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Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

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From July 2012 all items marked with a (*) are gifted items or PR samples. Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please read my disclaimer for more details.

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We’re in this era where we are lucky enough to keep in contact with everyone around us and all over the world at any time of the day. Our phones have made it available for us to always be online, available and ready to share something exciting that is happening in life. As great as that is, it also has some negatives. There are many negative effects I personally suffer from from being on my phone too much, such as headaches, trouble focussing on writing my dissertation my eye prescription slowly getting worse and worse every time I get my eyes checked, being extremely tired throughout the day.
Throughout the past months I have read more and more articles about the effects of having your phone with you 24/7. More people seem to be having the exact same negative effects because of our phones being glued to our hand. I even read young kids have trouble focussing at school, find it hard to fall asleep at night and sometimes fall asleep during class. The negatives of our phones are really being written about recently and let’s be real right now: our phone is a new sort of addiction. I have never smoked or have done drugs in my life, so I’m not sure what addiction feels like, but I am pretty sure my phone is mine is my addiction.

It's mostly the social media apps on my phone that I'm addicted to. I became fully aware of this ever since I started looking at those weekly screen time insights that Apple sends on Sunday morning. I was shocked to see I could easily spend at least 7 hours a day on my phone. SEVEN HOURS (!!!!) That’s almost as many hours as I sleep at night. I was shocked and horrified to learn that I could easily spend so much time on my phone as I honestly thought I wasn’t that bad. My phone is always on silent and I don’t have the vibrate mode on, ever. But I still managed to get it up to seven hours. Once all of this information had all sunk in, I started piecing everything together. I have known for a long time that the blue light on both my laptop and phone trigger my headaches and some of my sleepless nights. However I choose to ignore this information because other people wouldn't have this problem.

I also noticed that had so much trouble focussing on writing my dissertation because I would get so distracted by my phone. By the end of a day I felt like I barely got anything done, which is not weird considering I can easily pick up my phone at least 10 times an our. This means I can easily pick up my phone 80 to 200 times a day just to check the info on my locked screen. That’s honestly absurd! I think the screen time analysis has really made me more aware of how much time I actually spend on my phone and the negative impact it started to have on my physical health.

Besides the negative physical effects of my phone, I also noticed that some of my friends and I can’t even have a normal conversation anymore without checking our phones at least once every thirty minutes to an hour. It's not that we don't talk to each other while we check our phones. Most conversations usually revolve around something we have seen online or something we need to show each other. This was quite the reality check for me too, as I always had this unspoken rule of no phones at the table while we eat.

How I'm realistically cutting down screen time

I decided to cut down my screen time with a couple of small steps at a time. Some days I fail massively and spend 6-7 hours on my phone. I don’t punish myself for it. Just like with a diet or with working out, tomorrow is a new day to do better and achieve my goal to only spend 3-4 hours a day on my phone.

I have an alarm set on my phone that helps me wake up besides my wake up light. This alarm usually goes off between 7:17 and 7:45 in the morning. Once I have snoozed my way out of bed, the first thing I do is put my new Instagram post online. Whereas before I would spend another 20 minutes in bed scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now immediately get out of bed and hop into the shower. I get dressed and go downstairs for breakfast. I leave my phone in the charger until I have had my breakfast. I then go back into my room and get my phone off my charger and start my day at my desk.

If I am going to spend most of my day working behind my desk, I am in need of music. So once I have turned my music on via a Bluetooth speaker, I hide my phone with the screen down underneath one of my many opened notebooks on my desk. This way I don’t see it, which means I won’t be tempted to look at my phone anymore. I guess it truly means that when something is out of sight, it’s out of mind.

At lunch I usually take a 30-45 minute break, which is when I would usually have a look at my phone. I look at my emails, check my Instagram and Twitter, answer any messages friends or family have sent me and then go back to work. Usually at around three I start to notice that I have a difficult time focussing. That’s when I plan another little phone break of 15-30 minutes. I scroll through Instagram for a bit. I get myself a little snack and refill my water bottle and then go back to work again.

My day usually ends at around 17:00/17:30 as there is just no energy left inside of my brain to do any work anymore. I usually end up going downstairs to sit with my parents and chat with them while they are doing the dinner prep. If it’s my turn to cook, I would usually have the recipe on my phone, which slightly increases my screen time. I’m not too strict on myself at night anymore. It’s my down time, my time to relax and sometimes I find scrolling through my phone quite relaxing.

My problem was that I couldn’t stop scrolling my phone while I was in bed. In January I made a deal with myself to not touch my phone anymore after 9.30 to 10.30 at night. I am off to bed at around 11.00 – 11.30, which means I don’t look at my phone for at least 30 minutes up until 2 hours before I’m off to bed. To keep myself entertained at night, I usually read a book and fall asleep within 30 minutes.