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An Actually Useful Guide to Spending More Time Offline

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qj4xvm/an-actually-useful-guide-to-not-being-on-your-phone-all-the-time

vice.com

An Actually Useful Guide to Spending More Time Offline
If you’re struggling to detach yourself from your various devices during this pandemic—or, if you can't do that out of necessity, but would like strategies for constantly looking at a screen without wanting to crack it into pieces—here are some tips.

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Reasons you’re on your phone

Reasons you’re on your phone

Our phones, especially social media apps, may drain our time and energy. Scrolling often starts when you're responding to a message, reading an article, or looking at a few pictures. Then, four hours later, you feel nauseated by the wasted time.

To avoid this, get specific about the reasons you're online. Go through the apps you use most and think about the core reason you want to check each app, the reason why you overdo it, and alternative to help you stick more closely to your core reasons. You may decide to limit your social media to 20 minutes a day, talk one-on-one with friends, or unfollow or muting half the people you follow.

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Consider posting less

If you find yourself posting a lot, ask what specifically you're seeking and if there are other ways that would leave you feeling better.

It's worthwhile to consider what you are posting to the world. Posting stories, tweeting, and messaging lead to back-and-forth responses that glues you to your feeds.

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Use your phone for its main purpose: calling people

Even if you love a good text conversation, it might mean that you are more online than you otherwise might be.

One solution is to treat your phone like a phone. If you feel uncomfortable phoning, consider informing your friends that you will start calling more often, so they don't assume the worst when they hear your voice.

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Find creative ways to keep in touch

Apps are not necessarily the best way to communicate personal or semi-private info, nor is it adequate to learn about your friends.

A weekly family FaceTime or a weekly email might be better to stay in touch and is less draining.

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Managing notifications

We often open apps more out of muscle memory and not a desire to see what is happening.

  • The most effective way for logging off is to rearrange your home screen so that theses apps are a few swipes away.
  • Consider not allowing any notifications beyond phone calls, and maybe text sounds for the most important people in your life.
  • If you need to get work email notifications, use a different mail app for your personal email.

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How to catch up on the news

While you want to be informed on the state of the world, catching up via social media is exhausting and time-consuming.

Consider limiting your news to once or twice a day in a more concentrated way, like listening to a briefing podcast or signing up for an EOD newsletter, or going directly to a newspaper homepage.

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Get a hobby

If you find yourself picking up your phone out of habit or boredom, find alternative ways to spend your time.

If you don't have a hobby, now is a good time to find one. Recommendations would be reading books, making art or gifts for friends.

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Instead of triggering more anxiety by rehashing your quarantine situations, think about what you can do to make your friends feel good and how to be there for them from a distance.

Tell them they matter to you and that you miss them. Then keep the conversation focused on things that make you both feel good.

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Set boundaries in regards to your screen time

Whenever you feel like you are spending way too much time on your screen, consider setting clear boundaries: it is not the same to work and to just waste your time by watching things that might even end up increasing your anxiety.

Therefore, try using a separate device for work and personal activities and, the most important, make sure to set a limit to the amount of time spent while checking news on social media.

Choose quality over quantity

Whenever you choose to spend your time on checking social media, make sure this is not a wasted time.

So why not trying to learn something useful during the days when you cannot leave your house due to different reasons?