We see it everywhere--while waiting in line at the grocery store or driving to work or eating out at a restaurant: people’s eyes seem glued to their cell phones. We’re not sure if it is because folks are too scared to have a genuine conversation with the stranger standing in front or behind them, or if it’s because they actually have important emails and text messages to send. It has become part of the social norm for individuals to be attached to their phones, constantly checking, typing, scrolling.
This week we challenge you to take a phone timeout!
This task may seem somewhat impossible with the constant alerts and banners popping up on the screen. Listed below are a few tips to help you detach from your cell phone:
1. Put your phone on do not disturb (schedule set hours in settings).
2. Switch to airplane mode.
3. Turn it off and plug it in.
An article on Buzzfeed actually lists 22 ways to break up with your cell phone. If you need something more resolute than your own self-control, a variety of apps can be downloaded to ensure you are actually limiting your cell phone usage.
You can also impact the world in a positive way by not going on your phone. UNICEF has a tap project challenging people to stay off their phones for at least ten minutes in order to provide one day of clean drinking water to a child in need. If you want to be involved, visit uniceftapproject.org on your phone. You’ll see updates on your progress, how long other people have gone without their phones and how UNICEF helps provide clean water and sanitation around the world.
Remember, this week’s challenge is not a complete digital detox; it is just a way to spend more time focusing on the people you are with or on the tasks you are doing. Who knows, maybe after the challenge you’ll want to keep the trend going so you can inspire others to put their phones away and be fully present. Technology and social media are amazing innovations with positive rewards; however, it is essential for our own health and well-being to take a phone timeout every now and again.