Dec 15, 2017

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Ask that question a few years back and you’ll probably say you’d pee, drink water, or wash your face. Today, spending the first 15 minutes or so of your waking hours on your phone is a normal answer. I’m guilty of this and so are you.

And no matter how much you deny it, spending too much time on social media can be toxic. In the beginning of 2017, the Philippines was hailed as the number one country that spends the most time on social media. According to a study by Hootsuite and We Are Social Ltd., we spend an average of four hours and 17 minutes on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

While it’s now our primary way to reconnect with our loved ones, social media is also a source of stress. Even those who are considered icons in social media also feel worn out. Model Gigi Hadid, for example, admits that mean social media comments also bring her down. “[It is] frustrating for me sometimes because I feel like I’m judged in a lot of ways online, and everyone is in that way,” she tells W Magazine.

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

When things aren’t right in the digital space, you always have the option to disconnect. This is what Gigi exactly did. For a week, she did not just rest from social media but she even turned her phone off. While on detox, Gigi revisited her old pastime of weaving bracelets and went scuba diving for the first time.

While the ideal setting for a digital detox is a faraway island or a cabin in the middle of the forest, it’s not that difficult to do it in the city. Before we enter 2018, here are simple activities that will keep you away from your phone this holiday break.

Use an actual camera for your holiday photos
In the age of the almighty smartphone, we rely on it for our photographs. With a big amount of storage and its accessibility, we take unlimited photos and post it on social media as soon as possible. There’s nothing bad about it, to be honest. But personally, I feel like we don’t inject meaning into the moments we capture because they’re too instant.

To help you stay away from your phone, grab an actual camera for your holiday snaps. In fact, I suggest that you use a film camera. With a limited amount of film, you’re compelled to capture only moments that truly matter.

Get busy in the kitchen

Since the season asks for it, take the lead in the preparation of your Noche Buena. Cooking does not only result in good food and new knowledge, but it can also boost your self-esteem and confidence. Huffington Post explains that it’s a form of self-care that encourages mindfulness. Furthermore, the therapeutic aspect of it comes from the fact that we recall certain memories when we cook.

By the way, we have tons of easy recipes on site. For Noche Buena, you can try our pasta-less lasagna or Frida Kahlo’s mole poblano.

Do something with your hands

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

I remember going to the launch of Lulu Tan Gan’s “Yarn Bomb, Knit Bomb.” She mentioned how the exhibit pays homage to the time when people were still doing things with their hands instead of spending too much time on their phones. So just like Gigi, you might want to revisit an old pastime that doesn’t involve your phone. This way, you can keep yourself busy and even productive.

Just turn your phone off

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

If you can’t resist checking the latest Instagram stories or the overflow of Christmas greetings on your Facebook wall, the best solution is to turn off your phone. It may be difficult in the beginning, but you’ll definitely learn to get in touch with your friends, yourself, and reality. And if you think you’ll get bored without your phone, just wait and you’ll find yourself doing something.

Remember, going offline does not always mean disconnecting or missing out. In fact, it’s your gateway to keep in touch with things that really matter. So before we leave 2017, do yourself a favor and go on a digital detox.

Header image courtesy of Vogue

Read more:
The cure to your social media addiction is right there in your phone
“Kaka-computer mo kasi:” These are what you can get from staring at a screen all day
Hook your kids with podcasts for screen time break
Piolo Pascual reminds you not to take your work home

TAGS: digital detox Gigi Hadid phone social media