It is difficult to find anyone without a device in their hands these days, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, or sometimes both. I see people in the grocery line, at the red light, and at the restaurant table checking their phones, watching videos, texting, or emailing. I receive emails, texts, and Facebook messages all hours of the day and night, which means people are checking and responding to messages throughout the night instead of sleeping. The reality is we are more plugged in than we’ve ever been. 

While technology advances are often beneficial, there are negative consequences to staying plugged in all day and night. There are three main reasons to unplug from your phone.

(1) We are not completely focused on our work when we constantly check our phones. Unplugging from your phone increases productivity! 

Ways to unplug – 

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode, and turn your phone over so you can’t see the screen.
  • Turn off notifications to your social media apps.
  • Check your email twice a day – not all day.

(2) Constant connection on social media gives us a false sense of how others’ live. We only see what the other person wants us to see, yet we tend to compare our lives to these highlight reels from others. Spending so much time comparing can negatively impact our mental health, making us feel sad or like we haven’t accomplished as much. 

Ways to unplug –

  • Again, turn off notifications to your social media apps.
  • Monitor how you feel when you’re looking at social media.
  • Check social media once a day and batch schedule content.

(3) There are real people in our lives that want to spend time with us without us being glued to our electronics. Imagine returning to a time when no one had a phone at the dinner table. (Yes, I still remember those days.)

Ways to unplug –

  • I place my phone on the kitchen counter every night when I finish working, and I don’t check it again until the morning. 
  • Leave your phone in your pocket or your purse while you’re out to dinner and have a conversation with the people you’re with.
  • Immerse yourself into a hobby that doesn’t need the use of your phone. 

It feels a bit odd at first to put your phone down and step away from it. After a couple of days, it was easy and comforting to not feel like I had to check my phone every time a notification hit. True to #1, I’m much more productive without the phone in my hand.