Our attention is a commodity. The Social Dilemma spelt this out for us clearly. Our phones enhance our lives, but they are also designed to distract and divert our attention. For the sake of wellbeing, we need to be active in creating time without them. We need to unplug.

The concept is simple. All we need to do is spend time without our technology. But it's easier said than done. We reach for our phones on auto pilot - they are often the first thing we think of in the morning. Setting an intention to create tech-free time can help us to build a lasting habit that will change our relationship with technology and social media. If we build a ritual around being unplugged, we can savour our time in a different way.

We pick up our phone in moments of anxiety, which means we don't have time to process the feelings consuming us, we escape to this virtual reality. The problem is what are we really ignoring?

Here's 3 simple things you can do to kick off your unplugging ritual:

 

1. Define a time

Set a timer on your phone for the amount of time you want without distraction. Start off small, you can always build on it!

2. Disconnect 

Switch your phone to 'airplane mode'. Or if you this is too much and you need certain people to be able to call, put your phone on 'do not disturb' mode and set it up so that favourite contacts are still able to call. Be sparing about whose calls you allow to get through. We'd limit it to your emergency contacts!

3. Create a barrier

Put your phone away inside a box or a cupboard. Why? Putting a physical barrier between you and your phone puts a wall between you and your automated cycle. If you want to take this to the next level, you can purchase a container that locks itself for a designated period of time (something like this). *

These are simple tricks, but they can be the difference between two hours of dedicated headspace or 2 hours of scrolling in the social media vortex. 

These are simple tricks, but they can be the difference between two hours of dedicated headspace or 2 hours of scrolling in the social media vortex.

 

If you want to see first hand how social media is impacting you, ask yourself these questions

How do you feel as soon as you put your phone down?

What parts of myself does social media trigger me to question?

Who online do I compare myself to and what is the impact of that?

 

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