Smartphone addiction is a real thing, and it can lead to reduced quality of personal relationships and lack of productivity in daily life. Besides the wasted time, several studies have concluded that that spending too much time on your phone is bad for your focus and mental health. Researchers are still trying to figure out what long-term effects channeling so much time and energy into our devices will cause. America’s obsession with smartphones has even been compared to the obesity epidemic. That’s because, just like drug or gambling addictions, smartphones provide an escape from reality.
Well, people average three hours a day on their phones. In the pre-smartphone era that number was just 18 minutes. Do you know how often you use your smartphone? Apple’s new feature called Screen Time, tracks usage and sets parameters for how long you use certain apps. Check it out and find out if you are an addict, too!
Turn off as many push notifications as possible
You don’t need to be interrupted by every “like” that your latest Instagram picture receives or with the message that your favorite podcast just released a new episode. A simple way to cut down on distractions is to turn off push notifications for as many apps as you can. Just head to Settings > Notifications to control your preferences.
Get an “old school” alarm clock
While it may be tempting to reach for your phone first thing in the morning, especially if your phone is the thing that woke you up, you can reduce the temptation and decrease the risk of expensive smartphone ‘accidents’ by dropping $10 on a real alarm clock.
Make meals a phone-free zone
There’s nothing wrong with using the technology available to us. But when our smartphone usage interferes with our health and relationships with others, that’s when it becomes a problem. There’s a time and place to use devices and, more importantly, times to put them away.
Stop pointless internet browsing
Are you habituated to spend time on internet and pointless browsing? Do you google every 2–3 minutes at several topics.
Avoiding that, will reduce significantly smartphone usage. Your phone has email, texting, Facebook, and Instagram. You know what else it has? A countdown timer. Maybe that should be the first step in your next ludic loop.
You don’t break habits. You replace them.
When we want to get rid of one bad habit, we have to eject another good habit in our life to replace the old one. When you sit on the couch, make sure the phone is far away and a book is within reach. So now you’re not just gritting your teeth trying to not check your phone. You’re substituting a good habit for the bad one. Above all else, remember to be patient; no addiction, be it to a substance or to a phone, can be broken overnight. Small, consistent steps are the key towards overall success, and trying to go cold turkey without a phone will only infuriate you.