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By: Brendan Zischke •  10 months ago •  

Are you using social media? Or is social media using you? Our phones can be a great tool, but remember they are a tool that we need to control. Sadly, mobile phone addiction is a serious problem.

Next time you are stuck at the traffic lights or in the passenger seat, have a look at the cars beside you. It is incredible the amount of people who use their phones whilst driving.

Social media is a business. They are primarily designed to make money. Be aware that similar methods that are used in the gambling industry are actually used to keep us checking in on our phones. Also be aware that social media rewards the same part of our brain as drugs and alcohol. Without going into further details and with time management in mind, here is what I believe you can do to use social media verses it using you!

1. Move all of your social media apps to a folder that is not on your home screen. This sounds simple because it is. Why do it? It stops the “quick check.” It means that instead of picking up your mobile, entering your pin and pressing on a social media application, more effort is required. So, place it within another folder so that to actually use it, more time and effort is required. Hang on though, isn’t this chapter all about time management?

Yes! When you use it you will likely be using it with a purpose and hopefully less often!

2. Apply the, “out of sight out of mind principle.” Again, it is really easy to be at the mercy of our phone.

All it takes is a notification (our phone vibrating or chiming) and we are at the mercy of our willpower. Let friends and family know that if something is urgent please call or message you the old school way! Simply knowing this reduces the thoughts of missing out.

Cal Newport PH. D has suggested that it takes on average 20 minutes to return to your level of focus when switching from a task to your phone.

4. This has been an absolute game-changer. Whenever I am with my kids or even walking my dog, I am 99% of the time not using my phone. I give them 100% of my mindful attention.

I will never get the time back with them and I try to be 100% present with them. Capturing special moments with a photos/ videos, urgent calls / texts and the occasional video call with family are the only exceptions. This will be very hard at first.

Please give it a go. You will be amazed at the quality time it creates. Please note I do still have it available to use in case of

Phone Free Bedroom. This is simple. Stop scrolling in bed.

Place it out of reach.

CONNECT WITH SILENCE REGULARLY VERSES REGULARLY CONNECTING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Recently I was invited to join a walk to join a hike to Pearling Brook Falls. This came at a time of incredible hardship. Weeks prior I had received tragic news that my best “mate” had been involved in a tragic incident, was in intensive care and the prognosis was not good. The hike was dedicated to his honour, to respect Movember and Mens Health.

Money raised would help his family. He loved the outdoors, he loved to exercise and he loved to push himself achieving some incredible physical feats. Most of all he always had my back. He always had his mates back. It was the least I could do for him. Little did I know that it would be one of the greatest reminders that I will carry with me forever.

Andi Puddicombe, the cofounder of Headspace says, “Remember the blue sky. It may at times be obscured by clouds, but it is always there.”

That day was incredibly hard physically, as I literally carried my 2-year-old little man most of the way. My little strong 4 year old girl smashed out half the walk. That day was incredibly beneficial on an emotional and spiritual level. For the first time in weeks I felt at peace. Yes, doing something for my mate felt good. What felt amazing though was the metaphoric blue sky. The blue sky that revealed itself when I found myself without mobile phone reception.

Surrounded by the sounds and stillness of nature.

Exercising. Moving forward.

Being in the company of amazingly supportive people.

This is exactly what was reflected in my mind. This can be reflected in yours.

If social media is the clouds, then choosing to be in an environment phone free is the blue sky. This walk will permanently remind me to take regular time to connect with the blue sky that really is always there. Yes technology/social media can be important.

Use it as needed. Do not let it use you.

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