Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?

Smartphone addiction has grown rapidly in recent years as usage spirals beyond reason. But there are ways to reduce such dependency and take back control.

Early mornings, late nights

The idea of waking in the morning or sleeping at night without a smartphone creates a sense of unease and panic in many people. Even though the habit of waking up without reaching for a phone makes us feel more relaxed and at ease about the day ahead.

Once you start to miss your smartphone when it is out of reach it is time to reduce the time spent sending and receiving and wondering about messages from family, friends and others. Living with technology without allowing it to take over your life is the best way to manage the addiction designers and manufacturers build into the core of today’s devices.

There are, ironically, apps that track the number of times you check your phone, which reduce the need to dispense with it completely as it is important to use technology wisely rather than avoid or reject it.

Changing habits, changing patterns

The best strategy however consists of a three-pronged approach: be aware of the number of times you check your smartphone each day, reduce the number of times you check it, and leave it behind at certain times. There are also practical tips such as deleting unnecessary social media apps and checking work messages only from laptops or personal computers.

Keep your phone in your pocket, make sure it’s not in sight when in a meeting or on a social occasion and don’t take it to the bathroom or shower; which amazingly people do. You can buy an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake in the morning and put the phone outside the bedroom during the night.

Carry your phone less by leaving it with your keys when at home and make sure work emails are silenced when possible. Choose an activity like going to the cinema, having an evening meal, going for a walk, visiting the gym, or simply reading as a way to increase time without the distraction of constant messages.

Turn the phone off or put it on silent at different times of the day to break the habit of responding to every noise and vibration. If you are an active social media user cut the number of times you post each day, as it helps to focus your messages to followers. Lessen the number of times you take and post selfies too, not least because it is a needless practice with few redeeming features.

So, even though smartphone usage is spreading amongst all age groups there are ways to manage the addiction of responding to endless interruptions.