Smartphones have, no doubt, been beneficial to us in many ways. A device that has totally changed how we communicate. It’s small enough to fit into the pocket, allows you to communicate with practically anyone on the surface of the earth, take incredible pictures, and access the collective data of individuals, really amazing!
But just like any magical object, the power smartphone wields can be very consuming that all you want to do is to stare at its glowing, little screen. That’s the point, where the obsession with social media goes from harmless fun to invading your life, which could be detrimental to every aspect of one’s life.
Below are 5 techniques to consider to help break your smartphone addiction.
Turn off notifications
Getting pings from Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook and the rest could be very distracting and you can’t help but check, and notifications are one of the major causes of smartphone addictions. To ease yourself of that temptation of always clinging to your phone at every given opportunity, turn off the notifications for those ‘addictive’ apps, where all you’ll be doing is replying to comments, re-tweets, mentions etc, and take the time to do something more valuable.
Turn off cellular data and wifi
Even at times when you switch off notifications, there’s a possibility you’ll still crave to pick up the phone to check your email or other apps. Customize the settings on your phone and make the settings dumb temporarily for a certain period of time. Switch off the cellular data and wifi, as it will be easier for you to make calls or send a simple message.
Remove certain Apps to make your Smartphone dumber
Many social media apps like Instagram or Facebook, provide notifications seemingly for every time someone breathes, which is technically the sort of distraction that causes phone addiction initially.
To break away from this vicious cycle, make your smartphone dumber by removing certain apps that
- encourage distracted thinking
- That occupies your mind so much that you are chatting with someone but can’t help glancing to check your phone, and most importantly,
- apps that don’t provide any significant improvement to your life.
If you sit down and honestly evaluate each app on your phone, you’ll realize that perhaps 20% of them provide the significance you need, while the remaining 80% are extremely habit forming and at best slightly entertaining.
Ditch the smartphone
If you notice that you can’t help the temptation of checking Twitter every 10 minutes or check to see the latest update of who beat you on another level of Candy Crush, then the solution you need might be more than deleting the social apps, it’s time to ditch your smartphone and give social media a break. This tactic is perfect because taking a step back can clear your mind, and help you develop actionable steps to tackle the addiction. You should buy a standard mobile phone, this way you still have access to a phone line, in case of an emergency.
Monitor your smartphone use
If you’re struggling with ditching your smartphone completely, alternatively, make a conscious effort in paying attention to the number of times per hour you check the phone. This will help increase your awareness about any addiction you might have to your smartphone. Consciously, limit your phone use to specific times of the day to allow you engage in other things. Additionally, to help monitor your smartphone use, you can download apps that would help you curb your addiction.
For instance, the Windows, iOS and Android app Forest will reward you for not touching your phone. Check out a list of apps to help you track your smartphone use.
Forest (iOS, Android, Windows)
Freedom (Windows, iOS, Android)
Productivity Challenge Timer (Android)
Becky Onoise is a psychologist, chocolate junkie, and puppy lover. A writer who is sorry... not sorry about correcting your grammar. She's a word enthusiast and aims to achieve her goals. Instagram handle @mz_berkey