We’ve all been there: you’re talking to someone and all of a sudden their phone is under their nose. Self-conscious, you trail off, and just like that, the conversation is over. But it’s not just other people, whether you want to admit it or not, you are also guilty of using your phone too much.
What you might not realize is that being dependent on your phone is harmful to more than just your social relationships–it can also be damaging to productivity, sleep, and ultimately your happiness.
Here are some reasons to put the phone away:
Really rude. If you don’t have the courtesy to look your friend in the eye and be fully engaged in a conversation with them, you’re disrespecting them and your friendship. But even more than that, you are cheating yourself out of a moment in your life. Interacting with a screen when you could be interacting with the world does not reap you any benefits, and it certainly doesn’t win you any social points with your friends.
It’s a distraction.
You probably already knew this, but it’s super hard to get a paper done, get those dishes washed, and get that workout in when there are so many things to do on your phone! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and texts are all within a finger’s reach, just waiting to be clicked. Try leaving your phone in the bedroom for the morning and you’ll soon realize that your productivity improves tenfold.
It’s making you sleepy.
We’ve all heard that the blue lights from our phones and other electronic devices send signals to our brains and mess up our body’s rhythm, telling us it’s time to be awake. That’s why it’s so hard to fall asleep after you’ve been staring into your phone for hours. Or, even worse is the vicious cycle of using your phone to try and help you sleep: grabbing your phone from your nightstand and scrolling through feeds and then not being able to fall sleep for even longer because of it. When your phone messes up your sleep cycle it can have a huge impact on your day–making you feel tired, fatigued, and less-likely to focus on the tasks at hand. If you need a crutch to help you fall asleep, try reading, writing, drawing, or listening to soft music before dozing off.
It’s a source of negative energy.
You may find yourself spending an awful lot of time wondering if that cryptic status your friend posted on Facebook was about you, or obsessing about taking a perfect Instagram picture for all the likes on your post. This creates an unhealthy and negative atmosphere that can lead to over-thinking, jealously, and insecurity. More peace and happiness will come in your life by setting your phone to “do not disturb” mode throughout most of the day and learning to not stress about the digital world.