Rev Spanky brings you unexpected wisdom, just when you didn’t realise you needed it most!
Next week is that strange time of a student’s year called “Study Break”. Study break is a bit like a holiday that’s having an identity crisis: “study” and “break” seem like two entirely different words that – like banana thickshakes and anchovies – don’t really belong together.
And as it turns out, using the Study Break week,can well turn out to be harder than many students think. The cocktail of exam pressure, a lecture free timetable, and Netflix can make it hard to keep on task while maintaining healthy rhythms.
So here’s a crazy suggestion that might just do the trick : Go on a cell phone diet.
Stop! Don’t Go! Hear me out!
At the start of this year I took a few months off (we’d just had a baby) and I noticed that I was pretty much addicted to constantly looking at my cell phone. I would be walking along a gorgeous Golden Bay beach, and suddenly discover my hand automatically slipped into my pocket, and instead of enjoying the sunset in front of me, I’d be looking at photos of other people enjoying that same sunset. Apparently the average person checks their phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 minutes. Clearly I’m a pretty average kinda guy.
So after much soul searching I decided to get ruthless. Really ruthless. First I deleted my Twitter app, then Facebook, then Snapchat, then Instagram. And then I just started to leave my phone plugged into the wall (A bit like this thing your parents used to have called a “Landline”). That way I only looked at it when I actually wanted to. And to my surprise… I instantly became a happier, more present, more engaged, less anxious, less distracted person! It was so dramatic my wife could tell if I’d been looking at my phone due to my distant mood change!
As recent research is starting to see, some of the ways we use social media can be pretty bad for our mental health .
So this Study Break, why not try a radical experiment and go on a cell phone diet for the week? You’ll study better, be happier, and you’ll get to enjoy sunsets in the flesh. #Nofilter.
Rev Spanky Moore – Senior Chaplain at the Dept of Spiritual Engineering