Used properly, a mobile device has the potential to enrich your life in many ways. It can provide you immediate advice from friends and family, it can allow you to consult websites before making decisions, it can let you capture great photos to last a lifetime of memories or exciting videos with which to entertain. Yet for all this, too many fall into the trap of not quite using their mobile devices to the fullest, often leaving them distracted and not fully present in the moment at hand.
So how do you get the most out of your mobile device without it using you?
Here are 5 simple tips to help make sure you don’t find yourself at the mercy of your mobile.
1. Get Rid of Useless Notifications
Here we’re using the word “useless” in a way many people might not agree with. But just think about it: how many notifications do you really need to get from your mobile? The list of actual necessities is pretty short: incoming call, text message, essential e-mail addresses. That is probably about it. Do you really need, on your average day out, to be bombarded with notifications from Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a dozen other services?
As awesome as it is that mobile devices can connect us in this way, it is also important to take a step back and realize that constantly checking your phone separates you from the task at hand. So disable frivolous notifications and keep your focus on what is going on. Plus, you’ll find it much more satisfying when you get a chance to check those services and find them bustling with new messages and content.
2.Go Old School (Sometimes)
The great thing about your mobile device is that it can do everything: from taking notes to taking pictures, finding your way around an unfamiliar town, recording a video of your friend skateboarding or jamming on her guitar, or as a great way to play a few quick video games. All of this utility also means a lot of focus put on these devices for people who rely on them heavily, which can mean a huge amount of time immersed in the digital world.
While getting a lot of use from your mobile phone is wonderful, it is good to part with it sometimes! Consider keeping a paper note pad for certain note taking projects, or maybe even reach for a specialized camera when it comes to taking photos.
3.Don’t Browse the Web
This is sort of an arbitrary rule – really, more of a general guideline. But the idea is well founded: the internet is a limitless source of information, entertainment, and above all, distraction. Unless you have good reason to look something up, why bother browsing the web on your phone? Not only is web browsing more effectively accomplished on a larger screen, you are almost certainly widdling away time and isolating yourself from your environment. Chronic mobile web browsing is a great way to always be that guy staring at his phone – no fun at parties.
4.Enjoy the Scene
A problem long known to veteran cameramen is becoming more and more common to the everyday man: you don’t properly experience something if you’re looking at it through a lens. There is some sort of disconnect from the experience necessary to the act of photography or filming, which sort of removes the cameraman from the scene in a way, isolating him in his own reality. Concerned with setting up the shot, hitting this button or that, it suddenly becomes a secondary measure to enjoy the experience which is worth photographing.
Be it at a rock concert or on a family hiking trip, it is worth considering if you should really be spending your time snapping pictures on your smart phone. Just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should, and a moment you want to cherish might be better spent immersed in the experience at hand than trying to capture it digitally.
5.Turn it Off!
For some people, the idea of turning off their phone at all – for an hour, for a minute – is crazy talk. Yet I think it is good from time to time to simply get away from it all together. Just turn it off for a few hours and relax, enjoy the day without worrying about your device. Your mind will enjoy the relaxation.
We love mobiles as much as the next guy, but all good things should be used in moderation! Don’t let your mobile mess with your life. Keep these 5 simple tips in mind the next time you feel like your smart phone is dominating your day.