The average Brit reaches for their phone every 16 minutes, says study. Here's how to switch off this summer
Gloating about summer holidays is undeniably satisfying - near irresistible, in fact. Many of us can’t help but snap our preen holiday scene, then upload it to our four social media accounts and hashtag the hell out of it.
Follow it up with regular minute-by-minute checks to see how your posts are performing, plus a couple of ‘uh-ma god look where I am’ chats to your friends and fam and the feeling is close to elation. Yes, you’ve just spent the past twenty minutes glued to your phone screen instead of marvelling the surroundings you’re so eager to boast about. But hey, your post got 53 likes…
It’s no news that the nation is tech-obsessed. Whether your weakness is oversharing on Facebook or checking emails, Brits today can’t go a meal without reaching for their favourite companion – and it’s not their starry-eyed lover.
There’s a thin line between love and addiction.
The average Brit grabs a gadget every 16 minutes – that’s 60 times a day – according to the UK Gadget Usage Report 2017. Unsurprisingly 18-24-year-olds have the biggest tech obsession, with a gadget at their fingertips a whopping 124 times a day. But in a world where we’d rather Instagram a picture of our food than eating it while it’s hot, this isn’t all too shocking.
What is surprising is that even when we make a conscious effort to digitally detox – to escape from technology on a remote, rustic island resort - we still struggle to tone down our screen time. Research from family law firm Brookman reveals that 1-in-4 couples could see their summer holidays ruined because of social media addiction, whilst 60% admit to checking their social media and emails at least every day whilst on holiday. Over a quarter of participants said they felt frustrated or angry that their partner wasn’t engaged on the holiday at all.
With increasing reports of insomnia, anxiety and generally feeling crappy about ourselves thanks to an unhealthy dependency on tech, it’s more important than ever to take a digital detox.
Don’t let your mobile phone trash your holiday. Here’s how to switch off this summer:
Cut it out
There’s a thin line between love and addiction. Eating, sleeping and drinking together are all delicate intimacies that should be cherished in a relationship. But if the most intimate relationship you have is shared with a hard, shiny piece of plastic (and not the Anne Summers kind), then you need to dump your mobile phone faster than a hot Samsung Galaxy mid-flight.
Whilst you probably wouldn’t leave your front room without your trusty piece of tech, your holiday is the perfect time to give the two of you some space. So, prize your mobile phone out of your hand and leave it at the hotel. Instead of snapchatting your life by the poolside, try reading a book – a real book, not a Kindle. If possible, avoid taking your phone out with you on walks or short trips.
Take a camera
Going to smugly tell us you can’t leave your phone at the hotel because it’s also your camera? Thought so. Well, remember the days when a camera was a camera and you had a phone-free hand? Try using a stand-alone camera to avoid giving in to the temptation of checking every single app on your phone.
Use Flight Mode
If splashing out for a new camera when your phone has one seems a little ridiculous, then try sticking your smartphone on flight mode. That way you can get snappy happy without the distraction of social media updates.
Don’t take your phone with you to dinner. Just don’t. Nothing says ‘I don’t want to be here’ more than someone sat on their phone as they sample the local cuisine. Be polite and swap your virtual online companions for the real-life people across the table from you.
Don’t invest in extra data packages
Unless you absolutely must check your emails in case of emergency (read: ASOS sale), don’t pay for data upgrades or bolt-on packages whilst on holiday. Boosting your data allowance will only feed the temptation to browse more as you try to get your money’s worth and spend your beefed-up data allowance. Just switch off your data and enjoy yourself. You don’t need
Be short and sharp with social
If the thought of not posting on social media for a whole week is too traumatic to handle, then try limiting yourself. Check your feeds for only a minute or two and no more than twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). Liking your best friend’s selfies can wait.
Live in the moment
Though the temptation to document your entire trip is undeniably strong, try to enjoy the holiday for what it is; a break away from the norm. So, try living offline for a change.