he said. His life hacks include creating an agreement with family and friends about when you won’t use your mobile phone or using the do not disturb function on your phone.
Do you have any life hacks for someone looking to break up with their cell phone? How do you limit your cell phone usage? Let us know in the comments.