You’re not alone if you’re concerned about spending too much time on your smartphone.
Smartphone use is an integral part of daily life for many people. We frequently use our phones for anything from business to interacting with loved ones to pointless scrolling.
Given this, it’s natural to spend most of the day with your phone in your hand. There’s an app for almost everything, and there’s nothing wrong with using them to make life easier.
However, some people may become overly dependent on their smartphone to the point that it feels like an addiction.
What exactly is phone addiction?
Addiction is frequently used to characterize any impulsive action that is excessive, causes significant distress, and interferes with a person’s everyday life. Addiction can refer to the use of substances or certain habits such as gambling.
Cellphone use is not specifically classified as an addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It only identifies gambling disorder as a behavioral addiction.
Despite smartphone addiction is not officially recognized, it can nonetheless have a negative impact on a person’s life.
12 Ways to Overcome Phone Addiction
1. Every time you pick up a phone, consider its purpose
Most of us have forgotten that phones were created for a single purpose. To make calls and communicate with those who are far away. With the advent of messenger apps like WhatsApp, which include calling features, and Instagram, which includes video chats, this much-desired feature has now gone into the background. We just constantly scroll.
The next time you pick up a phone, try to remember why you bought it in the first place, and then decide what to do with it. You’ll swiftly put it down once you realize you didn’t take it up for any other reason than to see what’s new on Instagram. Going a step further, every time you check your phone to do something, ask yourself if it adds value to your daily workflow or if it is just another way to waste time. If the latter put it down.
2. Avoid using social media
Social media has definitely shown to be a massive tool that most people use to waste most of their time constantly. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Instagram are good examples of where the majority of us scroll constantly for content that may not help us.
Instagram began as a photo-sharing tool for people to connect, but it has quickly evolved into a global entertainment center full of videos that fuel trends and posts that push them forward. With about one billion active users worldwide, the simple app has evolved into a complicated engine that builds a profile on each user and presents targeted adverts to generate a tidy profit. Do you need additional proof? Instagram has announced that it is no longer a photo-sharing app.
However, we do not mean that you should abandon social media completely. That is a poor strategy that will result in your return in less than a day. Instead, try setting mental or physical timers to limit your app usage. Furthermore, keep in mind that the social media world is ever-changing, and you will never be able to keep up with it all, even if you are always online. If you want to make a drastic shift and quit, you can easily delete your Facebook account and deactivate your Instagram account.
3. Control/Disable App Notifications
One of the driving factors in phone addiction is the continuous stream of notifications from various apps. Everything contributes to that expanding notification list, from messenger apps like Whatsapp that relay your friends’ messages to continual updates from every YouTube channel and Twitter feed you have subscribed to.
The simplest method to combat this is to limit notifications for apps that you can afford to reduce and turn off notifications for apps that you can safely ignore entirely. We recognize that messaging app notifications are not something you can turn off, therefore it may be wiser to ask your friends and family for a time-out period or to put your phone on DND in such situation.
4. Limit/Block App Usage Using Apps
If you’re hopelessly addicted to using certain applications all day, there are solutions that can handle the heavy work for you. These app-blocking apps allow users to define particular ground rules for their phones and can limit or even block the use of certain distracting apps.
5. Remove distracting Applications
If all else fails, you can always take the final step and uninstall apps that encourage phone addiction. Removing the app from your phone eliminates the temptation entirely, and you may even forget about its presence from time to time.
6. Install Mindfulness/meditation Apps
The topic of mental health has frequently been linked to meditation and how effectively it can help improve it. Mindfulness is the act of living in the present moment and being aware of your surroundings. People sometimes dismiss it as uninteresting, but it is a critical component of overcoming phone addiction. Meditation alleviates the artificial tension that arises from missing a few Instagram stories. Meditation apps have gotten more affordable in recent years, and they provide simple guided lessons on how to be more mindful and present while not paying attention to your phone at all. There are numerous meditation applications for Android and iPhone that you can use to get started quickly and take a significant step toward overcoming phone addiction.
7. At night, put your phone away.
Sleep quality has been demonstrated to suffer as a result of excessive smartphone use before bedtime.
Instead of charging your phone on your nightstand, place it in another room to charge overnight. Alternatively, if you sleep by using a meditation app or listening to audiobooks, simply keeping your phone out of reach may help.
8. Only respond to Text messages three times every day.
Except for crucial text messages from family and close friends, do not respond right away. I understand how tempting it is to respond immediately, but you must resist.
Because it is more effective to respond to text messages in batches than than individually.
I propose responding to messages three times per day: once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. This will save you time in general and keep you from obsessively checking your phone for messages to respond to.
This is consistent with the larger goal of reducing your dependence on and addiction to your smartphone.
9. Wear a watch to avoid checking your phone for the time.
You most likely use your phone to check the time. But I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences…
You check your watch to see what time it is. As you do so, you are bombarded with Facebook updates and Text messages. You begin going through them, and 15 minutes have passed in the blink of an eye.
And all you wanted to do was check the time for two seconds.
What can be done to avoid this from happening?
Put on a watch. It’s literally that simple.
10. Inform people about your decision and seek their assistance
You are more likely to succeed if you tell people about your decision to end your smartphone addiction and ask for their assistance.
Here are a few options:
- Inform your friends and family of your decision, and request that they contact you once a week.
- Before you start working, hand over your phone to a trustworthy friend or family member.