Do you find yourself picking up your phone constantly? Does your heart race when you realize your phone is not in reach?
You’re not alone.
Device addiction is real, and it’s no surprise. We rely on our devices in ways we never could have predicted ten years ago. We’re constantly needing to be available for employers, families, and friends. Our primal need for self-soothing and socialization (even if it’s artificial) goes into overdrive as we indulge in social media’s addictive algorithms.
As someone who struggles with addictive tendencies, I’m not afraid to admit that I work on mindful phone usage daily. Here are some strategies I’ve implemented.
In her book, How to Break Up with Your Phone, Catherine Price encourages her readers to create “roadblocks” to their habitual phone use. Roadblocks help you slow down, even if just for a second, and rethink your habit.
Delete time-sucking apps (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), and using a web browser (Safari or Chrome) instead to view these social media platforms. The user experience in a web browser isn’t as seamless.
Take it one step further and make sure you’re always logged out of your social media accounts on your phone’s web browser. You’ll have to think twice before opening your Insta feed one more time if you have to enter your username and password.
Change your Phone’s Display
We’re easily attracted to bright, beautiful displays and smooth user experiences. Technology developers and designers are amazing at their jobs. Our phone displays are a perfect example.
To further dull the temptation to pick up your phone, explore your display settings. This will look different for Android vs Apple. Turn your display into a grayscale display, and the lack of color just might keep you from picking up your phone.
There’s an App for That!
Forest App has two jobs – keeping you off of your phone and helping the planet.
To use the app, you set a certain amount of time to stay away from your phone. If you can stay away from your phone, you plant a digital tree. The more digital trees you plant, you earn “currency”. With enough currency, you can cash it in to plant a real tree!
This is my favorite strategy for staying away from my phone. It’s challenging, it’s fun, and it helps save our planet.
Pro tip: If you spend a lot of time on your desktop or laptop, you can install a Google Chrome extension, too!
Smart phone addiction is real, and no one should feel ashamed for admitting it. Our devices have been designed with our natural addictive and habitual tendencies in mind. However, with proper roadblocks in place, display modifications, and even a fun app, you can take your time back and combat the need to check your phone just one. more. time.
Hope this helps.