Hello, my name is Helen Anderson, I am 26 years old and I am addicted to my phone. There I said it and I’m not particularly proud, but then again, who isn’t a slave to the scroll these days? It's absolutely insane what you can do from a device that fits in your pocket, I for one would be lost without my phone. But admitting that, doesn’t it sound a little sad?
I love what I get from my phone, I can work from my phone, I can film, snap, create and keep in the loop with all my friends, even the ones living the other side of the world. And yet I also hate it. I hate that I’m so consumed by it, day in and day out. I hate that it takes me so much longer to get anything done because no matter what I start, I always end up scrolling the same shit at some point, and before you know it 15 minutes have gone by and Im nowhere near completing the task I had at hand. I find it harder and harder these days to stay focused on a task without having the urge of picking up the phone and tapping the same cycle of apps.
I do however feel a little victory when I’ve resisted my phone for periods of time, or even for the entire day! There are things that you can do, and that I actively practice to help a little bit of separation between you and IT. Here are my tips for if you feel you have a problem (like me) that will help...
Since I decided to download the Harry Potter Audio books (which I’ve now sadly completed) I found it really easy to ditch the phone. I can’t read, scroll etc whilst listening to the books, because the story doesn't sink in. I've had to keep rewinding sections that I'd lost, so I decided that I won’t look when listening. It also meant that when I am doing house work, or any task at home really, I could zone out and listen to the books without even thinking about looking my phone. Listening to audio books when walking the dogs or driving is also brilliant for concentration, but also zoning out completely (I mean in respect that you don’t get the urge to be distracted, not that I zone out when I drive and potentially put myself and others at risk hehe).
2. Leave it charging in another room.
I often put my phone on my bedside table to charge, then leave it there to come downstairs in the evening. Im amazed at how much TV or movie watching I can have, that I give my full attention to, without the urge to have a scroll through instagram.
3. Phone bowl
This is great for couples or groups of friends that all can’t resist having intervals of sitting in silence whilst they call check all the socials. Grab a bowl or any container that can home some phones and all put your phone in there. That way you’ve outlined a no phone rule and you can get on with the evening and have everyones full 100% attention.
4. Accidentally forget it
There have been times, where I have been popping out for chores, got to the front door and nearly forgotten my phone, so I’ve actively decided to keep on going and leave it behind. Don’t get me wrong, for long days out I can’t forget it just incase there’s an emergency, but I really don’t need it if Im going to the super market, I only take twice as long as I keep checking it whilst leaning up again the trolley, slowly pushing it around.
5. Log out
Log out of all apps because its such a chore to log back in. I find this helps is your trying to be hard on yourself and really be like NO HELEN, NOT TODAY. Logging out also gives you a piece of mind as you actively feel like you’re saying goodbye for a moment.
I know this advice might seem obvious and ‘first world problemly’ but without being melodramatic, phone addiction is real and I’m ashamed of it. I often find myself scrolling without even realising and end up throwing it out of frustration (onto the neighbouring sofa, I don’t hate it that much). So if any of these tips help you, let me know!
Photos by Katie
Badass Jumper from ZARA