Are you addicted to your phone? Do you want to kick the habit and quit your phone addiction? Well, it takes a bit of work, but it’s really not that hard!
It’s been a while now since I’ve been practicing a #socialmediafreeweekend and have been asked by numerous people how to get to that point. So, here are a few tips for those of you who want to get to that point, or at least try it out. These are the steps I took to get there:
1. Turn off all your notifications
Turn them off. All of them. You don’t need beeps and stuff to distract you from whatever it is you are doing. This allows you to check your phone at your own convenience. It reduces any temptation, and the feeling of having to answer people instantaneously.
2. Move all your social media apps to an awkward part of your phone
By re-locating your apps or putting them into a folder, you will be more aware of when you “accidentally” open an app and start scrolling. I know I sometimes find myself bored, and due to plain muscle memory, I swipe to an app and open it without thinking. By changing the location of your app, you will be very aware of what you are doing. It’s the first step to kick the habit.
3. Delete Facebook off your phone. Actually, delete all your social media (just for the weekend, of course)
Trust me, nothing new will happen, and if it does, you’ll hear about it, so don’t get FOMO. Those cat pictures can wait. The photos of your ex’s new partner can wait. Your BFFs brunch shots can wait. By deleting all the apps you are now enjoying the moment, and can actually feel relieved that you aren’t being constrained by the siren’s call. I actually ended up deleting Facebook off my phone even during the week. It allowed me to check my Facebook only when I was on a computer, and it made me more aware of how much time you are spending on the site. (I sometimes log in around lunch time when I need a little break from work stuff). Not having the apps accessible keeps you productive, and acts as a treat for when you do have time to scroll the countless photos and status updates of your million followers.
4. Subscribe to the newsletters you really care about
If you want to know about current events or recent news (which is my big “reason” for checking social media, especially Twitter), go to news sites you love and subscribe to them, so they end up in your email. Read. Delete. The end.
5. Buy an alarm clock
Yeah, archaic, I know, who uses an alarm clock, when you have a phone? However, by having an alarm clock, it reduces the temptation to use your phone before bed/in bed, and you are less inclined to check it just as you wake up. Plus, spending a few hours before bed without screen time improves your quality of sleep. Win/win!
6. Leave your phone in another room when you are home.
By leaving your phone in the kitchen, or somewhere not directly next to you, will allow you to unwind in the evening without the temptation to post updates about what you’re watching on Netflix. Plus, you can leave your phone to charge overnight without any additional temptations.
7. Just try
Okay, so half the battle is just trying. So, just try to have a social media free day. Just try! It’s not that hard! Check your social media at the end of the day (before bed), and be aware that it’s your last browse for 24 hours, then promise yourself that you won’t use it for a whole next day! You can do it!
8. Ramp up to a whole weekend
Are you ready? It’s now time to have a social media free weekend (what’s another whole day, right?!). Check your social for the last time on Friday night, and then not again until Monday. For myself, I only check messenger, since I consider it to be more like texting than actual social media. I find all the other apps time-sucks, and those are the ones I remove. Seriously, a weekend from technology is a blessing!
9. Encourage your friends to kick the habit too
Having accountability buddies is so much easier than trying to kick the habit by yourself. Get a few friends on board, that way, when it gets hard, you can reach out to them instead of download an app.
10. Now, go and do something fucking amazing
Read a book, go to the park, talk to strangers, pay attentions to the patterns in the clouds. Look up! Whatever you do, now you can be more present and have way more free time to enjoy life with less distractions! By the end of the weekend, you will feel like a whole new person and wonder why you didn’t give up social media earlier