New year’s resolution ideas that will leave you with healthier technology habits
Guy Hall • December 23, 2019
The new year marks an opportunity for a clean break, a chance to make some changes that will improve your life in one way or another. But it can be hard to know where to start. We don’t know about you, but we feel like every year we’re bombarded with a range of new year’s resolution ideas. Be healthier. Be more organized. Spend more time with friends and family.
On the surface, resolutions like these don’t seem related to technology. But technology, and specifically the smartphone, is so pervasive that it affects almost every aspect of our lives. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be outlining some manageable new year’s resolution ideas that will improve your technology practices and leave you with healthier habits. Making a few small changes could significantly improve your wellbeing in the new year.
Use your phone less
Want to spend more time with your friends and family? Spend less time on your phone! The average American apparently spends over five hours a day on their phone. Which is, let’s face it, way too much. And maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you’re only on your phone for half that time. But even so, that still leaves plenty of room for improvement.
There are several easy ways you can quickly cut back on your screen time. A great first step is to turn off all unnecessary notifications and take all distracting apps off your home screen. You’d be surprised how much these little changes will help you cut back on compulsively reaching for your phone.
Another great tip is to turn your device to grayscale. This tip comes from Tristan Harris, a former Design Ethicist at Google, who now runs The Center For Humane Technology, a nonprofit aimed at reversing the “digital attention crisis.” And this tip really works! Without all the enticing colors, endlessly scrolling through apps suddenly becomes a lot less appealing. These changes can usually be made in your device’s Accessibility settings.
There are plenty of ways to cut back on your phone usage, and it’s just a case of finding what works for you. Let us know your best tips in the comment section below.
Use social media less
This resolution goes hand-in-hand with our last suggestion. Much of the time we’re wasting on our phones is spent mindlessly scrolling through social media and yet, it’s widely reported that these platforms have a detrimental impact on our mental health. They affect our memory, our attention span and our self-esteem. So if you’re looking to cut back on your phone usage, social media is a great place to start.
Some of the previous tips can be used to curb your social media usage, such as turning off notifications and moving the apps out of sight. But why not take it a step further? Delete the apps from your phone.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent deletion, and it may take a while to adjust, but it’s definitely worth trying out. You’ll be amazed how you feel after a few days without apps like Facebook constantly distracting you.
Don’t use your phone in bed
If you’re looking to improve your health in the new year, making sure you get a good night’s sleep is crucial. One way you can improve your sleeping habits is to keep your phone out of the bedroom.
Using your phone just before bed has several negative effects on how you sleep. For one, the blue light of your phone suppresses melatonin, a hormone that our bodies naturally produce which helps us to relax before we sleep. Suppressing this hormone means it will take longer for you to drift off and cause you to miss out on some precious rest.
Using your phone in bed can also impact the quality of your sleep. Studies have shown that smartphone usage just before bed reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A lack of REM sleep is said to have adverse effects on our physical and emotional health, and therefore making sure we get enough of it is very important.
We suggest that you try to avoid using your phone for an hour leading up to when you plan on going to bed. Curl up with a good book instead! You’ll sleep better, and for longer, leaving you with more energy to take on the day.
Declutter your inboxes
Looking to get more organized? Start with your inbox. We don’t know about you, but we spend far too much time swiping away junk emails. Not only is this time consuming, but you can often lose important emails amongst all the junk.
So it’s time to tidy! Luckily for you, this isn’t as daunting as it may appear at first glance. Simply start unsubscribing from any unwanted mailing lists that give you the option. If you come across a sender that doesn’t offer you the option, you can just report them as spam and you should stop seeing them in your inbox.
You can do this at your own pace, but we’d recommend setting aside a few minutes a day to take yourself off five to ten lists. In no time you’ll notice a considerable decrease in the amount of junk that you’re receiving.
Spend less on your cell phone bill
You might be wanting to save more and spend less in the new year, and that’s a great goal! One way you can do this is to cut back on how much you’re spending on your cell phone bill. How, you ask? By joining Ting!
With Ting, you only pay for what you use. So if you use less, then you pay less. It’s really that simple. If you’re planning to cut down on your phone usage, or even just your social media usage, in the new year then now is the perfect time to join. On the Ting App, you can also set usage caps and alerts on your talk, text and data to make sure you keep your bill nice and low. This is just part of the reason that the average bill on Ting is just $23 per month.
If you’re looking to save money on your phone bill, whether it’s part of a new year’s resolution or not, then find out whether you can bring your phone and number over to us today.
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