The best advice I read about spending less time with your phone is to not keep it close. What I'm doing at home is what Cal Newport called "The Phone Foyer Method" (https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2019/10/21/a-piece-of-advice-i-wish-id-included-in-my-book/): When I'm at home, I put my phone on the sideboard next to the apartment door.
So whenever I think need to look something up or switch to a different playlist I need to get up, walk there, do whatever it is need doing and then leave the phone where it is. For me this prevents mindless surfing and only using the phone when I really need to.
Also: not having any social media on the phone helps a lot...
As a, what economists call, 'digital native', I had a hard time disconnecting from meaningless content/dopamine hits until very recently. I find opportunity, create and share, and build businesses online, so it was easy to convince myself any usage was 'okay'. Like.. it's research 👀
I have commented on your blog a couple of times as I've been waking up to the damage compulsive negative digital usage was having on me. I wanted to thank you for your insight and the compassion in your posts!
After facing the problem and acknowledging I needed to take a hard look at myself and re-evaluate I'm feeling positive, I even attended a social event at a church and made a friend :) It was easy to spend 8 hours online and 2 hours engaging with thought-provoking content, useful information, or working on my business or passion projects to convince myself I was 'moving in the right direction'.
Realising I needed to set goals, I wrote thousands of words to myself and came up with 8 strong goals and how I'm going to achieve them. I've already been practicing good habits the past few days and realising I have to decide in every moment that I'm going to be the person I want to be. The delayed gratification feels good when I flip from 8 hours working towards my goals to 2 relaxed hours online.
Plus after 8 hours of positive work, whether it's inner or spiritual work, business work, or working on something I'm passionate about, the other 2 hours I spend engaging with people whose content I love (hi), engaging with the communities I want to be part of, and watching videos on youtube I actually want to watch (aka not chosen out of boredom and a desire to run away) are sooo rewarding!
Reading your writing is part of why I see value in sharing my own experiences and unique perspective.
On that note, I will tidy my laptop tomorrow as my desktop is so cursed I usually just keep several tabs open to cover it up :-)
For those of us who can't disconnect entirely, Microsoft did some interesting research around re-evaluating meetings and prioritising time off.
To breathe, to read and to spend high quality time with my partner and my two beautiful cats ❤️ Good unplugging everyone!
My day begins and ends with the golden hour. First thing in morning i prepare a healthy breakfast, do some Tibetan 5 Ritual stretching, then chi gong standing meditation and sometimes i read. Then i plug into the web world but not until i have nourished my being first. At end of day unplug and do zazen meditation and read before i go to bed. At minimum i am beginning each day and ending it on my terms not some screen screaming for my attention. What asks for attention is cultivating attention and following "the rings of the way." David Brydges
Books: Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi, In Praise of Slow by Carl Honoré, Effortless by Greg McKeown, Subtract by Leidy Klotz.
Unplugging once a week on the Sabbath helps me to tune back into the fact that I live on planet earth and not in some kind of virtual reality. It's helped me to wean off the constant dopamine hits, but it is so challenging! It's exposed my lack of control over my thoughts and more. Looking forward to truly unplugging some more before my birthday this year.