Beauty and Fashion

This Year, Treat Yourself to the Gift of a Phone-Free Christmas

This Year, Treat Yourself to the Gift of a Phone-Free Christmas

We’ve all done it: thumbed through Instagram on Christmas day and thought… I had no idea that person was so wealthy. There they are, in their giant family townhouse that they never mentioned, with their towering, glitteringly chic Christmas tree and an iPhone 15 for each child. And then you scroll to the next post and it’s someone with their partner of a decade, hand in hand, smiles so bright they could actually electrify a person. And then the next is someone’s celebration of being seven years sober, when you’re on your third Baileys of the morning. You may have been having a great time before, but by the time you put your phone down, you actually feel quite sick.

Christmas, more than any other period, fosters tons of pointless comparison. This is because—aside from those who don’t celebrate Christmas—everybody is broadly expected to do the same thing (eat loads of food, exchange presents, spend time with loved ones). Except, everybody’s Christmas looks different. Some people are closer to their families, while others are estranged. Some are wifed up, while others have been single for years. Some have tighter budgets, while others have only ever heard the words “cost-of-living crisis” on the news. But we wouldn’t know about any of these differences if we weren’t sharing and absorbing each other’s every move. Without sounding too “old man yells at cloud,” phones around the festive period have done us no favors.

The more you think about it, the stronger the argument is for simply chucking your phone down a well for the second half of December. One day last week, my screen time clocked up to just over eight hours, which is a truly horrifying number. Eight hours of my day spent staring at a tiny plastic screen, at others’ lives and opinions—that’s more hours than there is daylight currently. But if ever there were a time to log off and pay attention to what’s right in front of you, it’s now. Your 92-year-old grandmother won’t be around forever and, in just a few years, all those excited kids will become cynical adults. I want to remember everyone’s faces in the present moment—not some random stranger on the internet doing a GRWM video.

Avoiding your phone is easier said than done, obviously. Christmas can be difficult for a lot of people, and scrolling TikTok or chatting to friends can offer some much-needed light relief. Time also tends to stretch out in weird ways—that empty period between Christmas and the New Year can feel huge, cavernous. Plus, are you really enjoying a classic and satisfyingly crappy Christmas movie if you’re not also scrolling at the same time? There’s something to be said for allowing yourself to do whatever you want in those last few days of the year, whether that’s mainlining chocolate liqueurs or replying “slay” to everyone’s Christmas party outfits on IG stories.

That said, there are definitely methods of distraction that don’t involve squinting at a screen until your eyes hurt. A “Boxing Day swim” might sound like a sick and twisted joke, but I promise it’ll shock that hangover right out of you (failing that, a Boxing Day walk can help you reap similar rewards). Taking photos on an actual camera can also be a great way to document the day. Social media photos only last as long as a platform decides they can, whereas physical pictures can last a lifetime.

When it comes down to it, the main reason that I want to avoid my phone until the New Year is that I spend so much time online the other 11 and a half months of the year. Other than the occasional holiday, this is the only moment in which I can genuinely give my brain a break from the relentless noise of the internet, of strangers, of things we never would have known about 15 years ago. Most people I speak to say a similar thing: they’re online all of the time, but they don’t necessarily want to be. The festive season is the one time of the year in which—unless you’re working—you don’t have to be online. Ignoring your phone can make it feel like an actual break, as opposed to a few days masquerading as one.

Realistically, of course, I don’t have the kind of mega willpower to get me from eight hours of daily screen time to absolutely none. And I like seeing my friends’ nice little outfits and variations on their Christmas dinners. (Who makes bread sauce? Who’s having roast beef instead of turkey? Whose roasted potatoes are crisped to perfection?) But there is probably no good reason to spend my entire Boxing Day watching TikTok clips of other people’s Christmas holidays when, actually, my own is right here, just waiting to be enjoyed.

Written by
Jackson Fashionista

Greetings, fashionistas! I'm Jackson, setting trends and redefining beauty in the world of fashion. Join me in exploring the latest styles, beauty tips, and the art of expressing individuality through fashion. Let's make every day a stylish adventure!

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