Like many people, one of my resolutions or at least aims (less pressure, people) for 2018 is to stop using my phone so much.
Over the last few months I’ve realised just how severe my dependence on it is – we’re talking borderline addiction.
I’ll reach for it every few minutes and check a variety of apps, mindlessly scrolling, not really taking anything in. And deleting the offending apps didn’t help. When I ditched Instagram and Facebook in a bid to reduce my scrolling time, I just ended up procrastinating on other sites, like the LinkedIn news feed to get my fix. Yes, LINKEDIN.
So this year, I've decided it's time to do something about it.
The problem? Working online means going cold turkey just isn't an option.
Scrolling through Instagram the other day, I found the perfect solution. (Yes, I reinstalled it - and yes, I'm aware of the irony here.)
Food blogger Deliciously Ella shared her three "Intentions" for the year. The one that really stood out to me was her new phone use rule.
"No more scrolling when I'm with someone or doing something else," she wrote.
The genius is in the simplicity. It's entirely obvious - and behaviour traditional etiquette would dictate anyway - but it's one we've forgotten. Most importantly, it's doable. I've shared it with several friends and colleagues who are also going to give it a try.
While using my phone can be a way to connect, more often than not it does the exact opposite. I've lost count of how many times I've sat watching a film or a TV show I really am enjoying, then find myself reaching for my phone. I'll be catching up with a good friend I haven't seen in ages or even my long distance boyfriend, and suddenly find myself scrolling through Facebook, to immerse myself in the lives of people I don't even care about. Sometimes, they're even doing the same.
So this year, my aim is to use my phone less, yes, but most importantly more practically and less rudely.
Almost a fortnight in, I've already broken it of course. That's the downfall of resolutions. But I'm going to keep making it my intention to leave my phone alone when I'm in the company of someone else or doing something already.
A late night scroll on my own? Fine. But when I'm with you from now on, you'll have my full attention. Promise.