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How to unplug: it starts with your phone

Why unplug?

Between email, social media and texts, too often our phones can feel more like a source of stress than a utility meant to make our lives easier. If you find yourself compulsively checking your phone or you just want to cut back, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to talk about how to unplug from your phone.

It might seem odd that Ting (being a mobile service provider) would talk about unplugging and cell phone overuse here on the blog. It’s no secret that using your phone less means you’ll spend less on Ting. Especially when you use less mobile data. With our service, you pay for what you use. Every month, Ting customers use their phones however they want. Then at the end of the month, they pay a fair price for what they used.

A lot of Ting customers have found reducing their mobile habits helps them live in the moment. Many of them found that reducing their cell phone use wasn’t actually that much of a burden at all.

Is cell phone addiction real?

Call it what you want, cell phone dependency or cell phone addiction, we all know that person who can’t put their phone down for even a few minutes. Cell phone addiction solutions range from going cold turkey to switching to a flip phone to deleting games and social media off your phone altogether.

Ting comes with the ability to set caps and alerts on individual phones. You can limit and restrict your teen’s screen time by capping their texts, minutes and data. Think of these as your own unplugging parental controls.

What is unplugging?

Unplugging is a growing movement all about disconnecting, or taking a timeout from tech. Whether it’s your Facebook feed, your work computer or binge-watching Netflix, you might want to give unplugging a try.

Starting with your phone feels like a manageable step to reducing unnecessary screen time. Let’s face it, most of our day feels like it’s tied to tech, and working without a computer is, for many, unimaginable. But a lot of cell phone use tends to be a kind of “cherry on top” of an already highly connected world.

Do you need to be playing Pokémon Go on the bus? Probably not.

How to unplug from your phone

Unplugging from technology sounds pretty easy at first but requires, like anything else, a degree of discipline. We’ll talk about some ways you can start unplugging from technology.

Start with an audit

We recommend starting with an audit of your cell phone habits. There are a few ways you can do this, but we recommend Checky or Moment, two apps that help you get a sense of just how much you’re on your phone in a day.

It’s simple enough but numbers can be powerful. Once you have an idea of how often you’re checking your phone, you can start to work on lowering your score.

Tell your friends and family

It’s all about owning it. Let people around you know that you’re trying to unplug by using your phone less. Odds are they’ll be pretty supportive and maybe even join in. The more the merrier.

Leave your phone at home

We love leaving our phones behind for short walks, when we’re running errands and when we’re out with family and friends. It can feel pretty liberating. When we’re out with people we know, if an emergency comes up where we need a phone, we know one won’t be far away.

Cell phone etiquette

Remember the basics. Don’t check your phone when you’re talking to someone. Leave it behind if you’ve got one-on-one time with a friend, colleague or family member. Try being in the moment. Whatever’s happening on Facebook can wait.

It’s also worth reinforcing some self-control when it comes to cell phone etiquette at work. Don’t bring your phone to meetings. If your place of work has a no phone policy when you’re on the floor or helping customers, you can get ahead of those impulses by leaving your phone locked in a safe place.

Wi-Fi only. For real.

No cheating and no take-backsies. If your aim is to scale back rather than unplug, try only using the Internet on your phone when you’re on Wi-Fi. That means downloading music for offline use in advance if you use a streaming app and no checking Instagram or Twitter while you’re commuting to work.

Again, totally worth mentioning, if you don’t use any data on Ting you don’t pay for any data. You’re only charged for what you use. A no-data cell phone bill could be under $20/mo with Ting.

The Ting dashboard lets you set caps and alerts on your data so you can get a little reminder when you start to approach your limit and scale back.

Want to use your phone less?

If you already embrace unplugging, that’s awesome. Lots of people opt for flip phones or try to reduce their usage in general so they can save.

Ready to scale back your phone use? You could save on your bill too. Try Ting and see how much you could save.

See what you could save

See what you could save

Ting Mobile’s unique pay for what you use approach saves people a lot of money. See what you’d save.

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