Have you ever picked up your cell phone right after your alarm goes off and start browsing your notifications only to realize that several hours have gone by? Let’s be honest, it’s easy to get caught up in the rabbit hole of intriguing Instagram stories (we know this is one of Aaronica’s favorite things to do!) and the constant Facebook updates from friends and family. We unknowingly live our regular lives through the lives of our best friends in our heads on social media rather than creating those amazing moments ourselves. Learn to unplug–it’s becoming a necessity.

Cellphones are great & amazing tools. They allow us to access information on a whim & make it so we're accessible. But it's time to learn to unplug friends.

We make it mandatory to capture every element of our day via the lens of our cell phones. It gets to the point where we can forget what it actually feels like to live beyond the lens. This has been my current issue lately.  It’s almost as if my phone is just another limb on my body because it literally goes everywhere that I go.  It’s my companion in the bathroom and even at the dinner table.  I’ll be honest and say that my cell phone can be my escape from the outside world at times when I just don’t feel like adulting.

Living Through The Lens of Our Cell Phones

Between podcasts, social media apps, audio books, and childish games, my cell phone can keep me occupied for hours on end while excluding everyone else around me. It can get frustrating when I look up and realize that the day has been wasted because of my own negligence to real responsibilities. There were so many other things I could have done in lieu of my time exercising my thumbs while scrolling down timelines.

Cellphones are great & amazing tools. They allow us to access information on a whim & make it so we're accessible. But it's time to learn to unplug friends.

I know I can’t possibly be the only one, but I have this thing where I have to get rid of all of my notifications as they come through. The red bubble drives me crazy! I’ll check my phone every few minutes to see what’s new on Facebook or catch up with stories on Instagram. I become so consumed with these things on the tiny little device that I miss out on the life that’s happening right in front of me. It almost feels like an addiction.

Learn To Unplug the Hard Way

I recently visited a retreat center where there was little to no cell service and it was an eye opener for me.  I enjoyed the silence and peace of mind while being unplugged. When I thought about it, the time we spend on our phones can easily be equivalent to a walk at the park or much needed family time.  Less distractions means that dinner can become more than meal time.  It can actually be time to bond and create real conversations. This can also mean that we can spend less time comparing ourselves to others and more time focusing on bettering our own lives.

So, ended up implementing a few things to help me put my phone down and live life that I want to share here with you.

Leave your phone in another room.

This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but it’s so rewarding at the end of the day.  Instead of carrying my phone all over creation with me throughout the day, I leave it on the charger in my bedroom.  This way, I’m not distracted by all of the notifications coming through that really aren’t crucial for me to check.  I can also still hear it ring throughout the house for important phone calls that come through.

Schedule times of the day for phone use.

This might sound kind of crazy, but it’s beneficial. Choose a few select times of the day that you will allow yourself limited cell phone usage to get that occasional social media fix or make important phone calls.  Establish any other time of the day to be spent being productive. Come to the understanding that everything else can wait unless it’s an emergency of course.  Think of this in the same way you would limit your children’s T. V. time so they don’t fry their brains.

Cellphones are great & amazing tools. They allow us to access information on a whim & make it so we're accessible. But it's time to learn to unplug friends.

Choose activities to replace unneeded phone time.

I know that our phones are now the one stop shop for all of the things now, but think about how things were just a few years back when there wasn’t an app for everything under the sun. Instead of listening to your usual audio books, pick up a new read at the book store or library. Spend your quiet time flipping the pages. Enjoy time with your family without posting up for the gram.  Eat your meals without capturing that perfect picture first. That feeling you get of just enjoying life for what it is without any second thoughts is priceless.

These are just some of the things that have worked for me to learn to unplug.

What ways do you choose to unplug from your cellphone to experience life? Does it come natural for you or did you have to learn to unplug?