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How to put an End to your Smartphone Addiction

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Technology is advancing at an alarming rate and it’s not always for the right reasons.

The compulsion to bring out your smartphone to check your notifications or social media feeds is stronger than ever before.

a man in red shirt using a phone while wearing headphones

Just look around you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re at a restaurant or out on a walk.

People everywhere are glued to their screens.

The average person checks their phone 80 times a day and has a screen time of almost 6 hours.

But why does this happen?

Each time you check your phone, you enter a virtual world where notifications trigger the release of dopamine.

This attaches to receptors in your brain to give you the feeling of pleasure.

And if you’re unable to check your phone, stress hormones such as cortisol are released.

Simply put, the most significant development in technology over the last 20 years has total control of our lives.

But you’re in luck. With a 8 simple steps, your smartphone addiction can be fixed for good. Today I’m going to teach you how. Let’s dive in.

1. Screen Time

First, let’s assess the issue. Go to the settings on your phone, check your screen time, and note down the number and date.

person holding iphone showing social networks folder

If you’re like most people that number is likely to be 5 to 6 hours. This might terrify you, but don’t worry. We’ll take care of that.

2. Digital Minimalism

Let’s examine your applications.

Look at your home page and ask yourself : “Do I need this app?”

Commit to deleting at least one application every day.

By next week, you won’t recognize your phone.

This is the principle of digital minimalism, where less is more.

Every application must maximize value while minimizing the time and energy that you spend.

This keeps you in total control of everything that you consume.

3. Home Screen

Your home screen has to be maintained just like your house does, Let’s optimise it.

Sort your applications by categories.

Mobile phone showing VPN app

For example :

• Health

• Finance

• Business

• Knowledge

• Scheduling

• Organization

This is a great way to add order to chaos.

4. Notifications

Consider Pavlov’s theory on conditioning.

He discovered that the conditional response of salivation was elicited by the conditioned stimulus of the sound of a bell.

Does the sound of a notification cause you to check your phone similarly?

Let’s fix that.

Turn off all social media and news app notifications.

They’re designed to divert your attention and diminish your focus.

Create a Scheduled Summary list to take things a step further.

This sends notifications from specified applications at the allocated time.

5. Application Blockers

By this point, your screen time has plummeted.

But you might still find that some applications take up more of your time than you’d like.

App blockers are the best way to handle this.

Here’s how you can set them up.

Check your screen time once again.

Note the apps that you use the most.

Then enter App Limits and set a timer for just 30 minutes.

Download tools like Forest and Flora to make this more effective.

These will break the feedback loop of aimlessly scrolling across applications.

6. Black and White

You’ve probably noticed that majority of applications use vibrant colours.

The reason behind it is simple.

These colours are placed to release dopamine, capture attention and ultimately keep you hooked.

Let’s change that.

Set your phone’s settings to black & white.

For iPhone users :

• Enter accessibility settings

• Open display and text size

• Change colour filters to grayscale

Look at the difference.

If you keep it this way, I can guarantee your screen time will never be the same.

7. Limitations

Your phone is now optimized for minimal use.

Let’s now introduce some minor behavioural adjustments.

The idea is to use your screen time more purposefully and only when necessary.

Let me show you a few ways how to do this.

Set some downtime with this simple rule : No screens one hour before bed and one hour after waking up. Take this time to :

• Read

• Journal

• Meditate

Keep your phone upside down and set up some screen-free spaces. For instance, no phones allowed in the bedroom.

8. Unplug

Lastly, if your phone use is stressing you out, it might be time to unplug.

You have to be independent of your phone and be in total control of its usage.

Let me show you a simple way to unplug.

black ipod touch and cable on grass
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

The 30-day social media detox.

Take these applications off your phone.

Give yourself quality alternatives by going on more walks, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with friends.

Take this time to nurture real life experiences.

You’ll be unrecognizable in 30 days.