Our thought of the week is dedicated to Fone Free Feb, whose theme this year is ‘Taking Back Together Time’.

We’ve reached an epidemic of Phone Separation Anxiety; the fear of being disconnected from our phones. Whether we are scrolling through our Facebook Newsfeed, catching up on our Whatsapp chats, getting on top of our emails, or posting on Instagram – there’s always something to check, like, snap, or share, and it is starting to consume our lives.

Research reveals that:

  • On average, many adults now spend more hours of the day using media devices (8 hrs 41 mins) than they do sleeping (8 hrs 21 mins);
  • On average, adults spend more time each morning checking emails and using the internet (51 per cent) than eating breakfast (18 per cent) or taking care of their appearance (32 per cent);
  • 81% of smartphone users have their phones switched on all the time;
  • Four in ten adults and teenagers say that there had been occasions when they checked their smartphone in the night after it woke them up;
  • Young adults use their phone roughly twice as much as they think they do.

There’s no doubt that technology has completely revolutionised our lives. But whilst our overall productivity might have increased tenfold…we have to ask ourselves – at what cost? How often do we catch ourselves (or even worse – don’t catch ourselves at all) checking our phone at a restaurant? How about in the cinema? Or at a wedding? Is there always something THAT pressing that it can’t wait 30 minutes, an hour, two hours?

Let’s face it: a lot of us are addicted to our digital devices. And it is only getting worse. That’s unless we start to put measures in place to help us manage this addiction. Getting into the habit of putting your phone away altogether (if you aren’t expecting an urgent call/text/email etc) is a good way to start. If you are up for the challenge, pledge to unplug for 24 hours next Saturday 5th March as part of the National Day of Unplugging. And for those looking for more tips and tricks, Time Well Spent is a movement for a whole new type of technology that’s built to help people spend their time well. Below are their 9 actions that iPhone users can put in to place to help them develop a more mindful relationship with their phone.

Mindful Phone Use Tips