But have you ever stopped and counted the number of times per day that you pick up your smartphone to do anything? Even if it’s just to mindlessly browse or play a time-killing game. A 2016 study estimated the average number of times per day to be over 80, but even that seems a bit low.
The overuse of smartphones causes addiction issues and quitting cell phones cold turkey seems damn near impossible. Thankfully, nothing is impossible, and you don’t have to altogether give up your iPhone or Android, but if you’re looking to curtail your use, Inc has seven suggestions that will go a long way in aiding the fight against phone addiction.
The article suggests a few quick fixes like tracking your usage as a way to tell your brain “whoa I’m on this thing too much,” handing the phone to friends to hide it for a while and deleting any apps that feature unlimited scrolling functions. If you can’t eliminate those apps (that could be half of your problem) then maybe tuck them away in a secondary folder, so they’re harder to get to and don’t demand your attention every time you unlock your phone.
The author of the piece also suggests replacing the shot of dopamine sent to the brain when you get a text, DM or mention on FB with real, natural ways of shooting dopamine into the body. Try activities like yoga, CrossFit or even meditation to naturally fuel the brain. Turning off almost all notifications is another way to kick a tech addiction. For example, you need to know if a family member texted but you don’t need to see that you haven’t played a smartphone game in a while. Turn off the notifications that are 100% distractions.
The article offers too other ideas to curb smartphone use that everyone, even people only slightly hooked on the beeps and bells of phones, should do immediately. These hacks include tricking your brain and just going back to the way the world worked before phones dominated our lives.
Change #1: Go Old School: “Yes, having everything at your fingertips is convenient, but is it necessary? A calculator, camera, notebook, alarm clock, and so much more can be found outside of your smartphone. To ditch the scrolling-before-sleep problem, use a real alarm clock and set the phone down at least an hour before you go to bed. Carry a physical notebook and pen to take notes. This will help you avoid getting sucked into apps whenever you unlock your phone.”
Change #2: Go Grayscale: “Research shows that colors are attached to emotions and priorities–especially that little red notification bubble that has controlled us for so long. Turning your phone to black and white can reduce the urge you have to view new notifications that pull you into the infinite scrolling vortex.”
The first step in addiction is admitting you have a problem.