I'm addicted to my phone. It's plain, simple, and very real. I always have it with me, rarely make calls, occasionally text and hardly ever use it for emails. I visit Instagram, Twitter, and occasionally Facebook to stare at things that often don't matter. I use it to browse Reddit, check the news, take photos, and manage my finances. I can be found using it for navigating through traffic, tracking my hikes, and logging my meals to stay on track. It is the most use tech tool in my life.
I am on a Verizon Wireless unlimited plan, meaning I'm mostly unlimited in my data usage until about 22 GB when they often throttle my speeds during peak hours or when I'm in areas with too many users and not enough bandwidth. By day 17 of each month, I'm hitting 22 GB of usage, meaning the remaining five days are spent using very slow speeds to look at the same thing over and over for no reason. The problem is, when I need to actually do something productive, it's challenging because I've wasted so much data on the useless and I'm stuck.
I'm easily addicted to things that give me instant satisfaction - my phone, food (for taste and fullness), alcohol, attention, etc. I'm working to control my relationship with food, so why not try and control my interaction with my devices. I'm currently downloading an app (seems counterproductive, but hang on) to help train my brain to quit being so dependent on the tech and to help me focus more on life. I've set alerts for my data usage, early on, so I'm aware and can be informed when I'm indulging too much. For the sake of value, I want to utilize the full 22 GB, I just want to do it over 30 days instead of 15. In reality, if I can reduce my usage and keep it consistent for a few months, I'd like to switch to a cheaper prepaid plan.
I know, many people are in disbelief of this whole situation of tech addiction and I understand that disbelief. As someone that didn't get a smartphone until they were already popular, I didn't think I'd ever spend as much time or money on them as I have in my lifetime, but here I am.
I'm pledging, in black and white, right here...
- I will not buy a new phone until this one becomes unusable or 2021, whichever is first.
- I will not use more than 22 GB of data, unless I'm on work assignment and do not have access to internet. (as work does pay for part of the phone)
- I will limit my usage of social media apps to an appropriate level - may be adjusted as necessary.
- Instagram - a time limit of 25 minutes per day
- Facebook - remove the app (done 7/19/2018)
- Twitter - a time limit of 25 minutes per day, unless a chat is happening
Going forward, when I want to check a social app, I'm going to open my Kindle App instead to get ahead on a chapter in my book - likely a better use of five minutes. Nothing on social media is worth wasting so much time over. If people want to connect, they can send me a message. Fear of missing out is real, but what I'm missing is NOTHING and I need to wrap my head around that.
I'm currently looking for an app to help me train my brain, so any suggestions will be welcomed. I need to work on my "bored clicking" in Chrome too, but that's another topic for another day.
What are some ways you use to limit the technology in your life? Leave a comment if you'd like!