If we’re honest, most of us are a little bit addicted to our smartphones.
There’s a reason big brands like Apple are introducing tools to help us monitor our own usage of devices and online services; we’re all becoming rather too immersed in the digital world, rather than stopping to live in the moment.
The problem lies in the fact that our smartphones travel everywhere with us, and they’re used as communication devices, internet browsers, alarms, sketchpads – the list is endless.
You can reduce smartphone addiction, though, and we’ve got five simple tips to help you:
1. Ask your partner to hide it
This is the brutal, no-holds-barred approach, but one that might just be worth going for straight away.
If your phone isn’t by your side, you can’t use it. Ask your partner to hide yours for an evening and do the same for them. See how you get on just talking and being in the same space together without technology! This may not always be possible, but try spending some time away from your smartphone. Perhaps when going for a morning walk with your dog or having an evening meal with your partner.
2. Delete email and social media apps
Why do you need to have email on your phone? Checking email may seem like being productive, but there is a very big difference between being busy and being productive. It’s on your tablet and laptop, and email isn’t a way for people to contact you urgently. Do you really need it on your mobile ?
If you’re feeling brave, do the same with social media apps, too. They can be accessed on other devices and therefore less frequently. Do you really need to check Facebook every ten minutes?
3. Turn off notifications
Notifications are the bane of our lives, and they’re nearly always pointless.
If you think about it, the only notification you really need is a text message or phone call. Everything else can definitely wait.
Push notifications are a relatively new addition to our lives and we used to get by without them just fine. Let’s go back to those lovely, quiet days!
4. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock
Chances are, you use your smartphone as an alarm clock. The problem with this is that it’s probably the last thing you look at before you go to sleep and the first thing you see in the morning.
By instead using an old-fashioned alarm clock, you’ll take your attention away from your phone (you can then leave it downstairs, well out of the way), and that means you won’t spend those last minutes at night or early in the morning checking what’s going on in the world.
5. Make use of new tools
As alluded to earlier, some of the biggest names in tech are launching tools to help us overcome smartphone addiction.
The next version of Apple’s iOS operating system (iOS 12) will include an app that measures your screen time and enables you to set your own boundaries for app usage. Facebook are vowing to do something similar, and you can bet Android will follow suit.
These tools are likely to be highly accurate and they exist for a reason, so if they exist at the time you’re reading this blog post – make use of them!
At best, smartphone addiction will make you late for a social gathering. At worst, it could negatively affect your relationships and career.
Try our tips above – it’ll be hard at first but absolutely worth it in the long run.
Very interesting masterclass on the subject of smartphone addiction.