Learning to enjoy one’s company is a necessity for life’s survival.
To be honest, I’m not only always on my phone, I’m required to be on my phone because
My company team is remote
I manage several company accounts
As a desired influencer, I have to be constantly online as I hope to build my personal brand
I belong to diverse cross continent communities and the only way to nurture them is by being online
My yoga classes are online
My family and loved ones
I work remotely and earn money from these jobs
See why I need to be on my phone always? I can’t even lose my phone for a moment; I’ll worrying about getting another phone. And this is the more reason why our generation must learn to be offline.
It’s a conscious decision so that when you are forced to be without your phone, you can gratefully bring yourself to enjoy your time alone with yourself or people without your phone.
My phone detox plans are an hour a day, a month per year and every vacation I take.
To learn conscious phone and especially social media detox, you need to fix the following
- What are my hobbies? What are the things I love doing that won’t make me miss my phone. I love to listen to folklore and classical music. I would dance to it that it would make me feel so good I’d forget my phone. I love reading fictional and magical fantasy novels. I also love writing far fetched classic poems. I love water so i enjoy swimming, learning to surf, kayak etc. I love taking walks & visiting the gym. I love sleeping or meditation sessions. I can go 5 meditation sessions at once. I love practicing yoga. I can go 1hr - 2hr stretch at once. So whenever I want to tune out, I’ll do one of these.
- How much time can I truly afford to be away from my phone? Do not deceive yourself and copy someone’s stamina from being away from their phone. Competition kills spirit and consistency. When you go through that list up there, I have evaluated my schedule and I know that I can give 5am - 7am, 12noon - 2pm, 9pm - 10pm free from my phone. So whenever I create my schedules, I try to leave at least one of them free. I race out of meetings just to catch 5 mins alone with myself. It’s the only way I can recharge. So be honest with yourself and look through your schedules to find what works for you. Even if it’s only 30 mins. It’s a start.
- Mental Interval checks. Be conscious to take mental checks on yourself. You may have decided to spend time with yourself but you need to remind yourself to do it. I’ve come to a place where I easily run mental checks on myself. Within each hour, I would instinctively remind myself to put my phone down and breathe. In that second, I appraise if what I’m doing is truly necessary before I continue. If I was having a needless chat or surfing the internet needlessly, I would close all the apps and get back to the most important thing or pick up a book or write a poem or take a walk or do any of my hobbies. I have a friend who couldn’t remind herself so she set a reminder 3 times a day to “put down the phone and breathe”.
- Find a community and make time to connect with them. Community is the most important thing in a human’s life. I remember years ago when I connected with communities that did not truly inspire me, it reflected badly on my work so I decided to setup my own type of community. One that I connected with. I was afraid I wouldn’t find my type of people because we’re very “country people style” but I put the word out there and started hosting minimal hangouts. Either bring your own food to share or minimal cost where you pay for yourself. Now my social media looks much different than that time & I’m constantly inspired when I come online. I’m so jealous of my new found sanity that I do not risk mixing up in the wrong communities. I’ve put in so much to come this far, I can’t let it go. Find time to meet up with your community offline and always try to do new things with them. You’ll see how much you can grow together and your phone will become useless. This also means that if you’re part of a community that does not inspire you, unsubscribe.
- Travel & invest in experiences: one best way to learn to love your own company is by investing in experiences. Anything that requires materialistic fulfillment can only satisfy you for as long as that material is needful or relevant. Experiences are embedded in your memory. They’re unforgettable. Especially when you have a proof of a picture. So try to travel at least once a year. If you can’t afford to travel yet, go on an experience. From school, take a day and go to the beach. Meet people and connect with nature. Or travel to the next city. Take a bus down to the end of the city and back home. Enroll for a local city tour or group experience. You’ll hardly find the time to respond to your phone but rather, take pictures with strangers. Learn so much about them and make new friends. You can even send a DM to a travel agency or tour guide and ask them to give you a free trip locally or internationally while you offer a free service by being an assistant on the tour. Most of these tours use buses and they will always have a free seat. You can even pack your own food from home to reduce costs of which I doubt they won’t want to feed you. You can also offer photography if you’re a photographer or offer to be guide in your local government or area if you know a good tourist attraction there.
- Love your company. Love her/him. He/She is going to spend the rest of your life with you and even in the after life. The earlier you start loving your company, the earlier you start doing amazing things together. I purposely set my phone to go mute mode after 10pm except for my family and loved ones so no calls, texts or notifications can come in. I also avoid needless chats. If a chat does not have an immediate action, I either ignore or reply asking the person for a purpose. Chats are the quickest way to drain your time and intellectual use. Call the person or create an alternative.
My phone use is termed into two
Personal Use - I use it for what I intend. I make posts, read information and stay up to date. In this time, I’m not particularly answering texts or reacting to any information.
Reactive Use - this is when I decide to answer messages, or texts or interact with people online. I’ve had people question my use of social media and not responding to them. I tell them the same thing, I’ve not had time to sort through my messages. I’d reply later. Don't let your phone control your impulses.
Exceptions should only be for emergencies or business hours.
In a bid to take time away from the busy activity of the city, I spent a day at Lufasi Park in Lagos, Nigeria to relieve my soul with an amazing friend. You pay 1000 only to get to Lufasi Park and you can totally bring your own food and picnic pack. Be careful not to go with a professional camera because you will be charged for those however my iphone was just enough. The environment is perfect and the natural light is all you need and the sky as your backdrop!
Images Shot by @Tobbinator
Image Edits by AfterLight & Lightroom CC Apps