HAY! I'm Shanna.

Your life coach, yoga teacher, girlboss, and professional smiler based in the NYC area. I love connecting with kick-ass women and sharing my story too! Hear more about me here!

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Why I’ve Decided to Start Decreasing My Phone Usage

Are you addicted to your phone? Do you experience that rush when you’re not around your phone and you hear it buzz or ring? You’re not alone.

I’m with you and many others are. Studies like this one have confirmed that we’re getting to the point of experiencing anxiety when we aren’t able to look at our phones right away. We’re all becoming very attached to our phones, whether for distraction or validation.

Personally, I’ve noticed a few key red flags in my life that made me decide to start decreasing my phone usage. Though, it’s too early to tell what my patterns are after a little over two weeks of tracking, I thought my story could inspire you in looking at your relationship with your phone too!!

I began to notice my relationships on my phone were distracting me from my relationships in real life. According to this study conducted by Pew Research, there’s about 89% of adults who say they’ve used their phone at their latest social gathering. I’m in the majority, and I’m pretty sure you might be too!

For me, using my phone became a problem in my professional and professional relationships. At my family dinners, I’d half listen to my parents describe their days and half laugh when they made their jokes. At my social events, I’d share more Instagram stories than stories with others in real life and make more conversations in my DM than with new people. That’s when I knew I needed a change.

Now, I put my phone in my room during family dinners to pay attention to what’s going on at the dinner time. I also have a strict rule for events now. I record all of my stories with the app real fast, then I save them onto my camera roll to add all text and upload afterward. These tricks have allowed me to be more present and less distracted.

It became an impulsive need to look at my phone to seek validation from receiving follows, likes, and comments. This is a huge one for me. Dopamine from social media validation statistics

Slowly but surely, I started opening my Instagram not to create or connect, but to seek validation. I’d feel better by seeing one more like and opening to a mention by a brand. I noticed my happiness with the performance of a post or story was being tied to how many accolades I received. When I didn’t receive them, I would feel almost like I failed. This had to change.

This need for validation is still a work in progress for me. I’m currently typing with my phone at my side and wanting to check if my post got any more likes. What has helped is turning off all Instagram notifications on my phone and downloading The Moment app that tracks how much I’m using the Instagram app. Whoops… I just picked up my phone and opened the Instagram app to check on my current post’s likes. Like I said, work in progress. 

I used my phone and it eventually distracted me from necessary chores, tasks, and activities that I didn’t want to face. Microsoft conducted this study that proves that there’s about 77% of us who use our phones to distract us. Our attention spans are getting shorter, and my phone compulsion was starting to hinder my everyday life.

After I finally committed to the Konmari method, I noticed that I also needed to get rid of what was hindering my mental space. The habitual picking up the phone and ritual scrolling through messages was keeping me from really being productive. I noticed I’d spend minutes and even an hour on my phone when I could’ve been creating something amazing!

So lately, I’ve been putting my phone on Do Not Disturb when I’m in the mode of creating. I’ll also keep my phone on another side of my desk or face down so that I’ll have to consciously decide to pick it up. These tricks have been serving me so well lately!

Ultimately, I’ve decided to start decreasing my phone usage to start increasing my life quality. It’s not to say that I don’t see value in social media or connecting online. Believe me, I’m the number one fan of both! But what I am focusing on is being more conscious and less impulsive in my decisions to use my phone.

How about you? Are you experiencing phone usage issues? Let’s talk about it below! I’m sure I must not be alone in this!!

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