The say silence is golden, so why do we constantly create our own internal noise with our phones?
Last week I took a break from the internet, in fact I barely even looked at my phone. This was intentional, I just needed a break from the internet. I never actually knew how much I needed to disconnect from everything until I took it.
Ever since going freelance a couple of months ago I’ve has the fear, the constant hustle, worrying about engagement, timing and keeping my online presence, well… present. What I didn’t realise, is how much it was affecting my mood, affecting how much I was actually enjoying myself.
I have always tried to live in the moment, but lately I’ve felt bogged down and too focused on numbers, not actually doing ANYTHING apart from work. Even when I was out and not supposed to be working I was constantly checking my phone. So I cut myself off. For the best part of a week I didn’t go online, and here are the benefits of going cold turkey.
9 Benefits Of Putting Your Phone Down
1. Pay attention. Having a conversation with someone whilst using your phone is not only a little rude, you don’t give them your full attention, and it’s easy miss something or misunderstand something. So put your phone down and give them your full attention.
2. Cement relationships. Whilst you might live a long way off from some of your friends, others are just around the corner, now think of the last time you saw them and actually had a deep and meaningful conversation, or even a conversation where you didn’t look at your phone, can’t do it? Then arrange to meet them, and keep your phone in your bag!
3. Sleep Better. Not staring into a screen just before bed made getting to sleep so much easier! Not only was I sleeping within the first half hour of getting into bed – which is basically unheard of – I slept much more soundly, coincidence? I think not! So try and stay off your phone for the last hour before you go to bed.
4. Be more productive. Funnily enough when I wasn’t constantly checking my phone I was actually doing more work. Planning outfits and shoot locations has always been one of my favourite things to do and it was taking a back burner to the numbers game. Staying off my phone helped to get my creative juices flowing, so planning a shoot around my new Fendi sunglasses was a fun process and not a chore.
5. Limit comparison. Theodore Roosevelt was right in his statement, comparison can bring you no joy. So when you are bombarded with peoples ‘perfect instagram lives’ it can get you down. Taking time away can help you appreciate what you do have in life, and make you all the more grateful for it.
“Comparison is the theif of joy”
6. Reconnect with yourself. Take a bath with a book, go for a walk just to enjoy the scenery, spend some time alone and just enjoying your surroundings. Or do something you love that you haven’t done in a while!
7. Get more enjoyment online! I know it might sound silly but being offline actually made my online experience much better. By limiting the time I was on my phone I was more engaged, I had a purpose instead of just endlessly scrolling through feeds.
8. Be More Mindful. It’s no surprise that mindful apps are all the rage right now. Because we spend so much time online it’s easy to think they may be the only answer, but have you tried to sit in a quiet room alone for 15 minutes focusing on nothing? It might sound impossible but 15 minutes per day really does help. If you think it would be impossible then why not take a breathing class? There are plenty of relaxation classes and focusing on something as simple as breathing will help to quieten your mind.
9. Live in the Moment. See things as they happen, not through a phone screen! I just can’t understand it when someone films an entire gig on their phone, instead of actually enjoying it, so why am I viewing my life through my phone?
NOTE – Taking photos doesn’t count, as that’s documentation and I’ve realised in the past week how important photographing moments in your life is. No matter how much your memories fade, you will always be taken back to a happy memory by a photograph.
Now I know it’s not possible to stay off your phone the majority of the time. But taking a break to reconnect with your surroundings? It might be just the thing you need.