Phone addiction is a dependency on our cell phones that may interfere with other parts of our lives as well as take up a chunk of our time and thoughts. If you consider your phone a part of who you are, you may well be addicted to it. If it is the first thing that you reach for in the morning and checking it for no real reason during the day, you may be addicted. Here are 5 ways to beat your phone addiction.
Related article: Is Your Phone Ruining Your Love Life?
1. Evaluate your use
In order to beat this addiction you need to honestly evaluate just how much you use your phone and why you do. Most people have to stay connected to the internet because of their jobs, but even they could spare some time to disconnect. How many of us actually need to check our emails every 20 minutes? There is barely ever a time when you need to read an email, SMS or notification right when you hear that beep. You should also ask yourself why you feel the need to use your phone as much as you do. Could it be that you are really just bored or looking for new stimulation?
2. Get social for real
We tend to forget that social media is not real interaction. Let’s face it, social media gives us the instant satisfaction of normal interaction without having to use our social skills or putting ourselves out there. When you decide to use your phone less, you may feel lonelier in the beginning. You will have to stop sending emoji filled messages and liking every comment on Facebook. Social media can mask our need for real interactions, and sometimes you can only realise that when you use much less of it.
3. Get rid of it
No, we are not suggesting that you should throw away your phone. I have a hard time letting my phone go for two weeks of repairs so I cannot even imagine going completely cold turkey. But what you should do is get rid of all the unnecessary things that keep you glued to your screen. These can be apps, notifications, games and too many photos. I cannot tell you how many times I have passed time looking through old photos and wallpapers. All these things just take up a big chunk of your time, not to mention your phone’s battery. They encourage you to be on your handset when you really should be doing something else.
4. Enjoy the now
It sounds corny, but we really need to savour the moments of our lives as they happen. Constantly staring at your screen is the number one thing that keeps most of us from doing this. Imagine if your significant other were to whip out a newspaper in the middle of conversation and ask you to give them 5 minutes to check it out. Would you feel offended? I definitely would. So why is it okay when we do this with cells? When you are with someone you owe them your attention and thoughtfulness. You also owe this to yourself when you are on your own because checking out what everyone else is up to on Twitter does not constitute “me time.”
5. Switch off
You may have to completely switch off your phone at certain times of the day. In the beginning this can be hard to do because you may find it hard not to think of the things that you are supposedly missing out on. The best times of the day to turn your phone off are in the morning and evening. When you wake up you should not need your phone to start off the day, you should have a routine without it. After work you may find yourself checking emails or catching up on social media. But switching off at this time allows you to relax better and spend time with loved ones.
Recovering from any addiction is not easy, the only way to do it is with a proactive approach. Along with these 5 ways to beat phone addiction are 5 apps to help you get there: Breakfree and Rescue Time Time Management can be downloaded from Google Play and help you track just how much time you spend on your phone. Also look at Apple’s Moment. You can download Google Chrome’s Stay Focused from the Chrome store to help you to stop wasting time by blocking unnecessary sites, pages and content. The Mobile flow is exclusively downloaded from the Apple iStore and it makes sure that you switch off while tracking the amount of time you stay offline.
Written by Noma Mtebele