Ahh. How relaxing! You’re outside, enjoying a beautiful sunny afternoon and letting your mind wander. As the breeze gently caresses your hair, you close your eyes and realize you haven’t felt this at peace in a long long ti—
DING! Oh, your phone wants your attention! Better pull it out to see what all the rumpus is all about! Within moments, you feel your eyeballs turn into hypnotic swirls as you get sucked into a vortex of social media posts, text messages, emails, and mindless tapping and scrolling.
Sixteen hours later and you’re wide-awake in bed illuminated only by your little glowing screen filled with page after page of then-and-now photos of 90s sitcom stars. (JTT FTW!)
Like the survivor of an X-Files alien abduction, you ask yourself: How did I get here!? Why does this keep happening? What does it all mean?
You’ve tried to cut back on your phone usage before, but it may be time for bold, decisive action.
Here are 3 ways to liberate yourself from the tyranny of your pocket-sized device:
1) Set up physical obstacles.
One way to keep you from accessing your phone unless you really really need it is to make it impossibly hard to get to.
Try placing your phone under something very heavy like your refrigerator, your washing machine, or under that stack of books you used to want to read.
For the more ambitious, you can now enroll your phone into the American Gladiators Mindfulness Initiative: An intense challenge where to check your Snapchat you have to defeat Nitro in 2 out of 3 rounds of the Joust. Also good for your core!
2) Put distance between you and your phone.
One surefire way many folks have reduced phone usage is by placing their device somewhere out of reach — in another room or in a closet. In your case, consider somewhere even further like stashing it in the trunk of your car, leaving it with a neighbor for the night, or even periodically mailing your phone to a foreign country for a semester abroad. It’s host family will take good care of it!
3) Set time limits.
You’ve tried not letting yourself use your phone after 9pm or on weekend mornings, but somehow after a week or two those boundaries always seem to fade away. It’s not your fault!
It’s helpful to fight fire with fire and use your phone’s own capabilities against it. Try downloading an app that restricts your phone usage to very specific times like the 30 minutes between midnight and 1am on the night of a blood moon, Tuesdays during happy hour, or whenever you’re traveling over natural bodies of water.
Sweet sweet freedom!
Congrats! You’ve saved yourself from the robot apocalypse! You’re finally free to live your life entirely in the present moment.
But first, let’s see what’s on Netflix.