We well know by now the negative impact that too much social media scrolling can have on our lives. But, we are living in the 21st century, which means that some (read: A LOT) of contact with our smartphones is an inevitable facet of our day-to-day.
Our constant need to be ‘on’ is burning people out, and social media addiction is fully, y’know, a thing. A new study has shown that the most addictive features of our smartphones are the ones that allow us to connect with others, which makes breaking up with our smartphones seem impossible because we don’t want to forgo this (admittedly false) sense of connectivity.
Digital detoxes are all the rage these days. And they’re bloody brilliant. But they can seem a little on the overwhelming side. The prospect of going an entire weekend without scrolling the ‘gram seems a bit daunting, and the prospect of catching up with 3,694 unread WhatsApp messages when get back online feels like more trouble than it’s worth. Well, there may be a less-extreme, more long-term and sustainable solution:
Intermittent fasting from your smartphone.
It’s no secret that dietary intermittent fasting can work wonders for metabolisms, hormone levels and someone’s overall sense of wellbeing. Is it time to translate this trend to smartphone usage too?
The premise is utterly the same. Whatever your window of eating usually is—whether it’s 8, 9 or 12 hours; that becomes your smartphone usage window. If you usually have brekky at 9 am and are done with dinner by 6.30 pm, that’s when you’ll be done with your phone, too.
The beauty of intermittent-fasting as opposed to full-blown detox is that it’s something that can be incorporated into your routine long-term. Once it becomes a habit, it’s super-easy to follow. Simply tell your pals, your work colleagues and your family that contact outside of your decided ‘smartphone hours’ will be responded to when you break your fast in the morning.
Two simple benefits you can expect from employing this technique:
We know that you’ve been told ‘don’t scroll through your phone the second you wake up’ a thousand and one times, but we’re just here to reiterate the message for the thousandth-and-second time.
Knowing that your phone is out of bounds until 9am will force you to develop other morning practices, which lets face it, are bound to be a helluva lot more productive than refreshing Instagram. Read, stretch, dabble in a little yoga flow and eat breakfast without your phone distracting you. You’ll soon fall in love with how calm your mornings feel.
Once you remove the possibility of mindlessly scrolling during ‘off’ hours; you’ll be amazed at how this doesn’t translate into ‘scrolling Instagram at every available opportunity’ during ‘on’ hours.
In the same way that people report less inclination to snack when they’re intermittent fasting; the sentiment also applies to our smartphones too. Once you realise how much better you feel by taking a break from technology, your ‘addiction’ quickly dissipates; making you much more in control of the impulse to scroll.