Last year at this time, Jessica Gardner of Little Merry Sunshine wrote a blog post about taking a smartphone detox. The seven day cleanse originally posted by Popsugar, is the one Jessica, Beth (writer of Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom,) Megan (writer of Stable Mable) and I followed.
While the original detox provided detailed and insightful suggestions, I chose to modify it to fit into my lifestyle. That said, a few weeks ago, when CBS News found Jessica's post, they contacted us wanting to do a story about the detox.
While preparing for today's interview, I reflected on my detox successes and setbacks.
I did continue to unfollow people on social media who post negative comments and still unsubscribe from unwanted emails every month. Just like when I clean out a closet - I feel lighter when removing the clutter.
I also kept the habit of not looking at my phone first thing in the morning, however this part of the detox is the toughest for me. It is way too easy for me to grab my phone and take a scroll through Instagram as soon as I wake up. It takes serious discipline to open my eyes, stretch and set a daily intention, do a morning meditation and THEN go after my phone.... It allows me to linger in the peace and quiet of the morning before life gets in the way.
Another smart phone habit I am now aware of is glancing at it when I am standing in line at Target, waiting at the Drs. office and just waiting...in general. I'm on my phone instead of just...waiting. Just... being. I now try to just 'be' while I'm waiting. I use the moments as mini meditations and I find I'm calmer when I do so.
Revisiting the detox a year later is like hitting a reset button - I get to begin again with a clean slate. By developing an awareness of the amount of unconscious time I spend on my phone and on social media I've learned there is a time and a place for everything. Conscious smart phone time includes checking emails, sharing my blog posts, sharing with friends, reading the news, reading for fun and responding to different comments and requests. As long as I set a conscious time for phone use and social media, I feel lighter, more free and less cluttered.
Unconscious smart phone time, like when I fall down the Facebook rabbit hole watching and reading Godknowswhat, then realize it's 5:30 and I have to cook dinner is incredibly unhealthy. It causes lethargy, stress and sometimes even crankiness. Being aware of the unconscious time was first, and now changing the behavior is my goal.
Our interview today was fun, relaxed and speaks to the fact that the majority of us are addicted to our phones. We are not alone, it's not those with certain personality traits that use their phones more. Most of us do in one way or another. I can't wait to watch the full story when it goes live in a few weeks. I'll be sure to let you all know when it airs!
How about you? How much time do you spend on your phone? Online? Would you consider a detox? Let me know in the comments below!
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