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Take Time To Power Off & Step Away From Your Smartphone


Do you remember what life was like when cellphones could only be used to make and receive phone calls? Yeah, me neither.

With the latest smartphone innovations that phone companies seem to be coming out with every single day, we are relying more heavily on our cellphones, so much so that we often forget to turn them off and resume other tasks.


I switched over to Team iPhone exactly a year ago and since doing so, I’ve become addicted to my cellphone. I find myself checking my social media feeds and text messages before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up, responding to the majority of my emails on my cellphone instead of on my laptop, and browsing through the Top Charts section in the App Store to see if I’m up to date on the latest and greatest games and tools. To me, my cellphone is more than a device that I use to communicate with; in fact, it has become my portable office, my entertainment system, and my life organizer. Although I am loath to admit, my cellphone is my lifeline and I honestly would feel lost without it.


That being said, I often find myself so preoccupied with my cellphone that I forget what’s going on around me. Because it’s easier to feel connected to the online world when you have access to it wherever you go, it’s easier to feel like you’re being left behind if you don’t check it every five minutes. As hard as it may be to do this, once in a while it’s important to turn off your phone or put it on silent for a few hours (some phones even have a do not disturb option that only notifies you if you’re being contacted by an important contact) and take a break from your cellphone.


Here are some alternatives to cellphone usage!

1. Have a face-to-face conversation

Instead of having one word response conversation over WhatsApp, get together with a family member, friend, or coworker face-to-face and catch up. This may sound like an incredibly simple suggestion (and it is), but by getting off your phone and having an in-person meeting, you’ll work on strengthening communication and interpersonal skills. Face-to-face conversations tend to be more positive, credible, and satisfying, so the next time you’re reconnecting with someone, do it in person!


2. Go outside

Instead of racing through the rugged terrains on Temple Run, turn off the cellphone and head outside for a refreshing walk, jog or run. You’re going to feel incredibly refreshed, not to mention a whole lot more refocused when you’re knocking off items on your to-do list. By leaving your cellphone in your pocket and keeping it on silent for a few hours, you’ll not only get your daily dose of exercise, but you’ll also have the privilege of absorbing the amazing British Columbia scenery. Let’s face it, the view looks much better in person than on your Instagram feed.


3. Take up a hobby

Your hobby might be watching YouTube videos or catching up on the latest TED talk videos on your cellphone, but spending hours on end staring at a small, back-lit smartphone screen is hard on the eyes. Because your cellphone’s screen is significantly smaller than your laptop screen and your TV screen, your eyes are strained when they are forced to read small text or stare at small, detailed pictures that are close to your face. Perhaps when you’re charging your phone, you can allocate an hour out of your day to pick up a new hobby or to revisit an old one. Give your eyes a rest and read a book, be a tourist in the city and rediscover your favourite Vancouver spots, or even go shopping.


Although it might be initially difficult to relinquish your cellphone for a few hours a day (hello, separation anxiety), in the long run you’ll feel better physically and mentally, plus you’ll feel reassured that technology isn’t completely running your life.

Written by: Kels Tham

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