In today’s digital age, it’s become almost second nature for many of us to look at our phones constantly. From checking social media notifications (and scrolling endless videos of people playing with slime or pranking unsuspecting loved ones) to replying to work emails, our phones have become integral to our lives. We all have that friend who has suddenly looked out into space eerily wide-eyed and said, “Why do I feel so…so…naked? Oh, I left my phone in the car.” The thing is, this constant phone use has some negative consequences.
One of the most significant impacts of constantly looking at our phones is our mental health. Studies have shown that excessive phone use increases anxiety and depression. The constant bombardment of information and social media content can overwhelm and create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Instead of knocking out a great audition, we’ve got our hand in a huge bag of Cheetos, comparing our lives to some celebrity getting way too drunk on a yacht. Unfortunately, even if you don’t envy the celebrity’s behavior and future hangover, this can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which are not great motivators to do great work. Moreover, the blue light emitted by phone screens can disrupt our sleep patterns and affect our overall well-being. And you know what, I like sleep, like, a lot. Sleep is the bff I never want to lose.
Another adverse effect of constantly being glued to our phones, like a freckled five year old who just discovered glue for the first time, is decreased productivity. Every time we stop what we’re doing to check our phones, we interrupt our focus and concentration. This constant switching between tasks hampers our ability to complete assignments efficiently and decreases productivity. Additionally, constantly checking our phones can lead to procrastination, as we get distracted by notifications and waste precious time. So, yeah, we might be missing out on valuable, enjoyable, and productive time becoming the strongest voice over professional we can be.
Constant phone usage also strains our relationships. When constantly engrossed in our screens, we become less present and attentive to those around us. We may miss out on meaningful conversations and experiences with loved ones, mentors and peers, leading to strained relationships or feelings of disconnect. Moreover, excessive phone use can give the impression that we prioritize our devices over spending quality time with the people who matter most to us, or people we want to be building long-lasting work relationships with.
To counter these adverse effects, find ways to reduce phone dependency and strike a healthier balance. Here are some strategies to consider:
1. Set boundaries: Establish specific times of the day when you will be phone-free, such as during meals or before bedtime. Designate specific areas in your home as phone-free zones to encourage engagement with the present moment. Does it really need to lay under your pillow like a back molar waiting for the tooth fairy?
2. Turn off non-essential notifications: Limit the number of interruptions by only allowing notifications for essential apps like texts or phone calls. Turning off unnecessary notifications will help reduce the urge to check your phone constantly. Do you really need to know when Kohl’s has a sale on khaki pants?
3. Create phone-free activities: Engage in activities not involving phone use. This can be anything from reading a book, walking, or practicing a hobby. Finding alternative ways to occupy your time will help break the habit of constantly reaching for your phone. And it’s okay to not document every fun activity, “If a tree falls in the woods with no one around to capture it on their cell phone, did it even happen?” Yep!
4. Practice mindfulness: Cultivate awareness of your phone usage by practicing mindfulness. Before picking up your phone, ask yourself if it is truly necessary or will contribute positively to your current situation. Taking a moment to pause and reflect can help you make deliberate choices about your phone usage, “CVS texted me, will the robot pharmacist really get their feelers hurt if I don’t respond?”
Only four things on that list. Totally doable! Even trying one can make a difference. Reducing phone dependency comes with numerous benefits. By disconnecting from our devices, we can enhance our mental well-being. We can experience less stress and anxiety and can engage in more meaningful conversations and connections. Additionally, reducing phone usage allows us to reclaim our time and focus, leading to increased productivity and greater fulfillment, as voice over professionals and in other roles we inhabit in our lives.
By implementing strategies such as setting boundaries, turning off non-essential notifications, engaging in phone-free activities, and practicing mindfulness, we can regain control over our phone use and experience a more balanced and present life.Tags: boundaries, mental health, mindfulness, phone-free, wellbeing
Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by Tina Mueller