Do you get mesmerised by the little red dots that tell us how many notifications are on each of our social media platforms, or our emails? Are you drawn to them without even realising? Do you check your phone way more than necessary – simply because you have habitually become drawn to clearing notifications?
I became unwell recently with a virus that snowballed to the point I ended up in hospital… really crook. I ended up with vestibular neuritis, a condition where I was suffering chronic nauseousness (plus incessant vomiting) and an imbalance caused by dizziness. I struggled to walk straight and I can only describe it as either morning sickness on steroids or the point you reach when you know you’ve had too many drinks (and you can’t go back) – yuck!
Due to the dizziness, scrolling my phone made things worse, it made me want to throw up (more than I already was) and so I took some time off my phone. It also stressed me out if I saw work emails, because I knew I was too sick to professionally take the time to reply.
Even though picking up my phone made me sick, I began to realise how habitual it was for me to constantly check it (particularly because I had nothing else to do). So when I was drawn to it, I realised that it was because of my notifications.
I went into settings and I turned off Facebook and Instagram notifications, amongst a few others – and the verdict? Wow – what a difference this has made to my life. No longer when I press my home button, do I see a long list of ‘Insta’ notifications etc. that naturally have me unlocking my phone and diving into social media. It’s not only checking notifications, but it’s also the next half hour of time wastage that comes naturally when you begin the infinite scroll.
I have gained so much more time in my daily routine. I check in on social media, wayyyyy less than I was doing. Now when I check in, it’s because I choose to do so, not because I see something flash on my screen that I’m hypnotised to check.
Do you waste way too much time on your phone? Do you procrastinate via your phone instead of doing whatever it is you are meant to be? Do you feel flat after you’ve wasted an hour and gained absolutely nothing? Do you sometimes feel prisoner to your phone?
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I love checking in with my favourites and previewing chic brands, housing ‘inspo’ and cute new bits and pieces; I also love sharing snippets of my own life – yet, all of those things (for me) should be in moderation… And I was over using my phone with zero purpose and starting to resent the time I was wasting.
I think if we’re all honest, these smart phones have become like a drug. When we’re bored, scroll your phone. When you’re alone at a café, scroll your phone. If you’re waiting for dinner to cook, scroll your phone. Hop into bed, scroll your phone, wake up in the morning, and scroll your phone! For me, it just became TOO MUCH!!
Turning notifications off has changed my overuse and I have a much healthier relationship with my phone/social media now that I have done so.
If you feel like you need a little detox, perhaps you too can turn your notifications off?
… Just some food for thought!