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Smartphone Addiction – Six Practical Tips for Less Screen Time

By Judi Jacobs February 10, 2023 Lifestyle

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.

Phone-Free Meals

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.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

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!

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Susan Goodman

I’m 80 years old and have health issues. I’m alone a lot I live alone. When I have company I don’t get on my phone. However I use my iPad, instead of my phone, for all kinds of activities. I charge my technology near my bed, but I can’t see it from bed. I love technology because I worked in that area. So I agree with part of what Judi said, but not everything.


Let’s face facts as we age (my age 73) we don’t sleep as we once did. Plus the phone might be the only company some people have, so let’s enjoy are phones. My phone is my outside world with webinar’s & all the free education you can sign up for. Enjoy & your sleep will come when you’re ready.


Great topic! I use a timer to limit my phone use!


The Author

Judi Jacobs is a lawyer-turned-tech nerd and the founder of The Tech Wizard. As a tech coach and consultant, Judi works with adults 50+ and small businesses to help make technology more user-friendly through small group classes and one-on-one training. Learn more at TheTechWizard.com.

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