• Patrick McAndrew

5 Ways To Get Off Your Smartphone

Updated: Feb 1, 2019



In a world that is constantly looking down instead of looking up and wishing we had more Instagram likes, many of us let the world pass us by without even a flinch.  We are so consumed by what is happening on our smartphones that we miss the littlest of moments in life.  It could be a shooting star on a starry night, the glance of a loved one’s eye, or the smirk on a child’s face.  We here at The Low Tech Trek want to reclaim these moments, for it is these moments that make us feel more human than ever.  So without further ado, I have concocted a little list on 5 Ways To Get Off Your Smartphone.  Let’s dive in! (Oh, and if you are reading this on your smartphone, dive in, but then get out of the pool and follow the suggestions!)

  • Exercise

“Exercise?  Nah…I just want to sleep in until my smartphone dictates my first action of the day!”  Hold on there, kemosabe.  Exercise is a most excellent way to start off your day and give you a rest from your smartphone.  Whether it’s going for a run, hitting the gym, or even just banging out a few push-ups and sit-ups, body movement first thing in the morning powers on your body and rejuvenates your soul.  It gives you a burst of energy to start your day.  I recommend trying it.  You will not only go through the rest of your day feeling accomplished, but you will feel better overall.  Most importantly, when you put exercise before checking your messages or checking e-mail, you put your mind into an active state, instead of a reactive state.

  • Silence/Solitude

This one is a toughy, my friends.  Silence (or solitude) is a great way to not only connect with yourself, but also to just think and ponder about life.  “Ooooh man.  Look at Pat getting all philosophical!”  But it’s not so much a philosophical thing as much as it’s a human thing.  Our society is over-stimulated like crazy!  Do you remember the last time you just sat down and did nothing but think?  The last time you sat down, not to watch Netflix or play Candy Crush (is that still a thing?) but to just sit and think.  People would do this much more often back when technology was  less advanced, but today we are in the Attention Economy.  I talked about this a little bit in my post, Can You Be Tried For a Crime Not in Reality? Tech companies are competing against each other for our attention and it’s working!  We need to allow ourselves time to be away from our devices and just be.

  • Read

You may be arguing, “Hey…it’s silent when I read!  Doesn’t this fall under silence?”  Or, “Hey…I read all the time!  I read my e-mail and Facebook posts!”  What I’m talking about is reading a book.  There is this great quote.  I don’t know who said it.  It goes, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”  Reading is mental exercise!  I never use to be much of a reader, but I got really into it about a year and a half ago.  Now, I read all the time.  It’s amazing how much you learn from reading books!  I didn’t know what I was missing out on!  “Well…duh, of course you learn from reading books.”  Though everyone knows this, I never really read regularly until I made a habit of it.  It is a great use of time.  Many of us throw this time away while scrolling through our newsfeed.  Make better use of the time, pick up a book, and learn something new!

  • Be in Nature

Who loves camping?  I love camping!  Though I know many people who do not enjoy camping.  Regardless, it is super important to get into nature.  There is something to be said about being in nature away from all of the manufactured creations.  You feel more connected to the world.  And want to know one of the best parts?  There is often no Wifi, depending on how remote you are.  It’s as if nature is saying, “Hey you!  You’re on my turf now!  If you want to go back to your busy, over-stimulated life, do that somewhere else!”  Similar to what I was saying about silence, being in nature allows you to just be present in the moment.  Hey, if you can give yourself moments of silence in nature, then you are killing two birds with one stone on this list!  Just don’t actually kill two birds with one stone while you are in nature though.  That’s mean.



  • Communicate with People

Probably the greatest blessing in getting off your smartphone is by communicating with people.  Ironic, isn’t it?  Since we spend the majority of our time interacting with people on our smartphones, you may find it odd that this is on the list.  “Really?  And at number 5?  This is the grand finale of this post?”  When you make a deliberate effort to put the phone away and to look at the person you are communicating with, trust is formed.  A bond is made.  I’m currently reading this awesome collection of essays in a book called What’s the Story by renowned theatre director Anne Bogart.  In her second chapter, she discusses how theatre is a “gym for the soul” and how a personal investment is required to get an impactful return on the art you create.  Regarding smartphones, she states, “But the instantaneous nature of digital choice also thwarts our efforts to stay full connected to our greater through-lines and to one another.”  The phone gets in the way, plain and simple.  If you decide to engage with people, leave the phone out of it.  You, and the other person, will feel much more whole.


Well, there you have it.  5 Ways to Get Off Your Smartphone.  There are plenty of other ways to do so, but I don’t want to take up any more of your time on technology.  Comment below and let me know your thoughts and then do one of the five above!  Did I just give you homework? Yes.  Yes, I did.


Your friend,


Pat

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