WELCOME TO Final (PART 3) OF THREE-PART BLOG SERIES that looked at some easy and simple yet powerful psychological ways to limit your smartphone usage and break mobile addiction if any.
In the first post (Part 1) we looked at some interesting studies on addiction, some eye-opening statistics on phone usage, and 3 ways to limit your digital interaction.
In the second post (Part 2) we continued our journey with knowing 6 more psychological ways to curb your mobile instinct.
In this final post, I’ll continue to share 7 more such psychological ideas including ‘how to use technology to beat technology.’
- Becoming Aware of Your Phone Addiction.
We all know from science and religious practices that the first and best response to breaking any habit is to simply become aware of it. Raising awareness and becoming conscious of one’s smartphone use is the first step in the right direction of decreasing the addiction.
In an interesting study on Australian people in 2018, the researchers found that almost 86% admitted using their smartphones ‘automatically.’ Often, working on auto-pilot mode we are not even aware of the frequency and extent of smartphone usage.
With Mindful awareness comes acceptance and only when you accept can you change something.
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Whenever you need to feel the urge to check your phone, notice your feelings, observe the thoughts that arise, feel the sensations in your body, and be aware of your limb’s movement.
Once you have done that then make a choice whether or not you want to indulge in the urge. Even if you check your social media app, the moment of pre-awareness will transform everything. It will hand over the control of your remote in your own hands and shatter the auto-pilot mode. Believe me, this will be liberating.
Technology is a boon, but we’ve got to be more aware and conscious about how we use it.”
“When you pick up your phone around your kids… narrate what it is that you’re going to do.” Says Anya Kamenetz author of the book, “The Art of Screen Time,” So you say, ‘Hey, let’s check the weather, or I’m wondering if dad has come home from work. I’m going to send him a text and making that transparent.”
Irrespective of whether or not you have kids, every time verbalizing why you want to use your phone, will keep you aware of the reasons (important or ridiculous) about using your phone.
So, the next time you’re about to check your phone, talk with yourself or others because you want to use it. Every time you’re about to unlock and check your phone, pause for a moment to think about the reason why you are doing it.
Quite An Amazing Read:- Scientific Ways to Beat Stress.
- Indulge in Hobbies or Creative Activities.
You may have noticed that whenever you have free time, the first thing you reach is the phone. So, free time can be a big culprit. So, to fill your free time get a hobby.
Think of self-well-being then digital- well-being.
There is a beautiful life that you can enjoy outside the digital world. Whenever you have an impulse to fill time dedicate that time to hobbies or creative activities. It’s a powerful way to curb your desire to indulge in screen time.
The idea is simple: fill your free time with things that are good for your mental well-being.
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Hobbies and creative activities can come in all shapes and sizes- sports, exercise, cooking, reading, music, painting, dancing, journaling, gardening, going for a walk, learning a new language, and socializing.
They stimulate the brain and strengthen mental muscles, thereby decreasing the risk of digital addiction. Also, you will find less time to be on social media platforms and thus more time to do new things.
Remember, you just get one shot at life, either you can spend it scrolling all day, or get up and do something soul-satisfying. The choice is yours!
So, whenever you have free time and want to fill it, make sure your go-to activity is off-screen.
To Read About Time Management:- Heavy Duty Time Scheduling Activities.
- Use Technology to Keep Away from Technology.
Seems weird and counterintuitive to use technology to help you beat technology. But believe me, it may not make sense to fight fire with fire, but in Tech World, it makes sense to fight technology with technology. Here are some tech apps to assist you, well to stop using your smartphone apps.
There are apps for almost everything in life, but let me share some wonderful apps to help you in the journey.
This app is built on a different approach. It’s a beautifully designed app that provides an interesting solution to break your phone addiction. The app starts with planting a seed in the forest which continues to grow into a tree, but for as long as stay with the app. If the temptation to check other apps makes you leave this app, your tree will start withering away.
It is a very effective app that lets you set a daily limit on your phone usage, then track your adherence and progress. With notification, the app alerts you if you exceed the limit. In fact, there is a setting that forces you off the device by sending a barrage of notifications when you try to extend the screen time. There are some short exercises that help you in the process. With the option to track your family devices from your phone, it even can be used for the whole family.
This app starts with a quiz the answers to which will know what type of phone user you are. It helps you set new goals and track your daily progress to change your habits.
A powerful app to help you tone down your phone usage. It allows you to set your own rules and parameters on an app-by-app basis. Every time you break your set rules, it reminds you to take a phone detox and become aware. It’s a great app locker. You can even keep track of your rule violations in a log and can also be used by parents for controlling their kid’s screen time.
An award-winning app, it lets you control and monitor your phone usage in real-time and take regular tech break. Also, let you block distracting apps and games that you are addicted to. The app’s analytics can serve as an eye-opener and can help you limit your usage and curb addiction.
Talking About Technology:- 7 Ways to Fight Zoom Fatigue.
Some other apps include- Flipd, Screentime, Hold, Mute and Stay on Task.
Keep reading as very soon in another blog, I will cover these apps in detail and the way to use them.
But let me tell you, the best app is your mental app and your conscious app to take full control of your life.
Last Four Tiny Tips.
- Use your phone only as a phone for three weeks with no social media, no emails, no games, and no apps.
- Put a rubber band around your phone to help you be more aware of what’s happening when you pick it up without realizing it.
- Enjoy phone-free mornings by reading a book, praying, meditating, doing yoga or exercise, listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. You’ll have a better day ahead when you start your morning on the right foot.
- Change your lock screen asking, “Are you sure you need your phone right now?”. Anything might help.
An Interesting Experiment.
Christ College Brecon, in Wales, UK implemented “Phone-Free Fridays” after looking at research into the addictive nature of phones. Initially, after the assembly, the students were asked to part with their mobiles.
Initially, it was voluntary and the student’s choice to hand them in, but seeing the overwhelming response as so many took part it has now become compulsory school policy. Amazingly the move did not meet any resistance.
On the contrary, the students started talking about the freedom it created. They have reported feeling more focused during classes and homework time.
Related Interesting Read:- Ancient Japanese secret to Improve Focus.
As a reader, if you’re a student, a teacher, or a professor and mobile phones are allowed, take a clue from this example and try and implement the same in your institution. If you’re an employer, why not try this with your employees?
Remember you have just one shot at life. Your time on this planet earth is finite and zero-sum. Real-life is not behind the screen but beyond the screen. On your deathbed, you would never wish you’d spent more time on your phone.
Don’t worry and start small. Remember any change in the right direction is far better than no change.
Let me ask you, how much time do you spend on your phone daily?
Do you find these tips useful for decreasing your screen time and breaking phone addiction?