The other day I was reading through the archives of one of my absolute favorite bloggers when I came across the article, “How to be more interesting than a phone.” Shouldn’t every human being, due to the fact that they’re a human being, be more interesting than a phone? I certainly think so… But here’s the thing: On average, people spend 90 minutes a day on their phone, which amounts to 23 days a year, or 3.9 years of the average person's life. (And that figure doesn’t even include the time spent staring at a computer screen.) [source]
As a society we’ve become addicted to the constant stimulation of technology and tragically, more interested in the superficial world of social media than the actual world we’re in (which is, if you take a moment to notice, actually pretty amazing). Although technology has it’s place (thank you online banking and Mapkin GPS), nothing can compare to the real, right here right now world, and the interactions that come with it.
Because we don’t want you to miss out, here’s 5 tips to help you experience real life in real time and also, be more interesting than a phone.
How to experience real life in real time:
1. Notice your habits.
Notice when and how often you reach for your phone. This has been hugely eye-opening for both of us as we recently realized we unconsciously fill up any (and mostly all), blank space with screen time. (And by screen time we mean Instagram.) Awareness (noticing and observing yourself without judgement), is the first step to changing any habit or behavior because you can’t change what you’re not aware of.
Try this: Keep track of how much time you spend looking at a screen and also when and where you get the impulse to look at your phone. Then, ask (our favorite question), “why”?
Where is this impulse coming from? Are you genuinely concerned about what time it is, are you bored, or, are you checking to see how many likes your last Facebook status received? Then ask, “why?”, again. Because awareness is illuminating.
2. Actively work real life interactions and intentional pauses into your daily routine.
It’s incredibly easy to let excessive scrolling and unconscious screen time become a habit.
Alchemy Insights From Erika:
I used to check my phone immediately after waking up. Between my emails, Facebook, Instagram, etc., I spent at least half my morning glued to the screen which was incredibly draining and not something I wanted to be doing but somehow constantly found myself reverting to. Once I kicked this habit (which took a little commitment), I found my mornings not only way more relaxing, but way more productive.
If you’re spending too much time on your phone than you’d like (a headache is a pretty good indication…), try replacing “phone time” with real life interactions like a face-to-face conversation with someone you love or another activity (or inactivity) you enjoy, anything that lights you up.
3. Put your phone away (duh).
Instead of putting your phone on top of your desk or dinner table, leave it in your bag, car, briefcase, anywhere you can’t see it. You’ll be less tempted to check your phone if you don’t notice it lighting up or ringing.
Phones are one of the best distractions, but if you can’t see or hear it, you’re less likely to find yourself on it.
Notice how you feel without your phone on your physical being. Does anything come up for you? Do you feel naked or incomplete without with it? News flash: You’re not.
4. Do a digital detox.
Leave the phone at home for an entire day. Yes, an entire day. If the thought of not having your phone on you is causing pangs of anxiety, then this is exactly what you need. Eventually you can even incorporate this practice into your weekly routine. Pick one day a week (we like Sundays), to totally ditch the technology. You’ll be surprised at how refreshing it feels. (And don’t worry, that email isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there on Monday.)
5. Pay attention to the present.
Instead of focusing on your phone, focus on what or who’s in front of you. Put your phone away and actually listen to other people. This makes YOU much more interesting and way more fun to be around. You may even come to find that you’re surrounded by some pretty amazing people and incredibly exciting things. Trust us, the world is full of them.
Life is happening, don’t miss it because you’re too busy scrolling through your newsfeed. (Tweet that by clicking below.)
Tweet it out: Life is happening, don’t miss it because you’re too busy scrolling through your newsfeed.
Let us know your thoughts! How do you experience real life in real time? Share your insights in the comment section below. (We read and respond to every single one.)
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Erika & Jess
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