Our Smartphones have infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives. Think about it: there’s an app for literally everything nowadays, you rarely have use for any other electronic device besides the latest iPhone. From the time you wake up till the time you go to bed you’re using your smartphone. You use an app to wake up, an app to consume your media, an app to find out where you’re going as well as one to connect to those around you.
Before we move forward please note we are not suggesting that we need to do away with smartphones or that they are inherently evil. Ultimately, they make our leaves easier, saving us time, energy and in some cases money. We are simply trying to say that, if you’re like us, you could probably use a little break from endlessly scrolling through your device every now and again. Below we’ve complied some helpful tips for weaning yourself off your smartphone.
Turn off Notifications (Better yet, Delete Social Apps)
If you find yourself constantly checking Facebook or Twitter, consider disabling notifications or deleting these apps from your device entirely. If you can’t fathom uninstalling these apps from your phone, turning off notifications will least cut down the rate of which you mindlessly check your device. You probably also spend a good 10 to 15 minutes scrolling through social media channels before bed. This is no way to unwind and, overall, is destructive to our sleeping patterns, contributing to stress and anxiety in our daily lives. Try regulating your social media time to your laptop or, at the very least, impose a cut off for such apps.
Reconfiguring Your Phone
There are number of ways you can reconfigure your device in hopes of lessening your smartphone addiction. For instance you can utilize the “Do Not Disturb” feature so you won’t get distracted by incoming calls and texts. Now you just have to resist the urge to fall into a Google Search wormhole! This is a good option if you tend to be a procrastinator and you have a lot of work on your plate.
Another option to break your addiction is to set your phone to gray scale. As the founder of the non-profit Time Well Spent Tristan Harris puts it, technology is engineered to be addictive. One of the premier ways tech does this is through stimulating color: you’ll notice notifications are often red to promote excitement. Even the colors of the screen and icons themselves are stimulating enough to keep you coming back. By setting your phone to gray scale you reduce its stimulating properties and, therefore, you’ll check your phone less often.
Introduce New Habits
They say in order to undo bad habits you have to replace them with good ones. For some of us checking our phones is a reflex, almost a compulsion. In fact, a study conducted by Deloitte found that Americans ages 25-34 check their phone upwards of 50 times a day, with younger Americans checking them more often. The study did not detail the duration we’re on our phones when we check them, but if you ever gone down a comment section rabbit hole, you know the time can start to add up pretty quickly. If you want to stop checking your phone or at the very least, check it less, you need to introduce new (ideally more productive) habits. For example, in the mornings try to not check your phone till you’ve gotten to work. In the evenings perhaps opt for a book before bed instead of reading articles on your phone; maybe take it a step further and invest in alarm clock and leave the phone out of the bedroom altogether. The point is that you simply don’t need to be connected 24/7.
Of course, these are all just suggestions, but a combination of some of tactics above will certainly help you lessen your smartphone addiction. Again, we’re not advocating for people to put down the technology altogether. Smartphones make our lives easier and allow us to be more productive in life and in our work. But there does come a point, especially when you’re checking your smartphone more than 50 times a day, where that the technology becomes destructive. So if you made it through this article without checking Facebook or Twitter, then congrats! You’re well on your way to weaning yourself off your smartphone.