If you're currently fostering a relationship with your phone over people, it might be time to think about stepping away for a minute.
How many times do we take out our phone, whether it rings or not, or jump online to make sure that those online statuses and Insta videos are updated and uploaded? It’s safe to say we all could use a vacation from our technology and, to take our digital detox list one step further, here are five things we think you’ll gain by hitting the snooze button on that cellular friend of yours.
1. Your distraction will decrease.
Remember how great driving and texting was? You don’t because it wasn’t. Let’s face it, no matter how good we get at juggling ten different things at once, we weren’t designed to multi-task. We accomplish tasks and goals much better when we are one-minded towards those said tasks and goals. Focus defogs us and makes us better listeners. Ditching our digital companion gives us a better chance at focusing in on and succeeding at what’s right in front of us.
2. Your muscle memory will increase.
Remember when you used to store all your family and friends’ phone numbers up in your brain and not in your phone? That was actually benefitting you. A study done by neuroscientist Veronique Bohbot and her team revealed that relying on a navigation device actually reduces the function of the hippocampus, which is what controls memory and spatial function. Put Siri away for a day and get Thomas back out to play. A Thomas guide or a map is a great tool to re-jog that area of your brain. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, just let yourself get lost and use your intuition to find your way back.
3. You’ll take less selfies and find more selflessness.
Being less attached to your phone helps take the focus off of yourself and allows you to discover more opportunities to serve those around you. Next time you’re walking down the grocery aisle and the little old lady next to you is reaching for a can of steel cut oats, you can help her pull it from the shelf because you won’t be watching what’s trending on Youtube. When we’re not consumed with what’s in front of us we can be there for who’s around us and we’ll see and hear them all the more clearly.
(Also, your chances of walking into a bus or oncoming traffic decrease 100%).
4. You’ll pass on being passive.
CNN reported that one-third of Americans prefer to text versus picking up the phone to have a conversation. Because tone cannot be detected in a text message, it tends to be projected or assumed by the person receiving it, thus inviting the elephant of miscommunication into the room. Before hitting that little green iMessage button on your phone, you’ll remember to ask yourself if this is a conversation that should be had voice to voice or face to face.
5. You’ll get bored and find bliss.
It is said that Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity while contemplating the forces of nature and watching an apple fall from a tree in his parent’s backyard. When we are bored, we imagine … because there’s nothing else for us to do. With imagination comes inspiration and with inspiration, creativity. Think of all the things you could dream up by keeping that phone tucked away and enjoying the earth around you.
It’s time to show our phone who’s boss. By keeping our high-tech pal in our pocket longer and deleting apps that are used primarily to pass time, we exhibit control over our lives and prove that we’re in charge, not our phone.
An original version of this article appeared on Darling.