Serial Scroller? Here’s What You Can Do
Let’s face it – a lot of us are genuinely addicted to our phones. It’s the first thing we reach for in the morning and scrolling is the last thing we do before bed. If you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media or other online content without being able to stop, you may be a “serial scroller”. What we are actually addicted to is the dopamine release when we come across something interesting or funny online; dopamine being the hormone that makes us experience feelings of happiness. Also, just a personal observation, most of us are also addicted to constant stimulation and find it hard to be still, to focus on one thing or just be bored, for example, scrolling on Twitter whilst watching YouTube and eating a meal.
If you’re like me and your phone is your source of happiness, here are some tips that may help you break the habit:
Set a limit on your phone. Decide on a specific amount of time you are willing to spend on social media or scrolling through online content. Set a limit through your settings or use an app to help you stick to your limit. Certain apps will become inaccessible after a certain time and you’ll manually have to disable the limit to get back on there, decreasing the urge to scroll.
Turning off notifications on social media apps will aid in avoiding getting distracted by constant alerts and messages online. If you need your phone for work or something else important, set do not disturb at certain times, I recommend doing it during your night routine to help you wind down before bed.
Try going for a walk, reading a book, or doing something else that you enjoy offline. Taking up a daily hobby may be hard at first, but studies say you can form a new habit in twenty-one days. Stick at it for a month and be intentional about getting better, you’ll see the results in no time!
Unfollow and unsubscribe from accounts or email newsletters that you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through. Perhaps it’s time to let go of that meme page or TikTok account that has 103 parts to a movie, we’re all guilty of it, but endlessly scrolling can take precious hours out of your day.
Eat a dopamine-rich diet! Get your dose of dopamine from what you eat instead. Cooking something rewarding will take the time away from your phone and occupy your mind by learning a new culinary skill or recipe. Some great additions to your diet are:
– More protein-rich foods such as unprocessed chicken, beef, turkey, eggs and legumes
– Omega-3-rich fish
– Nuts and seeds
– Dark chocolate
Ironically, many TikTok videos advise you turn off the colour filter in your phone settings to black and white. This decreases the amount of dopamine released as it isn’t as pleasurable or rewarding – the same reason babies and children are always encouraged to be around bright colours, it’s stimulating.
At the end of the day, many of us live on our phones due to multiple life appliances being on our smartphones. Alarms, documents, emails, maps, notes, music on one device – and the list goes on. This centralisation around one device adds to our need to constantly scroll, so investing in and utilising the following appliances may help to decrease the reliance on your phone:
1. A good old-fashioned alarm clock.
2. Exclusively using your computer or laptop to do work/school when possible.
3. A DVD, CD/record player, MP3 player or iPod
4. A notepad
5. A non-smartwatch
6. A camera
Let us know if you end up implementing any of these tips and how your journey to phone freedom is on our socials (@shopkem_)!