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How to unplug: it starts with your phone

Why unplug?

Between email, social media and texts, too often our phones can feel more like a source of stress than a utility meant to make our lives easier. If you find yourself compulsively checking your phone or you just want to cut back, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to talk about how to unplug from your phone.

It might seem odd that Ting Mobile (being a mobile service provider) would talk about unplugging and cell phone overuse here on the blog. The fact is, we want you to get the most from your mobile experience, including what you pay. For instance, if you’ve chosen our Flex plan where you add data as needed, we want you to save on your bill by learning to use less mobile data.

A lot of Ting Mobile customers have found reducing their mobile habits helps them live in the moment. And according to them, they’ve found that reducing their cell phone use wasn’t actually that much of a burden at all.

Is cell phone addiction real?

Call it what you want, cell phone dependency or cell phone addiction, we all know that person who can’t put their phone down for even a few minutes. And it’s become clear there are negative effects.

Cell phone addiction solutions range from going cold turkey to switching to a flip phone to deleting games and social media off your phone altogether. Whatever works for you, it’s worth it. Here some ways to go about lessening that dependency.

What is unplugging?

Unplugging is a growing movement all about disconnecting, or taking a timeout from tech. Whether it’s your Facebook feed, your work computer or binge-watching Netflix, you might want to give unplugging a try.

Starting with your phone feels like a manageable step to reducing unnecessary screen time. Let’s face it, most of our day feels like it’s tied to tech, and working without a computer is, for many, unimaginable. But a lot of cell phone use tends to be a kind of “cherry on top” of an already highly connected world.

Do you need to be playing Pokémon Go on the bus? Probably not.

How to unplug from your phone

Unplugging from technology sounds pretty easy at first but requires, like anything else, a degree of discipline. We’ll talk about some ways you can start unplugging from technology.

Start with an audit

We recommend starting with an audit of your cell phone habits. Most phones these days have a built-in way to give you a brief synopsis of your screen time. If you want to get a bit more detailed rundown, we recommend Moment or Flipd, two apps that help you get a sense of just how much you’re on your phone in a day.

It’s simple enough but numbers can be powerful. Once you have an idea of how often you’re checking your phone, you can start to work on lowering those numbers.

Tell your friends and family

It’s all about owning it. Let people around you know that you’re trying to unplug by using your phone less. Odds are they’ll be pretty supportive and maybe even join in. The more the merrier.

Leave your phone at home

We love leaving our phones behind for short walks, when we’re running errands and when we’re out with family and friends. It can feel pretty liberating. When we’re out with people we know, if an emergency comes up where we need a phone, we know one won’t be far away.

Cell phone etiquette

Remember the basics. Don’t check your phone when you’re talking to someone. Leave it behind if you’ve got one-on-one time with a friend, colleague or family member. Try being in the moment. Whatever’s happening on Facebook can wait.

It’s also worth reinforcing some self-control when it comes to cell phone etiquette at work. Don’t bring your phone to meetings. If your place of work has a no phone policy when you’re on the floor or helping customers, you can get ahead of those impulses by leaving your phone locked in a safe place.

Wi-Fi only. For real.

No cheating and no take-backsies. If your aim is to scale back rather than unplug, try only using the Internet on your phone when you’re on Wi-Fi. That means downloading music for offline use in advance if you use a streaming app and no checking Instagram or Twitter while you’re commuting to work.

You could save on your bill by using your phone less

Again, totally worth mentioning, if you want a plan that rewards you for using less mobile data, check out Ting Mobile’s Flex plan. Starting at just $10/mo, you get unlimited talk and text and pay for the data you use at $5 per GB. So by dedicating yourself to pretty much only using Wi-Fi gets you an incredibly low phone bill. No matter your needs, one of our plans will no doubt save you money.