I can’t be the only one who looks forward to summer as a season of free time and enjoying the outdoors, a time to better myself and take on exciting projects, but finds myself mid-July with nothing to show but an iPhone with depleted battery life.
It’s not totally that you’re bored. There are things you want to do, it’s just that you haven’t worked up the motivation to do them yet, and scrolling endlessly through Instagram is something to fill the interim. It’s an activity that requires very little activation energy, unlike most real-life endeavors, which is why you can find yourself laying in bed staring up at your phone instead of writing that story or starting that website you’d talked about. It’s why you’ll even get to the point where, once you’ve gone through Instagram and Twitter, you’ll stoop to Facebook rather than getting up to do something in real life.
To urge you to step away from watching your friends’ summer memories and make your own, here’s a list of tips and tricks that I use when I can’t seem to stop scrolling.
- Read some physical books.
I love e-books for their convenience, but I find that when I’m reading on my phone or computer, it’s just too easy to get pulled away by notifications and other digital distractions. Physical books eliminate this issue, and can also become a new, healthier go-to activity. Instead of picking up your phone when you’re in a lull or procrastinating, pick up a book. It’s still avoidance, but a better form, I think.
2. Buy a watch.
Super simple, but it frees you up to leave your phone at home, or at least in another room, a lot more often. When you have the time on your wrist, you can’t use the “I’m using it for a clock!” excuse to keep your phone with you constantly.
3. Track your screen time.
There are lots of free apps that will do it for you and notify you each day or week about how long you’ve spent on your phone overall and on specific apps. What gets measured, gets managed, so you’re bound to make some changes just by being more aware.
4. Delete social media apps.
If you really can’t stay off of them, delete the app versions of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else you use so that you’ll have to start up your computer to open them. You might be surprised how much this deters you from checking social media.
5. Log out of social media apps.
If deleting them is too drastic for you, start by simply logging out of the apps after each time you use them. This puts an extra step between you and your feed, which might be just enough to make you think twice about whether you really want to scroll.
6. Designate a specific time for phone use.
Pick a time of day and a time limit and make that your one opportunity for the day to send Snapchats or check Instagram. Outside of that timeframe, stay off.
7. Go somewhere without phone signal.
Whether it’s for an hour, a day or a week, it can bring a lot of peace spend some time where using your phone isn’t even an option.
8. Find something you’re way more excited to do than scroll.
Something that pulls you in so that you forget to check your phone. Something that dwarfs social media in importance, enjoyment, or relevance. Explore, play around, try new things, and find a more fulfilling way to spend your time.
If you have ideas I’ve missed, drop them in the comments. I’m sure lots of us could use them 🙂