Phone Detox: 8 Tips to Scroll Less and Live More 

Phone Detox: 8 Tips to Scroll Less and Live More 

If you’re ready for a phone detox here are 8 tips to scroll less and live more. Lately, I’ve been itching for a digital break. I find myself habitually reaching for my phone to scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn every free minute that I have. Thankfully, I don’t have TikTok. I don’t need another app to distract me. 

What made me do an official phone detox? This past weekend I caught myself aimlessly scrolling through LinkedIn on a Saturday. For what reason did I need to be on a professional networking site over a weekend? Absolutely none, but there I was. 

The Negative Impacts of Aimlessly Scrolling

More often than not, scrolling or “doomscrolling” leaves you feeling worse off than when you started. Doomscrolling is reading one negative piece after another. Have you ever read the hateful comments section on a controversial post and felt good after? Spending minutes or even hours consuming this amount of negativity hurts our mental health.

When we are scrolling, we are also seeing constant shopping ads that lead to unnecessary spending. There are also the get-rich-quick influencers advertising their methods for making $30,000 a month. This is not the norm but they’ve created an illusion that anyone can achieve this easily and you’ve somehow failed if you haven’t.

Lastly, we are consuming hyper-filtered bits of peoples lives. It makes it easy to believe everyone else has it better than you.

How We Are Dependent On Our Phones

Our phones are no longer just for making calls. Social media is a big part of our phone dependence but there are many smartphone features contributing as well.

There are group chats, FaceTime, emails, and other things that keep me glued to my phone all the time. It’s hard to keep up with the notifications.

There are many functions I’ve grown to rely on throughout the day. It’s my clock, back-up cooking timer, and camera.

Then there are the apps outside of social. I use my phone to listen to Spotify, the Huckleberry app to track my son’s nap/feeding schedule, and another app for school messages.

Lastly, I access Amazon and Google at least once a day through my phone.

Yes, some of these things make my life more convenient but they also prevent me from truly disconnecting. 

I realized that I’m distracted by my phone more than I’d like to be. There are times when I could be more engaged with my kids, or use my free time to relax more.

To create more balance in my life, I’m making a conscious effort to use my phone less. Of course, it’s easier said than done but I’ve found a few ways to make taking a phone detox a little easier.

Phone Detox: 8 Tips to Scroll Less and Live More

This past Sunday, I decided to do a mini phone detox. It felt so good that I plan on doing more of them. Rather than going cold turkey for days, I pick certain times when I limit my phone use. Here are some of the phone detox tips that have helped me scroll less and live more. 

1. Put the phone in another room 

When you put your phone in another room it’s out of sight and out of mind. This is the easiest way to limit the phone temptation. When I find myself with free time, it’s not there taunting me to scroll. It forces me to be more present. It forces me to make a conscious decision to pick my phone back up again. By keeping it in another room, it breaks the habit of scrolling to fill time. 

2. Keep your phone on silent 

Keep your phone on silent to help minimize the notifications. By keeping the ringer off, I don’t feel obligated to pick up my phone every time someone texts me. 

3. Pause Push Notifications

Push notifications are alerts sent to your phone even when you aren’t using the app. They are created to lure you back in. Pause all of your push notifications so you are not distracted by the alerts or tempted to click on them. You will still get alerts when you log into the app just not on your home screen. I’ve found the more notifications there are, the more likely we are to be distracted by them. 

4. Turn your phone off at certain times 

Turn your phone off at certain times of the day. I do this with my work phone to create a work-from-home boundary. I’ve also started turning off my personal phone as well when I don’t need it. 

5. Put the phone screen facing down

During the workday, I like to keep my personal phone on silent, facing down to minimize distractions. The fewer things I can see popping up on my home screen, the better. 

6. Log out of social apps 

For longer, digital detoxes and phone detoxes, you can try logging out of apps completely for a few days for a hard refresh. This took me a little while to get used to. Even disconnecting for days at a time, I’ve logged back in to find that I didn’t miss anything. 

7. Swap out your phone for a book 

If you’re someone who wants to quit scrolling first thing in the morning, you can swap out your phone for a book. That way you have something positive to break the habit with. I keep a book on my nightstand, and my phone somewhere that requires me to get up.

8. Downgrade your phone

For a more aggressive phone detox, there is always the option to downgrade your phone to a “dumb phone” like a flip phone. This is something that I’ve thought about often. I’m not there yet but might do it as an experiment in the future.

Phone Detox: 8 Tips to Scroll Less and Live More 

Phone Detox Benefits 

Doing digital detoxes and taking a break from our phones even for just a few hours can be beneficial. It allows us to be more present, reduces stress, minimizes spending, and creates greater balance.

Allows us to be present more often

Less phone distractions allow you to be more present. I noticed I was more engaged with my kids and family when I didn’t have my phone in my hand all of the time. There are many little things we miss out on when we are constantly distracted. Kids are also sponges and I don’t want them growing up thinking that having a phone in your hand at all times is normal.

Reduces Stress

Phone detoxes reduce stress by limiting the amount of time spent doomscrolling, comparing ourselves to others, and impulse shopping. All of these things can chip away at our well-being and negatively affect our overall mental health. Even though I’m aware of how these things can make me feel, sometimes I still click on the comments section, or read the negative news headlines.

Minimizes Spending

Digital detoxing minimizes spending. The more time we spend online, the more targeted ads we receive trying to lure us in with discount codes, and messaging like “time is running out” or “almost out of stock.” Reducing phone time can be good for your bank account.

I recently read, The Year of Less by Cait Flanders and have been inspired to cut back on unnecessary spending.

More Balance

Lastly, taking regular phone detoxes gives us time back to our day and creates more balance. That extra time can be used in productive ways or simply to relax.

Final Takeaways: Phone Detox: 8 Tips to Scroll Less and Live More

Overall, smartphones have become so advanced that we use them for more than just calling and texting. While convenient, it’s not always easy to separate ourselves from the digital world. Regular phone detoxes can help us to be more present as well as improve our well-being, bank accounts, and balance.

There are many ways to do approach a phone or digital detox. This can include simply turning off your notifications or putting your smart device in another room. There is also a more aggressive approach which can include downgrading to a “dumb phone.” Choose a method that speaks to you and begin scrolling less and living more.