Sometimes we don’t even realize anymore how often we actually use our phone. That’s why we want to challenge you to keep track of how often and when you use your phone. This might also clear up your phone habits in your mind a bit.
We came up with some questions and challenges for you and your phone use. None of this is to say we should never use our phones again – come on, let’s be realistic. But perhaps we can curb our instinct to reach for them every chance we can. What matters, we think, is that we should be aware of how often we are online. We would like being online to be a conscious choice, rather than letting it become a habit.
Tip: grab a notebook and write down your answers to all the questions below. Look back at what you wrote down at the end of the week, what you thought worked for you and what didn’t, and which new habits you’d like to stick to.
Out of sight, out of mind
- Where do you keep your phone when you’re at work? Do you leave it in your bag or on your desk where you can see it?
- Where do you put your smartphone when you go to bed?
- Would you be less drawn to your phone if you couldn’t always see it?
- Where in the house is a good place to keep your smartphone out of sight?
- When do you automatically reach for your phone?
- Can you manage to not use your phone for one hour today?
- What did you do instead?
On the road without a phone
- Today, try doing something without taking your phone along: go shopping, go for a walk, drop in on the neighbours.
- How did it feel to be unavailable while offline?
- Do you have moments when you are more aware of what’s going on now that you don’t have your phone?
Do it together
- When is everyone at home most often on their phones?
- What agreement could you reach for ‘no-phone moments’?
- What agreement could you reach for ‘go-phone moments’, when everyone is free to play with their phones as much as they like?
Make it hard
- What do you like checking most on your phone? The news, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail…?
- Would you want to try turning off the automatic log in function for those apps, so that it gets harder to check them every minute?
A friendly conversation
- Do you put your phone away when you’re with friends?
- How do you feel when a conversation falters when someone takes out their phone?
- Come up with an arrangement to discourage phone use, just for fun. For example, agree that whoever picks up their phone first at a restaurant has to pay the bill.
- Flow introduces a Social Out of Office to let people on social media know you’re temporarily unavailable. Do you want to know how you can use it? Go to Flowmagazine.com/socialooo.
- These questions can also be found in the ‘7 days offline-project’ booklet in Issue 16.
Text Caroline Buijs Illustration Dick Vincent