Have you ever thought about what life was like before cell phones? We obviously all lived it, but it seems so foreign to me. I got to thinking a lot about it recently because of the new iPhone software update – it indicated that I was spending 3-4 hours a day on Instagram….“how insane,” I thought and what a complete waste of time. I realized I was spending a lot of my down time looking on my phone instead of living in the moment.
The irony is, I dreamt up Sage House when I was recovering from my concussion and unable to be on my phone, computer, or tv for six whole weeks. It made me realize then how nice it was to be disconnected from the world for a bit. As I recovered and spent the last year thinking about where Sage House could go, I realized I had been struggling with showcasing my life and feeling like I had to take perfect photos of what I was doing or eating every day. I was comparing myself to all of those beautiful Instagram accounts that are flawless, and it spiked my anxiety through the roof. It made me realize that isn’t real life and it doesn’t work for me, so why do it?
For the last couple of weeks, I have limited myself to only spending half an hour on Instagram each day. I can tell you this: my anxiety has subsided, and I have really been living in the moment by enjoying what I’m eating, being present with friends over dinner, or having nice conversations with my husband while we sit on the couch and enjoy a glass of wine, instead of scrolling through my phone.
He and I would get into a habit of getting into bed and then we’d both be on our phones scrolling through Instagram when we should be talking about our days, reading, or unwinding. I noticed I would have trouble sleeping because I was thinking about what I’d missed out on that day, or what I should post the next morning. Did I have time to make a beautiful breakfast that I could put on Instagram? My overnight oats aren’t exactly Instagram worthy.
Not only do our brains start to spiral thinking about these kinds of things but it’s proven that the screen time before bed stimulates the brain and keeps us awake because the blue light on the phone signals to our brains that is still daytime.
For the last year, I have gotten in the habit of turning my phone on airplane mode when I sleep because cell phones emit radio frequency energy while they are sending and receiving signals from cell towers. Cell phones haven’t been around long enough for us to fully know if they are seriously hazardous to our health, but they have been said to be linked to long term health effects such as brain cancer & tumors. I figure, it’s wise to take precaution, because we don’t know the real effects phones could have on us so why mess with that?
The biggest take away I had from lessening my cell phone use was really enjoying my surroundings and taking in life instead of letting it pass by getting down on myself for not making more progress that day or having a perfect looking life. None of that matters – what matters is that you are living life to the fullest and enjoying every second of it because life is so precious, and we often take it for granted.