Wasting Too Much Time on Your Phone? Tips to Regain Control—and Feel Better
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Wasting Too Much Time on Your Phone? Tips to Regain Control—and Feel Better

Spending hours each day scrolling social media can cause as much irritation as an overgrown lawn. But there’s a lot you can do to improve the experience.

By RAE WITTE
Thu, May 23, 2024 9:13amGrey Clock 2 min

We don’t always realize how many hours we’re spending on social media, racking up excessive screen time, and how it’s affecting us. Yet the act of online scrolling through news or other content that makes one feel sad, anxious, angry or worse, has become so common, it’s been given a name: doomscrolling .

Even if you’re not ready to delete your social media apps, you can  take control  of how you use them. Instead of simply letting yourself track catastrophes on X, feel FOMO while watching your friends hang out without you on Instagram, compare your bodies to those of dancing TikTokers, or feel professional jealousy toward former co-workers on LinkedIn, try these tips.

Change How You Engage

Michelle Mouhtis, a licensed therapist and social worker based in Red Bank, N.J., who specialises in counselling millennials, says passive scrolling can quickly land you in a “compare and despair” trap.

Her advice: Be more deliberate with your content consumption. Rather than doomscrolling to avoid emotions, or put off sleep, devote screen time to learning a new skill via YouTube, more information about a topic you care about or connecting with a new community.

Curate Your Content

Carefully consider how the accounts you follow affect you. If the content you’re seeing triggers envy or a sense that you don’t measure up, know that most social media apps allow you to mute people and certain topics, stopping them from appearing entirely or a lot less frequently. You don’t even have to unfriend someone to avoid their content.

Track Your Timing

Get familiar with your phone’s “Screen Time” features. Most phones will provide data on how you use them, including the number of times you pick them up each day. Both Apple and Android users can set limits on your screen time for specific apps in the settings.

Although you can override the prompt that pulls the plug and keep scrolling, Mouhtis said the alert still helps. “Having that added step, where you have to manually allow another 15 minutes slows you down.”

Delete, Delete, Delete

Just because you’ve downloaded an app once, doesn’t mean it has to be on your home screen forever. If you find that using any given app at specific times of the year (like the holidays) triggers unhealthy thought loops, delete it from your phone. You can always download it again.

For apps you decide to keep, Mouhtis recommends turning notifications off. Your “likes” will still be there even if you aren’t notified of them in real time. You can also turn off all notifications by using the “Do Not Disturb” function.

Put the Phone Down

Much of social media engagement—Instagram “likes,” LinkedIn shares and the ping of a DM notification—cause our brains to produce dopamine. The chemical is associated with temporary bursts of pleasure, says Mouhtis, unlike serotonin, which is linked to longer-lasting feelings of happiness.

To avoid the chase of that high, take on things that make it physically impossible to scroll. Offline activities like cooking, crocheting, biking and rollerblading suit this purpose, but even an episode of a TV show, Mouhtis points out, ends eventually, unlike your TikTok or Instagram feeds’ infinite scroll.



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A ‘cheeky’ seat takes out the top prize at Australia’s Next Top Designers Awards

A cash prize from Kanebridge Quarterly magazine, offered for the first time this year, drew a record number of entries for the design competition

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Mon, Jun 17, 2024 2 min

A versatile stool with a sense of fun took out the top prize at the Australia’s Next Top Designers awards at Design Show Australia last week.

The ‘Cheeky’ stool designed by Maryam Moghadam was the unanimous winner among the judging panel, which included Kanebridge Quarterly magazine Editor in Chief, Robyn Willis, Workshopped Creative Director Olaf Sialkowski, Design Show event organiser, Andrew Vaughan and Creative Director at Flexmirror Australia, Matt Angus.

Designed as an occasional stool or side table, the Cheeky stool comes in a range of skin tones. The judges applauded its commercial applications, its flexibility to work in a range of environments, and its sense of play.

In accepting the $10,000 prize, designer Maryam Moghadam quipped she was pleased to see ‘other people find bums as funny as I do’. A finalist at last year’s awards, Moghadam will put the prize money towards bringing her product to market.

Winner Maryam Moghadam said the $10,000 prize money would be put towards developing her product further for market.

Australia’s Next Top Designers is in its fourth year, but this is the first year a cash prize has been offered. Kanebridge Quarterly magazine has put up the prize money to support the next generation of emerging industrial design talent in Australia.

Editor in Chief Robyn Willis said the cash prize offered the winner the opportunity to put the money towards whatever aspect of their business it would most benefit.

“That might be prototyping their product further, spending on marketing, or simply paying for travel or even childcare expenses to allow the designer to focus on their work and take it to the next stage,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be supporting this design program and nurturing emerging design in a very practical way.”

The Coralescence lamps from the Tide Pool series by Suzy Syme and Andrew Costa had strong commercial applications, the judges said.
The Mass lamp by Dirk Du Toit is crafted from FSC-certified oak or walnut.

Two finalists were also awarded ‘highly commended’ by the judges — Mass lamp by Dirk Du Toit and the Coralescence lights from Suzy Syme and Andrew Costa at Tide Pool Designs. The judges agreed both products were beautifully resolved from a design perspective, as well as having strong commercial applications in residential and hospitality design. 

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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