How To Break A Phone Addiction
You can forge a happier relationship with your devices by using them more mindfully.
How to Build a Life is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.
By now, nearly everyone knows we can be addicted to our digital devices. In the words of Anna Lembke, a psychiatrist and an addiction specialist at Stanford, Just about all of us have a digital drug of choice, and it probably involves using a smartphonethe equivalent of the hypodermic needle for a wired generation.
The data suggest that Lembkes claim is not hyperbole. For example, the average smartphone user rarely goes two hours without using her device, unlocks her device 50 or more times a day, and swipes or taps on it as many as 2,617 times in the process. The young are particularly afflicted: A 2018 Pew Research Center report found that 44 percent of teens said they often check their devices for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up, 54 percent said they spend too much time on their mobile phone, and 42 percent feel anxiety when they do not have it. Those who compulsively check , Instagram, or WhatsApp might have felt a version of this anxiety earlier this week, when the apps all vanished from the internet for a few hours.
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Delete Apps That Are Addictive
The less reason you have to look at your phone, the less likely youre going to use it. Whatever app you use the most on it, consider deleting it.
Whether its the Facebook app, Instagram app, or a bunch of games you play too much, try deleting them from your phone for a few days. If you feel more in control of your phone usage after a few days, you can consider adding some of them back.
Be Picky About Who You Follow And What Apps You Download
This is an unbelievably important tip when using your phone wisely. Unfollow models and influencers. Follow people who motivate and inspire you. Accounts that make you laugh. Follow artists. People you love. Avoid following accounts that just make you wish your life was different. Choose to follow information and photos that fuel you.
The same goes with the apps you download. I know games can be fun, but if you know you are going to easily spend hours on a phone game, it is best to avoid temptation and not download the app. Make sure the apps you download bring convenience into your life- not phone addiction.
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Treatment Groups And Centers
- Internet and Tech Addiction Anonymous : A 12-step, fellowship program that aims to help those addicted to technology recover from their affliction. Members share their experiences and provide support to one another.5
- Restart Center.6
- Center for Digital Technology Sustainability.
- 8-12-week program disconnected from digital media .
- Helps you build a plan for the future, allows you to work closely with peers, coaches, and counselors to reconnect with life.
Smartphone addiction doesnt have to be fought alone. There are a number of treatment options available to you. Its important that you do appropriate research in order to find out which recovery option best suits your needs.
Get Over Your Fear Of Missing Out
Learn to be okay with potentially missing out on things. Most of the time we check our phones, we realize there was nothing worth checking. Here are some good tips on how to overcome fear of missing out.
We all have the power to be the boss of our lives. Use that power to free yourself from your phone, and enjoy your life more again.
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Important Parenting And Screen Time Issues In Screenagers
The impact of screen time on kids and teens. According to a study done by the movies authors an average child spends about 6.5 hours a day at screen and more than 11 hours a week playing video games . Among the problems being addressed in the movie are:
- general phone addiction
- teens obsessive desire to take photos of themselves for social media and their worry about how they look
- how too much screen time at a certain age can cause damage to the development of some brain functions
- kids being distracted at school because of their smartphones
- problems associated with multitasking and self perception even though kids were performing worse and worse they were sure that they were actually doing well and even improving
- parents and other relatives noticed many times that some kids almost literally turn into a different person while playing computer games
- computer and video game violence and similar issues it is interesting, that some kids think the video game experience is more important and relevant for their future than things like math or school in general.
Parental authority and the way you should assert it, especially in questions of screen time is another important topic of the documentary. This includes exploration of:
How Apple Watch Can Help Battling Iphone Addiction
Its really so: technology could battle technology and the Apple watch could indeed be a way to battle smartphone addiction.There is big difference between using the two devices.When you take your smartphone to check emails, messages or calls, your attention is grabbed from other apps like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. Usually, on the smartphone, you start doing something and later you are doing something completely different. You live constantly the social anxiety of FOMO, or the fear of missing out.Using an Apple Watch instead, you continue to get text messages, emails and so on but you have less incentive to respond right away. You can have your phone on silent because you know the Apple Watch will notify the message or the tweet you are waiting for.So, while on the Phone you are forced to immediately react to notifications, on the watch, it is different because it doesnt engage you the same as the phone and this lets you be more in the moment. You know what is happening outside but you have time to judge whether it is important enough to interrupt what you are doing or it is something which can wait.
