Changing my phone habits – week 1

I’m coming to the end of the first week of actively starting to change my phone habits (as I blogged about previously). I’ve learnt a lot already so am recording it here to help me reflect and in case it’s helpful for others too. 

The first week is focused mostly on starting to pay more attention to your phone habits; how you use your phone, the things you love, the things you don’t love, and the impact your phone habits have on your life. I’ve been using a tracking app which is fascinating (currently skewed as I use my phone to track my sleep – that will be changing later in the challenge though!). I’ve been surprised how many times I pick up my phone during the day (one day early this week I picked up my phone 125 times!), and how long some of my browsing sessions are. I’ve currently got a hair tie around my phone so that each time I pick it up I’m reminded to be more mindful about how I’m using my phone and what for. This has been really helpful in keeping me on track whilst I change my habits. 

The biggest change, other than becoming more mindful in the way I use my phone, has been the removal of social networking apps. I can still check social media through Safari (which I have been doing), but having a small extra barrier (which the author refers to as speedbumps) and not having notifications from social media apps has been transformational and so freeing.

I also discovered one of the apps I spent the longest time on was YouTube. I guess this isn’t too surprising seeing as I’ll watch a 20 minute video without really thinking about it. I’ve therefore deleted the YouTube app as well. Again I can watch through Safari but I’ve found that I haven’t as often as I was only really visiting the app when I was ‘stuck’ for things to do (ridiculous given all the things I love to do and haven’t been making time for). Related to that, I’ve also made a list of things I can do offline that I’d like to make more time for and I’ll be adding more of those things into my schedule to replace the time I would have spent on my phone.

Another change I’ve noticed is having more thinking time (can be both a blessing and a curse, admittedly!). I started planning this blog post whilst I was in the queue at the post office for example, whereas normally I’d grab my phone and check social media or my email.  

Overall, the first week has been brilliant and I’m looking forward to the rest of the programme. I was reminded how much I was in need of this earlier this week when I met up with a friend who said they could see me in the distance and knew it was me because I was on my phone. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I was walking in the park and if I was choosing more consciously I’d rather be paying attention to my surroundings than my phone. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to make more conscious choices about my phone habits. 

If you’re interested in following the programme I’m doing to change your phone habits, I’m using How To Break Up With Your Phone* by Catherine Price. I’m doing the audiobook version but there’s also a Kindle and print book available. 

Next week, it’s time to look at changing some of the habits about where and when I use my phone. I think it’s this week where I’ll need to move my phone out of the bedroom which will be an interesting challenge! ?

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