Smartphone Addiction – Six Practical Tips for Less Screen Time
The beginning of the year is a ripe time to take stock of behaviors we want to change in our life. These days, many people are using their phones to a level that arguably rises to unhealthy.
Smartphones provide so many benefits until they take over your life and daily activities. Addictive behavior can impact our health, wellbeing, interactions with family and friends, and basically be a wormhole.
These six tips can help you reduce the use and attention you devote to your smartphone.
Put a Stop to Relentless Notifications
Constant dings from your phone are distracting and help feed the addiction. Manage your notifications under settings, so you aren’t getting alerts every time someone is posting on Facebook or the weather changes.
Group chats in text or message apps can get unruly quickly. I recommend muting the group chat notifications. Catch up with the gossip or discussions on your timeline, not theirs.
Put your phone away when you are eating. Whether you are by yourself or with family and friends, use your mealtime as a time to disconnect.
No Phones at Bedtime
Many of us check our phones right before bed and then keep it next to us when we sleep. Study after study demonstrates that the use of screens at night before sleep time can inhibit sleep.
Even if you have it on Do Not Disturb, bedside placement makes it too easy to reach for it before you nod off to sleep or as soon as you wake up. Get a real alarm clock. Make it a habit of keeping your phone in another room overnight.
Use the Screen Time Settings on Your iPhone
Apple has put a lot of measures in place to help you help yourself when it comes to monitoring your screen time.
Within Screen Time, you can schedule downtime each day or limit the use of certain apps to a specified length of time every day or varied by day.
Screen Time tracks your daily usage, so you can see how you are spending your time. This can be eye-opening. It’s an excellent place to start if you are wondering where you can cut down the use of your phone.
Put Your Phone Away When You Are Driving… Or Walking
Distracted driving has become a real issue with the saturation of smartphones in our society. Glancing down for a couple of seconds can have horrible repercussions.
AND, can we talk about people that walk down the street staring at their phones? We have all seen crazy videos of people walking into things because they were oblivious to what was going on around them. Don’t be that person.
Remove Apps You Aren’t Using
Most of us have suffered from app overload. Our phone is cluttered with apps we don’t need or use. Take time to do an audit of the apps using pen and paper. Look at usage statistics. If you can’t remember the last time you used the app, you don’t need it.
I’m not suggesting you go “cold turkey” on your phone. Making small adjustments in sensible areas can help you become a little less dependent on your phone. Who knows, you might even enjoy having actual eye-contact when dining with someone.
What do you do to help limit your phone use? Where is your phone at night? Are you having any hand or wrist pain associated with overuse of your devices? What has worked and what hasn’t? Please share with our community!