Phone Break-Up | Week Two

Smartphone addiction


~ I am doing a 30-day phone ‘break-up’ challenge from the book ‘How to break up with your phone’ by Catherine Price. Read more about why here and here. ~

The first week of this challenge was a very interesting way to learn about my relationship with my phone. I definitely felt like I got off to a good start but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t found myself absently picking up my phone this week, but this is a learning curve so there will be relapses if you like. The most noticeable difference so far is my relationship with social media. I have already decided that I will not be re-downloading the Facebook and Twitter apps when this challenge is over. I have been checking them but via my browser and on my laptop, and I just think it makes the world of difference to how I feel when using them. I’m actually enjoying Twitter again, through those (much) small(er) slices of time I spend on it via my laptop. Facebook is, well, Facebook. It’s funny that me doing this challenge should coincide with the headlines of the past week. I found this article about deleting Facebook accounts very interesting. Right now, I honestly don’t know how I feel about it – I’ve occasionally checked it on my laptop but it’s not been a daily occurrence.  

Instagram is the one I have still checked the most on my phone – but via the browser version which is clunky and irritating tbh. The amount of time I have spent on it has definitely gone done as a result; I now log in to check posts from specific people (basically my two favourite bloggers) and not to pointlessly scroll. I also haven’t uploaded anything myself. Quite frankly, the browser version puts you off. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up re-downloading this but I hope, if I do, it will be with a healthier relationship and with boundaries in place. 

So on to week two... 

Day eight means turning off all notifications. ALL. Well except phone calls. Messaging apps are optional. So I do just that. My phone will still notify me off phone calls, texts and WhatsApp messages but otherwise nada. 

Honestly? I have zero regrets/pangs/desire to reverse over this whatsoever. It’s a freakin’ relief to no longer be notified about how many emails I currently have sat in my Hotmail and Gmail accounts. Turns out life is much nicer without a notification that Somendra from a ‘legit’ SEO company wants to help me improve the SEO on my blog. Fuck off Somendra. Once again, I’m slightly baffled that it never really occurred to me to turn off my notifications before. Whilst my phone mostly lives on silent, I didn’t quite realise how much those little red bubbles negatively affected me. 

Day nine is about tidying up your apps. I already have a fair few of the apps on my phone in folders but I tackle the rest. The book suggests how you can do this (i.e. the categories) but I stick with my own categories (photo, communication, useful, entertainment and other – if you’re interested). The only thing left on my home screen when I’m done is the calendar, camera and notes. These are all things that I access regularly, are practical and yet do not suck me in. On my menu bar is the phone, texts, WhatsApp and safari. Internet browsing, again, does not suck me in on my phone – any internet browsing I do is on a laptop – on my phone it’s simply for quickly checking something. Therefore, I’d prefer the easy access to stay so I leave it. The other three are for contacting real-life people, hence why they can stay. My phone looks really bare when I open it now but it’s rather nice; calming and less distracting. 

 Day ten is to change where I charge my phone. I actually did this a while ago, before I started this challenge. I stopped charging my phone by the bed months ago and now charge it in the study. It immediately stops your phone being the last thing you see before sleeping and the first thing you reach for in the morning. I’m not saying it doesn’t mean I don’t go into the spare room pretty quickly after waking up but it’s certainly better than your phone being right by your head whilst you sleep. 

(On a side note, I’ve also been turning my phone off at night for about a year now. This has done absolute wonders for my battery life FYI. Charge your phone for the hour or so it takes to be fully charged and no more; don’t leave it plugged in, fully charged, all through the night. I’ve never moaned about battery life since - and I have an iPhone.) 

Day eleven is supposed to be about setting yourself up for success, i.e. I’ve removed some triggers that automatically make me reach for my phone so I now I need to add new triggers for things I want to do more of. I’ve not exactly worked out what these triggers are yet but I’ll let you know (a massive post-it note that says WRITE NOVEL…?). 

Day twelve’s task is to download an app-blocker. This is an interesting one because a) I discover that the only decent app-blocker for iPhone is Freedom which gets good reviews and is recommended by the book but it isn’t free and I’m a little reluctant to pay for it. It does come with seven free sessions so I have the opportunity to give it a go, but I’d want to use it to block social media at certain times of the day and as I have deleted social media on my phone; I’m not sure what I need it for right now. 

Day thirteen is about setting boundaries. First up, I have to establish ‘no-phone zones’. These can be a physical room (e.g. the bedroom), time periods (e.g. no phone after 8pm) or for activities (e.g. no phone at the dinner table). I muse over this for a while and decide that I definitely want one of my ‘zones’ to be when G and I are watching a film or a television programme together. I like the idea of having a time of the day when my phone cannot be used but I’ve not quite decided when that should be yet. The other boundary to set is a ‘phone wake-up time’. Basically, assign yourself a time where your phone will be switched on/taken off airplane mode in the morning; this should be at least an hour after you have woken up. 

Day fourteen. I wake up about half 8 but don’t turn my phone on until about half 11. I don’t do anything particularly significant in that time but I notice that my relationship with my phone is generally better for starting the day like this. Out of curiosity, I check my Moment app at around half 4 in the afternoon and I’ve only spent 10 minutes on my phone and picked it up 5 times – a huge decrease from my original Moment stats. Today’s task is to stop ‘phubbing’ – short for phone snubbing. Also known as having your phone on a table during a meal, checking your phone mid-conversation, texting whilst with a friend… these behaviours have become so common that I barely notice when I or someone else is engaging with them. But now I truly think about it… it’s so goddamn RUDE. Today is the day I resolve to stop it once and for all. Friends, family and partners should be giving each other 100% attention when with one another – no excuses. Life is short and these are my loved ones after all. 

2 comments

  1. I am really intrigued by this book, I have seen so many people using it. I love your honest opinions on it, especially how it's benefitted you. I am heading off travelling next year and I know my time with my phone will change then, so I am looking at making a change now so the pain of being without my phone won't hit me quite as badly while I'm away. x

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    1. It does seem to have got a lot of attention! I would recommend it, particularly if you're going travelling. I totally get what you mean, you don't want to be tied to your phone whilst you're away! This challenge has made more of a difference to me then I thought it would - it's improving my life for sure. Thanks for popping by x

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