To start this article, I want to say that I am NOT above this at all. I actually have to be very mindful too when it comes to my own smartphone use. If I don’t want to become too attached especially when you guys leave me comments and I notice it has me reaching for my phone a lot more lately. Now don’t stop leaving me comments but just to say that I know what it’s like.
Those people on the streets that are glued to their phone and not paying attention to what’s going on around them at all and most people actually claim that they need their phones instead of wanting them and this has led to a term called nomophobia (the fear of being without your phone). Now I’ve done some research and depending on the source, I found that we spend much on our phone. So that’s about 20% to a third of our wakeful time and we are constantly engaged and these numbers keep on increasing still and people report. They kind of feel guilty about this and not really understanding why they’re spending so much time on their phone but honestly they say that they almost cannot help themselves.
Causes to Break this Addiction
Smartphones are bad of course or that spending time on your phone is bad smartphones are of course in no way exclusively bad for us and they’ve also been part of some pretty positive changes in the world. So I’m not trying to be negative here in any way but I am saying that we can be a bit more mindful of our own smartphone use and try to protect ourselves a little bit better because there’s also no doubt about some of the negative effects it has on us as well research shows that technology has an impact on our memory, our concentration, our mood and our sleep. It also affects our posture and our eyesight and another interesting thing that they found was that people who spend lots of time on their phone are less sociable in real life and are less likely to help others they feel like they’re already getting their social connection fixed via their phone and that’s why they seek it less in real life.
why are smartphones so addictive now?
There are companies that are working very hard to keep us on our phone and they use neuroscience and artificial intelligence to try to make their apps more engaging and addictive to their users and there’s also something that every time we get a text or a like on facebook or all those things our brain releases a small amount of dopamine and this is called a compulsion loop and this is very much like any other kind of addiction and it makes our brain sick that high over and over again.
What can we do about this?
Tip No.# 1
This is perhaps the most important one for me at least I have turned off my notifications for a long time now and it’s just so much more relaxing the only thing I have turned on is my ringtone because I want people to be able to reach me whenever there’s something urgent but other than that I have no notifications at all.
The reason that this works so well is that it’s very hard for a brain to leave our phone when we know there’s something waiting for us we’re just too curious and even if we can resist, the temptation will still be distracted thinking about what it could be and without these notifications you can decide if and when you want to check your phone.
another good tip is to turn off those check marks you get when you read a message because then other people will also not be able to see if you’ve read theirs and you will feel less like you have to answer them right away because they know that you’ve read it. There are apps like moment and space that you can download that keep track of your smartphone use so download it and see how you’re doing right now and what apps consume most of your time This can be a big confrontation but it might just be the one thing to get your motivation up and you can also use it to set a goal for yourself like only use your smartphone for an hour a day and then keep track to see how you’re doing.
Tip No.# 3
Studies show that 93% of all people between 19 and 29 use their smartphone as a way to avoid boredom and apps like Facebook used is knowledge with for example their endless feed and you can just continue scrolling. A scrolling hour after hour forgetting all about the outside world .So making it a rule to stop mindless scrolling and only use your phone when you actually want to do something on it can help you out.
tip number four find a distraction, go, do something else whenever you get the urge to grab your phone for no particular reason. Find something else to do. Go for a walk, read a book, make a nice lunch, clean something, the urge will go away when you find something else to do. Many people take a smartphone vacation. You can decide how you want to do it. For example, there are people that have a rule that one day a week everyone in their household is not allowed to use their smartphone. I always like to hide my phone away for myself for a few hours on a regular basis. so I put it in another room or in a drawer and whenever it’s a way for me I don’t really have the urge to go and get it back and it really allows you to kind of detach from your phone for a while.
Tip No.# 5
if you’re checking your email often then delete your email apps actually having to go to the browser to log in can seem like too much work and you’ll do it less often. It turns out that a lot of people use a lot of social media especially because they’re afraid of missing out.
Tip No.# 6
know that you won’t miss out on anything real when you limit your social media use in fact I feel that when you spend hours on your phone you are actually missing out on real life so keep your FOMO at bay. Make it a rule to not look at your screens outside instead just look at everything around you, the buildings, the people and the scenery. Being glued to your phone outside is not only dangerous because of traffic it is also antisocial.
Tip No.# 7
Many of us look at our phones before bedtime and this has a really big impact on our sleep quality. My “no screens” before bed policy has really increased my happiness a lot. So at least an hour preferably two before a bedtime do something else that doesn’t involve a screen beating a smartphone addiction is in many ways.
Similar to beating another addiction, it all comes down to motivation. So you have to really want to detach from your phone and depend on your reasons why you want to accomplish this. Make a list for yourself and keep it somewhere visible. So you can return to it whenever you’re having a hard time to remind yourself why you want to do it in the first place.