4 Ways to Use Your Phone Less & Live Life to its Fullest
This year, I gave up my personal social media for Lent. Crazy right?! I thought it was going to be unbearably impossible and that I would give in after a week, if I even made it that long! Growing up as our generation did, I think that we can all be so reliant on our phones that we forget to live life to its fullest. Yes, the Internet can connect us better to our people, but as this Lent taught me, sometimes it’s more fulfilling to use your phone less and plug into real life.
This all started when I was driving along one day, rocking out to my favorite worship music and having the best time. I came to a red light and somehow found my phone in my hand without me having consciously picked it up. It wasn’t until I looked down and saw my phone waiting for me to unlock it that I realized I was about to go on Facebook on autopilot.
It got me thinking of all the times when I use my phone to fill in the pauses of my life. I scroll through Facebook at a stoplight, peruse Instagram while waiting for friends, scan Twitter as my food cooks, and even go through all three while watching a movie at home!
I realized that I tended to lose myself in the online world instead of the real world all too often and I needed to break the cycle.
So I gave it all up! It definitely wasn’t easy, but it ended up being completely doable! If you’re aiming to use your phone less and live life to its fullest, check out these tips that I learned firsthand:
1. Delete, delete, delete
I’m definitely an “out of sight, out of mind” person, so the first thing I did was delete all my social media apps. Doing so instantly made me feel lighter and freer, and it eliminated my ability to mindlessly scroll through my phone whenever and wherever.
2. Set a goal
My goal was to completely give up all my personal social media accounts for the entirety of Lent. Having a deadline in mind made this more manageable because in the grand scheme of things, 40 days really isn’t that long! Knowing in the back of my head that I could go back on Facebook on Easter Day if I wanted to made the goal seem way more achievable, rather than if I had tried to stay off social media indefinitely.
3. Discover your motivation
The horror I felt when I realized I was constantly going on my phone simply out of habit was enough motivation for me to quit social media cold turkey! Since it was over Lent, I also promised God to stick to my goal and having this accountability kept me offline, even when it was most tempting!
What’s driving you? Maybe you also want to get closer to God or be more present in your life. Whatever it is, remind yourself of that even in your weakest moments!
4. Create new habits
Whenever you feel yourself reaching for your phone, consciously observe your surroundings. Use each of your five senses to mindfully notice your physical environment. What shapes can you see in the clouds? Do you hear birds chirping or music playing in the distance? Can you smell fresh flowers nearby? Is the chair beneath you plush or firm? Do you taste the minty freshness of your gum?
When you purposefully shift your mindset from being glued to your phone to noticing what’s right in front of you, your eyes will be opened (literally!) to the beauty you might have been missing the whole time.
My social media fast was the perfect way to refocus my priorities. Not only was it a lot easier than I expected, but I also felt cleansed from the negativity and drama that the Internet presents.
I challenge you to use your phone less by taking a break from your top social media platform for a week. You just might surprise yourself and find that you live life to its fullest!