There’s always a flip side to everything. Smartphones can make us more productive and make our lives more convenient. However, smartphones can be so informative and entertaining that they cause addiction. In fact, there’s a new term known as Nomophobia, which is the fear of being away from mobile devices or being outside of the network coverage. Unfortunately, it’s more likely for you to have smartphone addiction due to these common reasons.
1. You Don’t Track Usage
There are apps that you can use to track the usage of smartphone. Useful tracking apps for Android include App Detox and RescueTime. Apple included screen time monitoring and app usage tracking features as built-in functions in iOS. By enabling the tracking apps or features, you can find out how long you used the smartphone. It will be easier for you to restrict and manage usages based on the time. You can also track usage of social activities and reduce the time spent on social apps like Facebook.
2. You Don’t Wear a Watch
If you wear a watch, you don’t need to pick up the phone to check the time. Often, when you glance at your phone, the flood of notifications will also distract you and tempt you to check them.
3. You Don’t Use Long Password
Your password doesn’t have to be complex, it will only need to be long. Use four or five easy-to-remember words as your passwords. So, it will become tedious each time you open the phone. If your phone isn’t locked, you will only need to flick or double tap the screen to access it. The slight inconvenience of accessing your phone is often enough to dissuade you.
You can also use the same trick on iPhone by disabling the convenient touch or face id detection.
4. You Never Consider Feature Phones
If smartphone addiction is a recurring problem, then you may need to choose a drastic measure. It may be a good time to ditch your smartphone and choose a feature phone instead. This type of phone doesn’t have an operating system and you can’t install an app on it. Basic functions are voice calls and text messages. However, feature phones often include low-resolution camera, music player, calendar, calculator and a few other options. After spending a week without your smartphone, you may feel lighter and less stressed. You can do things manually and make yourself smarter, instead of relying on the smartness of your smart device. Feature phones also have Internet access, but you can only use it for browsing with a simple web browser.
5. All Notifications Enabled
Notifications can really distract us. When a new notification shows up, we will be tempted to check the phone. This will become an ingrained habit and it will be automatic. An obvious method to solve this problem is by disabling all notifications. Alternatively, leave only the most crucial notifications enabled, if it’s related to your work or an emergency situation. As an example, you may keep your notifications enabled for email from clients or for the calendar app.
6. You Don’t Fight the Urge
The urge to check the phone is initially quite mild and can easily be managed. However, you may consistently cave in to these urges, until they become irresistible. If you think that the urge is already disruptive to your life, then you need to do something about it. A good way to do this is by closing your eyes and taking a slow, deep breath for a few seconds. Exhale your breath slowly and you will find that the urge is dissipating. Continue to do this until your urge becomes manageable and you can continue working on something more productive.
7. You Have Plenty of Social Apps
If your social media addiction is really bad, then you should uninstall all social media apps in your phone. It’s not really a drastic measure, because you can still access social media with your laptop. Because you don’t get notifications almost every five minutes, you will access social media much less often. If social media isn’t crucial for your daily work, then you may not really need the dedicated app. Social media apps are meant to be very convenient, you can go directly to a social media post by tapping the notification. The removal of social media apps will make accessing social media less convenient and you will do it less often.
8. You Have Plenty of Apps Installed
Many of us casually browse Google Play Store or App Store just for fun. We may encounter an app or game that we consider interesting. However, if you have plenty of games or apps in your phone, you will be compelled to open them each day. It will take plenty of time to explore dozens of apps in your phone each day. Use your common sense and remove any app that isn’t really important. You will also regain storage space and improve performance, because many of these apps are running in the background.
9. No Time Limit
Many people use smartphone whenever they like it. Just telling yourself to use your phone less isn’t enough. You should set a strict schedule, so you are not allowed to use the phone at specific times of the day. You may restrict phone usages during mealtimes and social events. Usage of smartphone in your bedroom shouldn’t be allowed as well, you should charge the phone at other parts of your home.
10. All Group Chats Active
If your group chats are not muted, you will be eager to check them every now and then. Unfortunately, some groups may have hundreds of members and you will get notifications almost every minute. Mute your WhatsApp and WeChat groups, you may check group chats manually when you have time.
11. Immediately Replying Text Messages
Unless you need to reply to an urgent text message, you should fight the urge to constantly check each message. It’s not impossible, although easier said than done. Make a point to only check and reply text messages two or three times each day.
12. Data is Constantly Enabled
You should have the habit to constantly turn off cellular data and Wi-Fi connections. Put your smartphone into the Airplane mode or physically switch off your Wi-Fi router, if you can do it easily. When it is time to go to bed, make sure that your sleep will not be interrupted. There are many apps to track your sleep time and on iOS, you have bed time as a built-in feature.
13. Your Phone is Always Nearby
When working or sleeping, you should keep your mobile device at a distance. As an example, you may put your phone in a locked drawer at the office, when you are working. Also, put your smartphone in the living room when you are about to go sleep. A few seconds of interruption could significantly affect your productivity or sleep quality.
Smartphones should make us more productive and we should be the master of our technology. Unfortunately, smartphone addiction could make us less productive and small mobile devices could enslave us. Over usage of smartphone also cause you health problems. Fix your usage time and follow the above methods to save your valuable time. You can spend the time with the people you live instead of living with a mechanical device.