I didn't get a phone until I was fifteen, and it was an iPhone 6, so it wasn't very high-tech. I think it's given me some perspective around phone usage though. I'm very conscious about being on my phone around my friends, because I honestly think that it looks rude when you're sitting on your phone when you could be talking to your friends.
When I didn't have a phone, I didn't like it when my friends who did have phones were on theirs around me, and now that I have one, the idea of using it around my friends is just unappealing to me.
Spending less time on your phone can give you more time to do other things. It's funny how so many people wish they had more time, and yet they spend so much time on their phone.
In general, we spend WAY too much time on our phones, and that translated to not spending enough time on other things that matter more.
#1 - Get Busy with other things.
If you're doing something else, you don't have to be on your phone! Typically, if I find myself spending way too much time on my phone, it's either because I'm bored or procrastinating. (Make sure to check out my posts on 20 Productive Things To Do When You're Bored, 82 Seasonal Boredom Busters, and 5 Ways To Stop Procrastinating and Be More Productive.
You can solve that problem by eliminating the bored. My day typically has me waking up between 6:00-6:30, going to school around 7:45, having volleyball practice at 4:00, and then finally getting home between 6:30 and 7:00-- and then I have homework.
Since I'm not allowed to use my phone in class, this leaves very little time for me to be on my phone. On the weekends, I typically have homework, volleyball, and other things that keep me busy from using my phone.
Being on your phone is a superficial solution to being bored. If you really want to fix it, get creative and find more productive ways to spend your time.
#2 - Prioritize in-PERSON socializing
There have been a few times when I've had to quarantine because of covid, and I spent drastically more time on my phone during those times. Why? Because it was the only way I could talk to people.
Humans need other humans, and if you're not having social interaction often, you might start turning to your phone more.
Especially during my quarantines, I don't think that increasing my screen time was totally a bad thing-- it was just the only option I had at the time.
But if you're constantly shutting yourself off from other people, it's no wonder you spend so much time on your phone. Spending time in person with other people is a simple way to help you spend less time on your phone.
#3 - Take a Screen Day off.
I've had an iPod touch since 4th grade, which has a lot less uses than phones, but I still had social media, and I noticed that if I don't monitor my screen usage, I can easily waste too much precious time on it.
In seventh grade, I started taking Sundays totally off of screens, and it was really freeing. It helped me to not turn to my iPod when I was bored or wanted to procrastinate or distract myself.
Taking a screen day off can help you to realize when you turn to your phone at times when maybe you shouldn't. It doesn’t even have to be a day— you could just start with a few hours.
If you're reluctant to follow this step, maybe it's telling you that you're a little too reliant on your phone...
And don't you dare tell me that you "need it” so much that you can’t take a few hours off.
Although the idea of spending less time on your phone might be a little nerve-racking or scary, it's really freeing to not be so addicted.
If you find your phone getting in the way of paying attention during a conversation, getting homework done, or getting to bed, it's probably time to figure out a solution that helps you to spend less time on it.
Phones can be useful, but when they become procrastination tools or you start to feel addicted, the downsides start to outweigh their helpful aspects.
Try implementing the above techniques to help you spend less time on your phone. Trust me, it's freeing.