Our mobiles have become inseparable from us. It’s almost as if they are extensions of our own bodies. You can see people of all age groups with their eyes glued to their mobiles wherever you go. There’s hardly a space in life that our mobiles haven’t invaded yet. Our mobile phone is the first thing most of us see after waking up, and the last thing we see before going to sleep.
No doubt, technology has made life easier. But in doing so, it has taken control of our lives in more ways than one. We have become so addicted that if we can’t find our phones or connect to the internet, we go into a full-on panic. We are habituated to looking at the world through our mobile phones. When the smartphone boom started, no one would have imagined their negative impact on our lives.
Your mobile is killing your focus
From the moment we wake up ’til the moment we sleep (if we sleep at all), we are flooded by notifications. Whenever an app on our phone goes off, we drop whatever we are doing and pick up our phone to check the notification.
But do we really put down the phone after checking just that one notification? NO. We get distracted (again!) by something that draws our attention in our feed. We go after it as if we are under a spell. Only after a considerable amount of time has passed, do we get reminded of the task at hand.
And we joke about goldfish having a short-lived memory. Well, the joke’s on us.
We come across hundreds or even thousands of pieces of information every day. What fraction of that information is beneficial? Aren’t we just overburdening our minds, constantly feeding them with all the trivia? If we keep on overexerting our brains, they’ll be too exhausted at times when we need them the most. A little bit of trivia is OK, but too much of it will overwhelm us.
Missing out on some Zzzs
Mobiles have, for a long time, invaded our bedrooms. Almost everyone I know spends time on their mobile phone before going to sleep. We scroll through our endless social media feeds, reading one post after the next. Not only does the blue light emitted from the screens affect our eyes, but it also affects sleep. Sometimes, you may even find yourself holding on to your mobile while resisting sleep. Sleeplessness, in turn, will take a toll on your physical and mental health.
A restless mind
Sometimes, I feel like life has become a run on the treadmill. We run and run ’til we are exhausted, yet we go nowhere. Life, as it is, is stressful. All the endless scrolling of social media, binge-watching, intense gaming and constant messaging—where does it get us? A mind entangled too much in worldly affairs becomes disconnected from our true nature.
Peace is our true nature. Chaos isn’t.
What can we do to reduce mobile usage?
In this day and age, avoiding the use of mobile phones altogether isn’t possible. But if we put in a bit of effort, we can substantially reduce the time spent with our mobile. These six tips will help you put yours away more often:
- Do not sleep with your mobile by your side. If possible, keep it in a different room. If not, at least keep it at a distance.
- Do not check your mobile phone when you’re eating. Eat your food mindfully and savour each morsel with all your senses. When you are mindful, you begin to appreciate your food more. You feel grateful for the food. You eat only the amount of food that is genuinely required for the body. A little mindfulness goes a long way!
- When you’re spending time with your family, put your phone down. Be grateful for the beautiful family you were given. Interact wholeheartedly and give undivided attention to your family.
- These days, some mobile manufacturers are incorporating a focus mode into mobile phones. Using that, you can block certain apps at certain times of the day. Doing this will improve your focus on the task at hand. You can turn this mode on when you’re spending time with your family, exercising or doing some favourite activity of yours. Even if your phone doesn’t have this feature built into it, there are many apps online that offer the same function.
- Take a few days off from social media. Almost every social medium offers the option to deactivate your account for a few days. Spend the time saved on meaningful activities offline. When you’re ready, you can always go back and reactivate your accounts.
- Challenge yourself to go 24 hours without using your mobile. If that is difficult, start with a smaller target and gradually increase the time. After your successful completion of the challenge, treat yourself.
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