10 November 2015

5 Tips to Simplify Your Digital Life

I can remember when I got my first phone it was one of those pay as you go cheap things. At the time, it would cost extra to text, so I always told me people to just call me and not text. I still remember when texting was starting to become a big thing and I didn't get it. Why send a text when you can just call someone?! 
Fast forward 10 or 12 years, and communication has only rapidly continued to change. 

Sure apps and social media have made my life easier in a lot of ways, but I have also seen in my life how easily it become a constant distraction. Since the New Year, I have made some changes that have helped me become more intentional, but I still see the need to constantly re-evaluate and simplify my digital life online.

1. Set limits
For awhile, I have been going on my social media accounts only twice a day. Some days are better than others, but overall it has helped me see how much time I can waste and the frequency I do "mindless scrolling." Some other things I have started trying and to be helpful are:
  • No notification checking before 9 or 10a
  • Not going on any social media accounts past 8pm (this one has been really helpful for me!)
Of course social media is not a bad thing, but seeing how much I go on them daily has shown me I need to use social media with a purpose, and not just mindlessly.

2. Turn off notifications
I did this about 6 months ago, and especially with texting I notice even how I'm carrying my phone with me every second of every day. Not focusing on the distracting beeps and dings is slowly helping remember to be more present to the life I am living instead of how many likes I got on a picture.

3. Move Social Media Apps to last page of phone
I've talked about this before, but recently I've noticed how my faves have made there way back onto the front page of my phone. I know for me, not having particular apps right in front of me makes it easier to not go on them mindlessly.

4. Don't sleep with phone in your bedroom
Until several months ago, I had been using my phone as my alarm clock. Not having my phone charging in the bedroom while I'm getting ready for bed and/or sleeping has surprisingly been a very good thing. If the phone is another room, I'm much more likely to not use it "just because."

5. Use Digital Life with a Purpose
Realizing how sometimes my social media use has gotten a wee bit addictive is teaching me how easy it can be to get consumed with scrolling, commenting, and clicks. I try to constantly remind myself not to post or hit publish on a post unless I have something to say. If it just adds to the mindless chatter of the interwebs, then really why do I want to engage in that?
What are ways you try to simplify and de-clutter your digital life? How do you strive to use your digital life and social media with a purpose?
I'm all ears with suggestions ;-)

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  1. I've recently taken my phone out of my room, too, and it makes a surprising amount of difference in having a peaceful evening before bed, both mentally (like you said, I'm not nearly so mindless/unintentional with my time) and physically (for me, at least, all that stuff about the disruptive blue screen light is real!) and in reading a book instead when my pregnancy insomnia sets in! I will say that in my experience, turning notifications on, instead of off, has really contributed to my not checking things like Facebook and Instagram so much--if I'm being honest, the days when I constantly check my accounts are days when I've posted something, and just seeing the likes and whatnot on the home screen of my phone, without me even having to unlock it, saves me the trouble of opening the apps and going down the black hole of scrolling and opening up new things to read. I suppose that presents the alternative issue of my need for validation and all of that, which I sincerely want to care less about, but at least in the sense of using social media less, the pop ups have been helpful for me.

  2. I need to do number 4- like, immediately. I noticed when i am feeding the baby, if I get on my phone, it wakes me up like crazy and I can't get back to sleep! Just this morning, I thought to myself, no more phone in the bedroom:)


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