It was a friend of mine Eugene Bernshtam who first commented about the amount of time that I spend on my phone, and whilst I was defensive at first, he was absolutely right. Eugene and I had been out for a meal and he was telling me some great news about his family, news which I had to ask him to repeat because I was busy on my phone. When he reminded me of this fact it really hit home that I was probably spending far too much time on my phone, and I knew that I had to change. Here is why I have massively reduced my screen time, and why you should too.
Something which I was so guilty of was going to meet up with friends like Eugene, taking photos of us and sharing it on social media like we were having a great time, but in reality I wasn’t really present all of the time as I was on my phone. If you go to a restaurant and take a look around, you will see so many people sat in a couple or in a group, who are just stuck to their smartphones and not enjoying their company. If you feel that you have been guilty of this too then it is time to use your phone less.
Once I had pondered on what Eugene had been telling me about my phone use, I did some research online to see what other damaging effects it may have, and discovered that your mental health can be negatively affected by overuse of your phone. Social media is a perfect example of this because it basically represents a fake reality, and this can put pressure on you to meet with the expectations of this fake reality, which can affect confidence, social skills and much more. I can personally attest to the fact that I feel far healthier and much more confident and focused since I have learned to stop using my phone as much.
Because we are exposed to more news from around the world than ever before, when you use your phone so much you begin to start worrying about things which are completely out of your control. I can remember last year when I was reading abut the war in Yemen, an awful conflict which I was seeing each and every day. I spent days and weeks talking to people about it and learning all about the causes and what may happen, until a friend of mine said ‘what can you do about it’? This was a question which really hit home and made me realize just how many things that I was choosing to worry about which were completely out of my control. Having access to that kind of information at your fingertips can really skew your focus on what is important.
Why not give it a try in the new year, put the phone down and be present in your own reality.