By Amber Whiteside, Social Media Director
I tend to have a problem setting my phone down. When managing different social media accounts, checking emails and updating my own personal sites, it seems impossible to shut off that little black thing buzzing every second.
Even on vacation, I cannot help but upload that Instagram photo of my toes in the sand, or check in at a new restaurant I discovered. It seems I can never escape my phone.
When a teacher asks students to shut off their phones, I think in my head, “Do you know who I am? How can I possibly shut myself off from the online world? It’s my job!”
However, everyone needs a break. I have attempted to teach myself how to put the phone down, so that you may learn as well.
1. Admit you have a problem
Yes, this is bizarre and alludes to other “first steps” of addiction programs, but it’s very difficult to fix a problem if you can’t admit there is one. Even the famous Pomeranian named Boo has his version of a “digital detox.” If you want to see his cuter version on how to step away from your computer or phone, by all means take a look. I can’t blame you. He is one of the world’s cutest dogs.
2. Pick a time for escape
To help myself with this process, I told myself that I couldn’t go on the Internet for an hour a day. I found myself filling that time with more productivity. Instead of staring at your phone, go on a walk, do homework or go out with friends. It was a lot easier to write this blog when I had that hour without the buzzing of my phone in the background.
3. Shut off your phone when you go to sleep at night
Yes, I admit, this was a difficult one. I use my phone for an alarm clock and with a long distance relationship, why on earth would I let my phone be off all night? However, studies show computers and cellphones can interrupt your sleeping patterns. That bright screen you are staring at can wear you down and negatively impact the start of your next day. Buy an alarm clock and get some sleep. Remember there was a time when we did survive without screens lying next to us.
4. Spend time in the moment
My roommates yell at me if I am staring down at my phone when we are out at dinner. As much as I want to defend myself, it is rude when people ignore your conversation to look at their phone. Remember that personal connections are more important than online-socializing. Spend your time riding the rollercoasters at an amusement park, not uploading pictures along the way.
Social media addiction is becoming an actual problem today. According to an infographic on social media addiction, refraining from retweeting on Twitter is more difficult than refraining from consuming alcohol or smoking. So make sure to give yourself a break. Those notifications, comments and emails will still be there.