We can do almost any task from our phone – from sending a simple message through to organizing an entire event.
The sheer amount of possibilities that a mobile phone holds means that we can whittle the hours away staring at an illuminated screen.
For some of us, this can become obsessive and lead to an addiction to being on the end of a phone.
How can you combat this without getting rid of your beloved device? We take a look at the top ways to battle mobile phone addiction…
Instead of going cold turkey and completely eliminating your phone use, begin by slowly reducing the amount of time you spend checking your phone.
Start by limiting the amount you check your phone to once per 30 minutes, then once every two hours, and so on.
Keep a tally of how many times you check your phone per hour and aim to reduce this at your own pace for the best results.
DELETE ADDICTIVE APPS
It’s not necessarily the phone itself that is keeping you checking – it’s the apps you use.
Delete addictive social media apps and games to keep you away from your mobile phone screen.
Some apps allow you to deactivate your account itself for a select amount of time so you’re not tempted to reinstall and have a look.
MONITOR YOUR APP USAGE
Monitor your mobile phone use – it’s the perfect way to shock yourself into using it less.
Tracking your phone use such as adding up how many times per hour you check your phone can increase your awareness about your problem.
If you are aware of the extent of your problem you can begin to identify goals and possible solutions. Try downloading an application that tracks your phone use like Checky, App Off Timer, or QualityTime.
You can use this information to set a specific goal of how many times per hour or in a day you allow yourself to check your phone.
USE AIRPLANE MODE AND DO NOT DISTURB
Hit airplane mode or do not disturb so you don’t receive notifications from apps that may tempt you.
There are settings on your phone that may alert you every time you get an email or Facebook notification. Make sure you turn these off.
This will reduce the number of times your phone goes off or vibrates. This way you are not being notified every time something occurs.
LOCK IT AWAY
Out of sight and out of mind, as they say.
Put your phone somewhere where you will not see it.
Turn your phone on silent mode when you are at work, study or anywhere else, so it won’t distract you.
SCHEDULE TIME OFF
Don’t just assume that time away from your phone will happen – create a plan to keep yourself away.
Limit your cell phone use to certain times of the day. You can set an alarm on your phone to alert you when you have reached your maximum time.
You can also set up specific times not to use your phone, such as while you are at work or school.
Write your plan and goals down to make them more concrete. Keep a log of which goals you’ve met and ones you are still working on.
TAKE A HOLIDAY
Take yourself away somewhere that makes it harder for you to check your phone – such as somewhere with limited internet access and lots of activities to keep you busy.
You can notify your friends and loved ones that you are going off the grid for a short time. This can be easily accomplished on social media.
If you can survive a whole weekend without using your phone – you’re off to a good start.
If you successfully go a day checking your phone less – treat yourself.
This concept is called positive self-reinforcement and it is used in therapy in order to teach individual positive behavior through the use of a reward system.
Although you’re gifting yourself and not being given stuff by someone else, you will slowly train yourself to let the benefits of using your phone less outweigh your addiction.
Understand why you’re drawn to checking your phone so often and tackle the problem at the source.
Are you on your cell phone because you have a strong desire to be social and connect with others? If so, you can fulfill your needs in ways that last longer such as face-to-face contact.
Are you simply bored? Boredom can be a huge trigger for individuals to engage in addictive behaviors. If you are often bored, it may be time to develop hobbies or other activities that sustain your attention.
Telling those around you of your issues and how you’re trying to combat them helps you establish a strong support network.
These components are important when considering limiting your cell phone use since your use is likely to be at least partly based on social connection.
While cell phone use may feel positive, it can actually limit us and close us off from intimate relationships.
Simply tell your family and friends that you think you are using your cell phone too much and you are working on cutting down. You can explain that you would appreciate if they support you in this process.
Additionally, you could give them specific suggestions and involve them in your plan. For example, ask them to call or text you only at certain times of the day.
Ask for advice. Your family members know you personally and may be able to help you devise a specific plan on cutting down your phone use.