Life

Can’t live without your phone? Here are 5 easy ways to manage your screen time

Posted by
Susan Devaney
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In September, everyone is limiting their phone time – and even tech companies are stepping in to lend a hand

We’re all too aware of the hold our mobiles have over us. For starters, it’s the first thing we check when our alarm goes off in the morning, and it’s the last thing we look at before our head hits the pillow at night.

And there’s proof: one in ten of us checks our phone as soon as we wake up in the morning, and a staggering 30% do so in the middle of the night.

Not only do they harm the intimacy between us and our closest relationships, but a third of Brits regularly argue with loves ones about being on their phone too much. And a recent study carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health found social media – especially Instagram – to be really detrimental to young people’s mental health. 

But change is a-comin’ which is why throughout the month of September people are deliberately opting to scroll less, and switch off more.

More importantly, a new campaign fronted by RSPH and tech companies are helping us to achieve it. 

Take a look below at the novel ways in which you can easily get involved and find the one that will work best for you. And don’t worry: no one is going cold turkey. 

The busy bee 

Method: ban your social media checking (and dating app scrolling) during office hours in a bid to boost your productivity.

Need some help? Dating app Bumble has just announced a new feature called Snooze which allows you to pause all activity on your Bumble app.

“Everyone needs a break from the noise and pressure sometimes – respectfully take the time you need to recharge, then come back and make even more meaningful connections across Bumble,” said Bumble’s founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd. 

The social butterfly 

Method: ban your social media usage during ALL social events, and instead spend quality time with your family and friends.

There’s good evidence to show why you should step away from your phone while out socialising. According to a recent survey by Co-Op Insurance, 10% of UK holidaymakers said a holiday companion ruined their break away because they couldn’t put their phone down. 

If you’re wondering just how much time you’re spending on your phone, the Apple update IOS 12 due out in mid-September has new features to help you understand and take control of how much time you’re interacting with your devices – a very good reason to update!

Night owl 

Method: take a break from your phone altogether after 6pm. 

Did you know that phones can make us less intelligent just by looking at them? According to researchers at the University of Texas, phones work to erode our cognitive function, even when they’re switched off.

“Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process – the process of requiring yourself to not think about something – uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain,” said Professor Adrian Ward.

The sleeping dog 

Method: don’t use social media in the bedroom – at all. 

Instead, catch up on your new shows like the Bodyguard or work your way through all of the great new reads for this month

Cold turkey 

Method: no social media access for a month. 

Say goodbye to Instagram and log out of Twitter, for those people with the willpower of the Gods then this method is for you.

Instead, why not get out and about? You can easily pop to the beach or go on many short country walks, and you can even take up a new creative class or hobby.

And people have been sharing their experiences on Twitter to help others to get involved, too. 

Pick one method and stick to it. It could be the best decision you make this month.

Images: Unsplash / Getty  

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