Taking Your Life Back
Holding on to things. How many of us do this? I know I did. I don’t even know why. Opening my closets last year would reveal old flyers, magazines, clothes and shoes I never wear, old toiletries, and tons more. It took quite a few people and a few weeks to finally free myself from everything I was holding on to. And you know what? It felt amazing.
In the smartphone era, there are two types of people: the ones who like an empty inbox, and those who have hundreds or thousands of unreads. I find that the people with tons of unread messages also usually still have their notifications turned on for social media — Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pop up regularly, causing them to look at their phone as often as a couple times per minute. That is way too distracting. Who controls your life? You or your social media feedback?
As soon as I got my first iPhone four years ago, the first feature I utilized was Do Not Disturb, which allows you to silence any app notifications, as well as calls and alerts. Turning off my social media notifications made opening those apps more enjoyable. That way, I can see everything at one time, not all the time.
That means I check my phone on my time. Not everyone else’s. I know most people think immediately, “What if there is an emergency?” But I have found that there usually isn’t, and looking at my phone when I’m ready — not driving or having a conversation with someone else — can be very redeeming.
It also has a setting that allows calls from certain people, which ensures that you’re still reachable in the event that there is actually a family crisis, or an issue at work. Just add the people you always want to hear from, if any, to a group in your contacts. Then, in the Do Not Disturb menu, you can “Allow Calls From” and select that group or just add your favorites. The feature also allows for repeated calls to come through, so a second or multiple calls from the same person within three minutes will not be silenced. If someone is repeatedly calling, it must be important, right? (Or if somebody is just overly persistent, don’t add them to your list.)
There are tools to help lessen the load of your unread messages as well, the main one being your Keep Messages option in the Messages settings. The default is to keep everything forever — but pictures, video and group texts can quickly take up all the storage on your phone. Once you accept that you really don’t need all those texts, you can change that option from Forever to one year or even for just 30 days.
It’s hard to let go sometimes, but after you do, you’ll realize that it’s actually a beautiful thing — and now you have more room for the things that truly make you happy.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII. HER NIGHTLIFE BLOG SUPERCITY RUNS EVERY WEDNESDAY ON HONOLULUPULSE.COM