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Are you in a healthy relationship ... with your phone?

Do you ever find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours on end? Replacing face-to-face time with FaceTime? Or even texting your mum to ask what’s for tea when she’s in the next room? Having a healthy relationship with social media is not always easy, but that is why we need to work even harder to maintain one.

In the digital marketing industry, it is very easy for us to become obsessed with our phones and we often use our jobs as an excuse to spend excessive amounts of time on them. From the minute we wake up, to the second we fall asleep, our phone barely leaves our sight. Don’t get me wrong, there are many positive benefits of social media and inevitably, my job wouldn’t exist without it. So, how does our relationship develop into an unhealthy one?

We were on a break!

We care a lot about the relationships we have with other people, but we often neglect the relationship we have with ourselves. Like any relationship, you never want to feel like you’re not good enough or that you are competing with someone else. Yet we spend hours comparing ourselves to other people on Instagram, etc. So, what should you do? Take a break! Give your eyes a rest. And reconnect with the human world around you.

Build A Wall for Fake News

The best thing to remember is that not everything we see on social media is real, posts are often perfectly manufactured for a specific purpose making it “fake news”. Quite often, the people behind the screen are struggling with similar problems like you and me, so it’s important to remind yourself that it is just a post. A post can’t and won’t represent someone’s entire life or what happens behind the scenes. But, if there is someone you envy for their lifestyle, achievements, etc., instead of spiralling into a pit of never-ending self-comparison, use their success as motivation towards your own goals.

Find Your Inner Disney World

Alternatively, block or unfollow any accounts that consistently cause you self-doubt and general unhappiness. Replace them with positive quote accounts or fill your feed with cute pictures of puppies. Whatever it is that makes you smile, turn your timeline into your very own, personalised ‘happy place’.

The Limit Does Not Exist?

Another important way to measure your relationship, is to measure your screen time. It isn’t realistic, especially in this industry, to just delete all social media accounts or log out for weeks at a time. Therefore, we have to limit our time online that’s limiting our time alone. If only there were tools out there already that could help us with this…

Luckily, Apple has tools installed on its latest devices that can help us to detach. Screen Time (in Settings) shows your daily and weekly iPhone usage. It even categorises your time into entertainment, social networking, creativity, etc. A high screen time doesn’t always reflect a negative online relationship. It could be that you’re watching your favourite Netflix show or reading a new book on your morning commute. Instead of studying the analytics for your company, pause and analyse yourself, evaluate your time and consider what is making you happy and unhappy.

Relationships are complicated and never easy; it’s being able to balance your time and ensuring self-care that makes a strong and healthy relationship...with your phone.

Rebecca James

Tangent Design

Cohort 25

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