Or, Smartphone-as-Dumphone Girl Summer
My kid walked up as I read this and said Mom I want to do something with you and I said Hang on sweetie as I thought Ugh child just let me finish this article about how to stop being on my phone so much.
Appreciate every single one of these insights and suggestions!
“There was also my nightly ritual of collapsing on the couch with my phone, slowly assuming an increasingly horizontal position as a pile of pillows and cushions enveloped me, my eyes glazing as the screen flashed with Instagram reels, Twitter threads, and email exchanges—and doing this until I eventually zombie-walked up the stairs to bed.“
I can relate to all of this, but sub in Twitter for Instagram.
My issue is that I prefer to use Twitter in my phone’s browser and deleting the app doesn’t stop me from using it. I thought about deleting the browser (if it’s possible) but my brain quickly imagined multiple emergency scenarios where it was urgent, URGENT, that I had a browser.
I’m good about locking myself out of social media on my laptop (Self Control is bare bones & brutal, there are no ways to evade a time out period). So far I haven’t found similar solutions for my iPhone. I played around with the Forest app to grow imaginary trees while not using social media, but eventually got okay w/killing entire fake forests so I could get my fix.
After being a part of the "influencer" world for years, I took a major step back after realizing how out of control my phone use and especially my social media use had become. I went from spending hours a day on Instagram, to now about 10 minutes. It's been crazy how much calmer and less anxious I feel and I actually think I'm enjoying my real life more, being less involved in the online scrolling world.
Also, LOVE your suggestion to ask others what they think of your phone use! My biggest motivation was actually my kid's observations about my phone use. Which weren't pretty...
I highly recommend mindfulness. I wrote my own book "Mindfulness for Beginners" to help anyone get started with it. I self published it to Amazon, it's very reasonably priced. Also available as an Audiobook.
You highlighted exactly how I’ve been feeling about my phone for the past year. Cold Turkey deleting apps is the only thing that seems to work. I deleted Twitter over a year ago - and never looked back, but I’m struggling with Instagram. After a few successful months of it being off my phone and me seemingly thriving, I started to download it again occasionally, “to see what my friends are up to”, until one day, I just stopped deleting it and found myself sinking into the couch watching funny cats every night (again). I’ve deleted it again today and hope it stays that way - but I do love posting little photos and videos of myself and I can’t shake the vanity. The only thing that sobers me up is realising that sometimes I consume way more than I post
This was very timely! I hid the IG app a week ago because I found myself mindlessly opening it even after deciding I wouldn’t. I haven’t deleted because I have some professional connections there and it’s such a pain to use outside the app, but hiding it seems to hold me accountable enough. The few times I have opened it, it was unpleasantly clear that its emotional impact is negative. Despite trying to set filters, my feed always seems to be largely mom inspiration and mom outrage. If it could all be national parks, I’d keep going back!