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How To Stop Being Addicted To A Smartphone
Despite all the advantages of technology, your smartphone shouldnt be your only friend and conversation partner in this world. Phone addiction is a kind of addiction similar to alcoholism, drug addiction, and gambling. Of course, it wont injure your health like alcohol but its toxicity affects human consciousness and relations with the world. Some effective strategies will help you and your child to break free from phone addiction.
1. Do not do everything on one device. A smartphone can replace todays books, newspapers, magazines, MP3 player, camera, TV, game console, computer, and many other useful things. Plus, it gives you broader opportunities that the previous generations didnt have. But it doesnt mean that we have to let it replace everything.
2. When you switch between different activities it is good both for your brain and body. This approach makes your life more versatile. And you will be not that much addicted to one device because your likes and feelings will be shared between many different things. Family dinner or an important meeting is not the best place for you to use your smartphone.
3. Limit your screen time. Installing parental control app on your device will be a great support for this. If you feel like you might be addicted to your phone, parental control will be of great help for you to become more self-disciplined and self-controlled in this area.
Helping A Child Or Teen With Smartphone Addiction
Any parent whos tried to drag a child or teen away from a smartphone or tablet knows how challenging it can be to separate kids from social media, messaging apps, or online games and videos. Youngsters lack the maturity to curb their smartphone use on their own, but simply confiscating the device can often backfire, creating anxiety and withdrawal symptoms in your child. Instead, there are plenty of other ways to help your child find a healthier balance:
Be a good role model. Children have a strong impulse to imitate, so its important you manage your own smartphone and Internet use. Its no good asking your child to unplug at the dinner table while youre staring at your own phone or tablet. Dont let your own smartphone use distract from parent-child interactions.
Use apps to monitor and limit your childs smartphone use. There are a number of apps available that can limit your childs data usage or restrict texting and web browsing to certain times of the day. Other apps can eliminate messaging capabilities while in motion, so you can prevent your teen using a smartphone while driving.
Create phone-free zones. Restrict the use of smartphones or tablets to a common area of the house where you can keep an eye on your childs activity and limit time online. Ban phones from the dinner table and bedrooms and insist theyre turned off after a certain time at night.
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Just Leave Your Phone At Home Sometimes
Easier said than done, I know. But this is quite possibly the only true way to cut back on your usage altogether. Putting your phone in a drawer, or in another room, can only do so much. And look, I get it. Going cellphone commando is nerve-racking, as there’s many-a-benefit to having your phone at your sideincluding safety. But, you definitely will find yourself in situations where your phone is just not needed.
A walk in the park, a trip to the coffee shop, even meeting up with your friends at the bar for a quick brewskitry leaving your phone at home, I promise it stops being weird after 20 minutes. You just end up getting used to it. Then, when you decide to actually bring your iPhone out again, you’ll be accustomed to not using it so frequently. Youll be surprised at how good it feels to not have the weight of the world inside your pants, weighing down your spirit, and dragging down your soul. Phone-free is the way to be. Well, at least some of the time.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer at Supercompressor. He did not look at his phone once while writing this. Okay, he looked at it once. Follow him .
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Try Productivity Apps To Help You Have Self
Just as there are apps for getting car rides and renting rooms, there are apps thatll help you have self-control too. Here are few you might like:
- Flipd It uses a lock screen thats on a timer to help you not use distracting apps.
- Forest You earn credits not using your phone and get a chance to plant real trees with them.
- Offtime It shuts down everything except important contacts youve white listed.
- Appdetox It locks your apps and also reminds to take a break from them.
- Space You can set phone use goals and track your progress
- Freedom Block all websites and apps while you work
- Moment Similar to Fitbit, it tracks the amount of time you use your phone and helps you create daily limits
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Remind Yourself That Your Have More Than One Tool
We are fortunate to have many tools at our disposal, yet we seem to be focusing on using just one: our cell phone. Email is still a valid and effective way to communicate, especially when pertinent details are involved. Email also gives you documentation, which in the world of HR is important. Reading Emails via a mobile device is dangerous and often leads to major typos, blunders and embarrassment. We have to remember to have these tools serve us, not enslave us. They have their place, and we need to use them properly. And when we can, lets have discussions in person!
