I love technology. As a blogger, I’m always scrolling through social media, editing pictures, and reading blog posts. But every now and then I find myself in desperate need of a digital detox. Staring at a phone screen all day makes me feel incredibly unproductive, so sometimes I just need to power off all my electronics and busy myself with things that aren’t technologically based. I can usually rely on one of these five signs to remind me to spend time away from my phone.
1. Having trouble sleeping
I’m sure that many people already know this, but studies have shown that using electronics late at night can cause you to experience difficulty sleeping. As someone whose primary screen time is after ten p.m., this happens to me quite frequently. For me, I’ve established a rule of thumb that if I struggle to fall asleep for three or more consecutive nights, I need to make a conscientious effort to put my phone down.
2. Developing texting thumb
It’s strange to think that texter’s thumb is considered a real injury, but after using my phone for prolonged periods of time, I definitely feel a bit of soreness. While it isn’t an extreme amount of pain, I think it’s a good reminder to focus on things other than technology.
3. Losing phone battery quickly
Unless you have an old or broken phone that drops in battery percentage instantaneously, your phone battery should last for a decent portion of the day. Chances are if you find that your battery is dying within a few hours, it’s because you’ve been on your phone incessantly. If it’s only noon and I glance at my battery percentage and see that I’m already at fifty percent, I know that I need a break. Monitoring battery usage is an easy way to determine whether or not you’re spending too much time on your devices.
4. Checking notifications frequently
I have a very bad habit of meticulously refreshing my email. While I do get a large number of emails each day, I know that I don’t need to be checking my inbox as much as I do.
5. Reaching for your phone during a conversation
This is more of a personal preference, but I like to give people my full attention when I’m speaking to them in person. Whenever I feel compelled to pull out my phone in the middle of a conversation, I make the decision to stay off of it for a little while. I think this is an effective way of making sure that I don’t forget the importance of real-life interaction. Excessive Internet use can sometimes makes the differences between reality and fantasy seem hazy.
While technology is a wonderful thing, it can definitely be addictive. Keeping these signs in mind has helped me know when enough is enough. I hope that they can do the same for you!
When do you know you need a break from your phone?