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Breaking up with my phone

Stuck at home with her screen time out of control, Hanna Hanra knew it was time to break the vicious scrolling cycle. She shares her journey towards a healthier phone relationship

During the first lockdown back in the spring, I found myself, like most Britons, leaning on my phone more than usual. Stuck at home it provided a much-needed window to the outside world. Except that outside world was pretty bleak and watching it crumble did not spark joy. I realised that the longer I laid in bed scrolling endlessly through my circuit of social media apps, the worse mood I would find myself in that day.

My screen time was out of control — like eight hours a day out of control. I couldn’t tell you one thing I looked at or learned in that time. But this wasn’t the worst of my issues. I was waking up at 3.40am every morning for no apparent reason and I required my digital pacifier: I was only able to return to sleep by taking my phone and basking in its blue light, silently scrolling through the online ‘image sharing community’, Imgur.

“I could keep checking and giving myself little addictive hits of dopamine, thrilled that the likes and comments were flooding my sad, tired brain with a feel-good drug”

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“I made strict rules for unfollowing. Unless I cared for them in real life, they were gone”

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“Your phone is designed to be addictive. It encourages digital tics, contributes to anxiety and physically changes the way your brain works, making it harder to form lateral and creative thoughts”

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