Lorraine Bossé-Smith, Concept One LLC
How Phone Addictions Can Be Harmful:
Being addicted to your phone primarily comes from social media usage. Social media has a well-earned reputation of making people feel shitty about their own lives. We scroll and see the edited versions of the realities people want us to see. We compare our lives to what we see online, and our own situations almost always come up short. Our bodies dont compare to the edited insta-famous model.And our partners arent as good to us as other peoples partners are to them. Our lives arent as fun nor fulfilling.
Additionally, with the new algorithms in place with social media platforms, we are primarily being exposed to information we like or search for. For example, if you like a couple of vegetarian recipes on Facebook, their algorithm will show you more posts related to vegetarian recipes. Although this can be rather convenient, it is also problematic. This helps advertisers target us and flood our feed with ads.
Furthermore, this algorithm limits exposure to opinions opposite of ours- resulting in our views being challenged less. This might seem like a pleasing mechanism to have your beliefs continually be reinforced, but it is essential that our opinions are often challenged and put into question. Being able to see another persons perspective is one of the most important functions we have that keep our societies cohesive!
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How Cellphone Use Can Impact Your Mental Health
Research has consistently shown a link between excessive smartphone use and several mental health conditions.
While its important to note that this correlation doesnt necessarily mean that one causes the other, its still important to be aware of the potential risks of smartphone misuse.
In adolescents and young adults, there are some additional risks. For these groups, smartphone use may cause problems with emotional regulation and cognitive function, impulsivity, and low self-esteem.
It may also cause physical changes, including insomnia, migraine, and even changes to the volume of gray matter, which makes up the outer layer of the brain.
Theres no formal definition of excessive phone use. If youre concerned that your phone use is impacting your work or relationships, there are steps you can take to manage time on your phone.
Why Should I Stop Using Instagram
Feelings of social anxiety and the need for social reassurance are fueled by the use of Instagram and Facebook, which in turn becomes an addiction poses a threat to physical and psychological well-being and interferes with performance at school or work. Seeing spending time away from Instagram or any other
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Information About Cell Phone Usage And Cell Phone Addiction: How Does It Start
So, how does smartphone addiction, or, for that matter, internet addiction begin? What causes it? When someone has a problem leaving their desktop or laptop computer, they might have an even more difficult time putting down their smartphone or tablet. The simple reason is you can take them wherever you go. You can access Facebook/Insta/Twitter/Snapchat in your home, your car, at the beach, or anywhere else.
For some people, technological devices stimulate a chemical in the brain known as dopamine, which makes you feel good. The problem with this chemical is that you can easily build up a tolerance. You need to spend more time looking at the screen to get the same effect.7
But phone addiction can also be a symptom of an underlying issue affecting your mental health, such as low mood or anxiety. Some people look to their smartphone as a sort of security blanket that helps them deal with those issues. But that only cuts them off from the outside world, and real interactions with other people. The solution for their anxiety could very well make that anxiety worse.8
How can you tell if you have a phone addiction? If you can answer yes to at least four of the following questions, your phone use may be a severe problem.
Smartphone Or Internet Addiction Can Also Negatively Impact Your Life By:
Increasing loneliness and depression. While it may seem that losing yourself online will temporarily make feelings such as loneliness, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air, it can actually make you feel even worse. A 2014 study found a correlation between high social media usage and depression and anxiety. Users, especially teens, tend to compare themselves unfavorably with their peers on social media, promoting feelings of loneliness and depression.
Fueling anxiety. One researcher found that the mere presence of a phone in a work place tends to make people more anxious and perform poorly on given tasks. The heavier a persons phone use, the greater the anxiety they experienced.
Increasing stress. Using a smartphone for work often means work bleeds into your home and personal life. You feel the pressure to always be on, never out of touch from work. This need to continually check and respond to email can contribute to higher stress levels and even burnout.
Exacerbating attention deficit disorders. The constant stream of messages and information from a smartphone can overwhelm the brain and make it impossible to focus attention on any one thing for more than a few minutes without feeling compelled to move on to something else.
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