#Tips: How to stop your screen addiction.

Think about this. Our thoughts are a commodity. Commercials flood our televisions and phone screens, companies vying for our attention. Advertisers have even found ways to shorten their commercials to 3 seconds before a youtube video! Then you have popular media culture, where social media apps like Facebook and Instagram have infinitive scrolling where you can drown yourself in other people’s lives. What we have in my generation is a group of young people segregated from time and space while they are locked into their phones and obsessed with materialism.

So what do we do?

When I realized I was spending more time in the virtual world than the actual, I made a series of steps.

  • Turning off unnecessary notifications.

Turn off your Facebook and Instagram notifications. Those applications are tailor designed to draw you in by alerting you every time someone likes your picture. When this happens, you are flushed with a hit of dopamine and it gives you the urge to constantly interact more with the app. In reality, you only need to check the app a few times a day for important updates, and turning off notifications can help your self-control.

  • Change your phone to grayscale.

I only did this just last night after watching a Facebook video by Vox. Ok, yes I realize the irony… but I swear I got off my phone after this video. Anyways, Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist says a simple cure for phone addiction is to turn your phone to grayscale. The idea is to get rid of the flashing colors that attract your eyes to certain applications. Red is used to stimulate hunger and desire, which is why fast food chains and your notification bubbles are all red! Without the color, your mind is not so easily ensnared by your phone content. The truth is, everything in grayscale looks awful, which of course is wonderful!

  • Organizing your phone.

Okay, the second idea that Tristan Harris suggests which is organizing your apps so you only see the necessary ones first. What I have done is taken my social media apps, my games, and put them on the second page of my phone. When you do this, it makes it a teensy bit harder for you to decide to click on those addicting apps. The time it takes for you to swipe over to those apps gives your mind time to remind yourself to focus.

  • Deleting distracting apps.

This is the last resort choice for those like me who don’t have self-control. Eventually, I found myself still unable to resist using Instagram for unhealthy amounts of time despite turning off notifications. I despised how much time I was wasting on the app so I made the final choice to delete the app. Eventually, it comes down to what you are willing to do to change your habits.

Why is this so important?

I’ve personally noticed that social media has made me careless with the physical time I spend with my friends and family. Social media creates a false sense of social participation when you like someone’s photo or status update, and it can make you feel closer to someone than you actually are. And social media ruins quality time with your friends, who can’t admit to checking social media while hanging out?

I can personally testify that making these changes to my phone have reaped dramatic benefits over the past few days. Without the distractions on my phone, I’m getting to sleep on time and then finding more creative power in myself. Proper sleep has also helped me make better conscious decisions and stay emotionally stable.

So what are you waiting for? Take back control of your life by stopping your screen addiction. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and are encouraged to make changes on your phone!

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#TIPS: How enjoy reading more.

Hi! I had an epiphany before bed that I could provide some insight on my experiences as a reader. I hope these tips can help all you busy readers struggling to fit in a good book with your busy schedule. And I hope this can equally apply to nonreaders attempting to find their inner bookworm.

  1. Don’t stress out about it!

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Reading is first and foremost meant to be enjoyable. Don’t read books you don’t like, that will make you hate reading. This is why I have so much beef with the Accelerated Reader system employed in the elementary school. They test your reading level and expect you to adhere to those boundaries. In short, everybody resented this system and I think it explains why many of my peers find reading tiresome. I DIGRESS. But seriously! Find a book that you enjoy and a niche within a genre you love. Snacking on thrillers and comics is nothing to be ashamed of! Any type of reading is good for you and your brain. Reading is proven to improve short-term memory skills and concentration. 😀

2. Bring a book with you EVERYWHERE!!

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If you are crazy busy like me trying to juggle a myriad of extracurriculars with school, then you need to manage your reading time efficiently. So bring a book or two with you everywhere! You might find yourself waiting in line for lunch where you can squeeze in a few pages or in class going over homework questions you answered correctly where you can read in class. In short, READ EVERYWHERE

3. Switch between genres

 

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When I finish a book like The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (fantastic book by the way) I find myself mentally exhausted and craving for a more light-hearted read. So I periodically shift between serious literature and genres that involve more mystery and adventure. I have found this works best for me because I eventually tire out just reading one type of literature.

4. Audiobooks!

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I personally prefer reading over listening, but this is a great option if you are looking for a way to hear a story while you are doing other chores around the house.

5. E-books!

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I own my own kindle and I love how I can carry over a dozen book in a small tablet. It makes it easier for readers like me who sometimes like to switch between books when one gets boring. Another great thing is that Amazon has made all the classics free on Kindle so I read all the original Sherlock Holmes. 🙂

6. Reading before bed!

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This is great because it helps you take your mind off your busy day and relax to fall asleep. It also pushes away the temptation to reach for my phone and look at social media. Screen time before bed can mess up your circadian rhythms! A funny thing is that reading in bed used to be scandalous when books could fall on candles and cause a fire. HEHE.

7. Binge reading

 

 

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Find a Saturday you are free and binge read a book you have been dying to get into. Sometimes this is best at a Starbucks coffee store where they have nice ambient noises and peaceful jazz music which can help you immerse into the narrative. Even better is if you have a gold card and you can keep refilling your tea while you stay there and read. Just thinking about this makes me happy sigh. ❤