Should You Switch Off Your Phone?

There’s no denying it: we’re addicted to our phones. Perhaps it’s almost inevitable given the advancements in modern technology and the ease of communication. And that’s okay. But what isn’t okay is allowing them to rule our lives - it’s important to have some time away from them too. Since the start of 2019 I have been making a concerted effort to cut down on my screen time and I’m most definitely noticing the benefits. So why should you give it a try too?

First of all, putting your phone away typically makes a huge difference to your productivity. Our phones are distracting - there are too many apps, all constantly buzzing, and it’s impossible not to be sidetracked. But when learning new material in class, practicing questions and studying for exams, focus is key. These tasks are made so much quicker by simply removing the diversion. Eliminating the temptation to procrastinate boosts your productivity and you’ll almost certainly find yourself completing work more effectively and in less time than you used to. Focus is key.

Studying isn’t the only situation it applies though: switching off your phone is key when socialising too. Catching up with family and friends is an event to be savoured, no matter how mundane it may seem. But how can we fully be present in the current moment if we’re glued to our phones, following the stories of strangers from the opposite side of the world. Shouldn’t we be paying enjoying the time spent with the people around us, rather than obsessing over the lives of others displayed on social media?

Yes, our phones are key methods of communication. They help us to meet new people and stay in touch with others, no matter where they may be located. They are brilliant for keeping track of calendars, finishing assignments, making notes, taking photos on a single device. It’s incredible to think just how much that tiny computer in your pocket can do.

But just because they are there, doesn’t mean we should constantly be using them. Time away from our phones is crucial to finding balance in life. Essential for living our own lives rather than dreaming of leading the lives of others. Key to focus on meeting deadlines efficiently so that more time is left afterwards for enjoyment.

It does take effort to reduce your screen time, but thanks to the fairly recent feature on iPhone settings it’s easier than ever to keep track of how long we spend on our phones, and which apps we’re most addicted to. Destroying phones is not the answer - that would be a step backwards. But developing an awareness of how we spend our time is so important to find a balance between our real work and sociability versus our digital lives. Go out and live your life - you don’t need a phone in order to do so.

Focus on finding your balance.