Lehigh Student Stories

Time for a Digital Detox? 4 Basic Steps for Quarantining Your Phone

person holding phone

Research shows that constant phone consumption can lead to mental health concerns, irritability, poor sleep and more negative feelings.

How do we recharge ourselves like we would charge our cellphones for more battery during this pandemic?

Step 1: Cell Phone ‘Spring Cleaning’

De-clutter your social media apps, photos, videos etc. One of my favorite quotes is “how you spend your time is how you spend your life” -Annie Dillard. Ask yourself is this app, photo, video, serving me a greater purpose? If you enjoy using this app, could time be shortened? Once you start to delete and erase items that are no longer attributing to achieving your goals, your phone will be on its way to digital detox.

Step 2: Log Your Phone Use to Set Boundaries

We are so unaware how much valuable time is lost due to constant swiping and scrolling on our phones. What if we had the control to time manage just as we would time manage our work hours and meals? Start to log in a notebook how much time is spent on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktoks, so you are aware of which apps are the most time consuming. Once you map this out, you have the ability to set goals for shortening the amount of time spent.

Step 3: Set Goals to Change Phone Habits

A habit will keep repeating itself unless it is introduced with a new behavior that can become programmed in your mind. What new habit could you introduce when you get the urge to be on your phone? Could this be replaced by reading, calling a friend, cooking a new meal? Outline your wish list of new actions, and you will see that the physical world has a lot more to offer!

Step 4: Physical Separation- Quarantine Time!

Now that you have de-cluttered your phone and set time log goals, this step tests your ability to physically separate yourself. Ask your roommate, parent, or sibling to hide your phone. It may sound silly but the more your physically separate from your device, the less you will care. When we place our phone next to us during work hours or homework, we are less productive and take too many breaks on our phone.

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