There’s no denying the fact that we live in a world that’s addicted to technology… our phones in particular. (Long) gone are the days when their primary use was texting, playing snake and god forbid actually making a phone call, and now we use them far more for double tapping, swiping right and ‘gramming. While the intelligence of these devices is unparalleled and incredibly handy, our dependence and addiction to them has posed one recurring question… are our smartphones making us dumber?
Try as we might, but our phones aren’t to blame, we are and this compulsive need to keep checking back to see how many ‘likes’ our latest post has received or how our friends are spending their Saturday night on Snapchat could be detrimental to both our social and emotional intelligence. So instead of habitually scrolling your life away, try actively altering the way you use your phone and put your mental energy to good use!
Download brain games
The next time you catch yourself picking up your phone for yet another mindless scroll through Facebook or Instagram (I can almost guarantee nothing will have changed since you caught up on the meme tagging train half an hour ago), stop yourself and open one of these apps instead and retrain that beautiful brain! Brain games like Lumosity, Fit Brains and Elevate have been developed by neuroscientists and test and tune memory, focus and cognitive function, while apps like Owl and Quizlet are easy and effective ways to learn a whole host of new facts and information that will leave you the envy of everyone at trivia.
Manage your time and finances
Much like taxes and trips to the dentist, budgeting and getting on top of your finances is one of those unavoidable and inevitable parts of life, but in turn, it’s also one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself (nothing will make you feel like more of an adult). The good news is, you no longer have to do the walk of shame after being shamed by your accountant for spending a house deposit on iced-long blacks (guilty) and financial freedom can be yours literally at the tips of your fingers! Apps like Goodbudget and BillGuard will turn you into an organisation station by helping you keep track of your spending by linking to your accounts to hold you accountable to your budget. For the beginner budgeter, apps like Wally are perfect as it focuses solely on your spending vs saving ratio which can be horrifically confronting initially, but think of it as short term pain for long term gain!
Tune into your body
Girls, raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to understand and tune into your cycle a little better? Not sure when you’re going to get your period? Trying to decode your cravings? Don’t understand why the ad for toilet paper just made you cry? You’re definitely not alone on this one, and the sheer number of hormone tracking apps out there is case in point. Clue and Hormone Horoscope will help you understand your cycle and moods while apps like My Fitness Pal, Fooducate and the Lorna Jane App will help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals by tracking your progress and keeping you accountable.