There is a lot of criticism over modern society’s reliance on technology. While many of us like to debate it, most of us do have a problem with leaving our phones alone for extended periods of time.
We are all guilty of using our phones where we shouldn’t, whether or not we want to admit it. Most of us are now also aware of the detrimental effects this extensive phone can have on us.
Why do we continue to do it?
We all know the struggle of not being able to fall asleep because we got stuck scrolling through our newsfeeds until the wee hours of the morning. We try to tell ourselves “just five more minutes” or “one more episode” – but it never ends up that way.
What’s the result? You wake up with a weird headache or end up procrastinating a big assignment. You spend hours and hours doing virtually nothing at all. While the internet can be the source of great knowledge and power, it can also be a huge hindrance to productivity.
The distraction of a smartphone isn’t news to anyone at all – hence why it is typically prohibited at school and work.
Despite this, people continue to waste hours of their lives on these little devices every day!
A lot of people have tried to cut back their screen time with vain – kicking any habit is harder than you think. We can make jokes about “needing your fix,” but the problem goes even beyond habit-forming.
So, how do we stop?
Quitting cold turkey is not an easy feat. The problem with phone use is that it is ingrained in our daily activities.
Frankly, phones make the world go around and it’s a little complicated to just cut phone use from your life. Instead, you need to learn to limit yourself a bit and try to break the habit of checking your phone every five minutes.
Not only is this kind of dependence impractical – it’s disruptive and unprofessional. You don’t want to be that annoying person that can’t keep their phone for a whole conversation.
You need to take a unique approach to the problem that will encourage you to limit your screen time. Taking these small steps can help you take charge of this addiction.
Move your phone
Most of the time, you don’t actually care about looking at the notification itself. The motion of whipping your phone out and unlocking it is just second nature. Phones have become a security blanket for dealing with everything from awkward moments to boredom. If you make your phone a little less accessible, it can make it harder to take out your phone on reflex. Putting it in your backpack or keeping it away from you while you are trying to focus on something else is a good idea. Many people implement that idea of keeping their phones upside-down and on the table in front of them, so they won’t accidentally be grabbing their pockets all through dinner.
Turn off notifications
Changing the location of your device won’t stop it from distracting you if it’s chiming or vibrating every five minutes. Unless you are waiting for an important call or use the phone for work, it can be a smart idea to keep your notification settings to a minimum. Every time you hear your phone go off, it is tempting to check the screen – reflex or not. If you turn off notifications for everything that isn’t an emergency, you won’t be urged to check it.
Don’t be disturbed
Even if you have important calls, consider using the “do not disturb” features most smartphones offer. These allow you to shut off non-emergency notifications during periods where you shouldn’t be distracted. Consider activating these modes when you are supposed to be working or sleeping. Don’t worry, alarms still work!
Invest in a clock
If you can’t resist checking your phone at night despite the absence of notifications, you should consider not keeping it in your room at all. Every time you look at the brightly lit phone screen, you disturb your sleep and make it just a little bit harder to get to bed. Investing in an alarm clock (or watch) is one way to eliminate the excuse of needing to keep your phone so close. Phone clocks are useful, but if you notice sing them as your clocks are distracting, consider other options.
Find alternative entertainment
Smartphones seem to have everything, but, just like the clock, there are alternatives to all of their features. It can be difficult to maintain productivity when you have a device that mixes work and recreation. Consider finding alternatives if you can’t use your phone’s productive features without getting sidetracked. The less reason you have to pick up your phone, the less conditioned you will be to pick it up instinctively during the day.
Taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be kicking the habit in no time at all!
Are you on the journey of distancing yourself from your smart devices? Share your advice below!