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Kick your smartphone addiction to the curb

Smartphones are alluring and helpful, and addiction to them can be a very real problem, but these four tips can help break the chains of addiction.

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No joke, smartphones are addicting

Did you know that 65% of iPhone users surveyed claim that they “couldn’t live” without their smartphone? I bet the stats are similar for Android and Blackberry users (or what’s left of them). Most people consider their phone their lifeline. Myself included. Smartphone addiction is a real problem, and it’s a real hindrance, too.

Have you ever been to a restaurant, at a party, or on vacation, and you see a group of people who are allegedly spending time together sitting in a circle on their phone? It’s a sight I’ve seen too many times to count. The time you’re spending glued to your cell phone is time that you’re stressing over work emails or calls after hours or not spending time with your loved ones.

It’s time to kick the addiction. Sure, smartphones are great and make our lives easier, but if it’s causing you to miss out on other parts of your life, it’s time to put the phone down for awhile.

Four ways to kick the addiction

I realize that kicking a phone addiction is not easy. If there’s ever a day I leave my phone at home, I get anxiety. Here are four things that may make it easier:

Admit you have a problem. This is the first step to kicking any addiction. If you can recognize that you rely too heavily on your phone, then you’re well on the way to a non-codependent relationship with a small piece of technology.

Kick the anxiety. Think about what it is that you’re afraid of. What are you afraid of missing if your phone is off? A lot of times, playing with your phone and constantly checking it is oftentimes a way to deal with the fact that you’re anxious about other pressures in your life. One way to start relaxing more is to turn off your phone before bed. There’s no reason for anyone to call you in the middle of the night. Whatever happened can wait until the morning. Using a phone or computer before you turn in for the night has been proven to perpetuate sleep loss. Reducing your use of it can help you curb anxiety, and you might be inclined to use your phone less.

Try leaving your phone at home for a day. I think you’ll find that if you come home, the outcome won’t be nearly as bad as you think. You’ll be able to prove to yourself that the world does not end if your phone isn’t attached to your hip at all times.

Schedule times to completely disconnect. Whether it’s for an hour a day or a few times per week, pick times to completely disconnect yourself from your technological devices. This will be difficult at first, but it will also boost your productivity. You may even find yourself longing for the moments where you can be disconnected!

Free yourself now

Eventually, you’ll have lessened your addiction to your smartphone significantly. Now, you may be able to sit through a meal without reaching for your iPhone. Shocking thought, I know. Just think, though: if your phone breaks, the panic will be significantly less. Best of luck!

Carrie Gable & the Real Estate Virtual Assistant team at RealSupport, Inc. work virtually for many top real estate agents & brokers nationwide, offering marketing campaigns, branding, website & logo design, listing marketing efforts, lead management, technical support, marketing presentations, social media setup & management, copywriting, blogging and much more.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. MatthewC

    September 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Great article on a very important topic, especially for real estate professionals who rely on their phones daily!

  2. Marisha

    September 24, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I really agree with everything on this post. I think we have become slaves of even the good things in life, like continual access to information. Something else you could do, if you want, is completely turn off any Facebook, Twitter or any other app notifications so you won’t ever hear the noise. I’m the kind of woman who leaves her phone on the kitchen table but itches to check his phone when it vibrates with notifications of a message or a comment received. So I chose to turn off notifications, which also gives me way better battery life! Anyway, keep writing. I’m loving all of the info! Thanks, @Marisha from https://www.dchub.co.uk/  (AC/DC adapter)

  3. Marisha

    September 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I really agree with everything on this post. I think we have become slaves of even the good things in life, like continual access to information. Something else you could do, if you want, is completely turn off any Facebook, Twitter or any other app notifications so you won’t ever hear the noise. I’m the kind of woman who leaves her phone on the kitchen table but itches to check her phone when it vibrates with notifications of a message or a comment received. So I chose to turn off notifications, which also gives me way better battery life! Anyway, keep writing. I’m loving all of the info! Thanks, @Marisha from https://www.dchub.co.uk/  (AC/DC adapter)

  4. Diana Hoyt

    October 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I used to have my iPhone and iPad on my nightstand but now leave them in the kitchen charging when I go to bed. I have my phone set to do not disturb so the only ones who would call/text and get the phone to ring would be family and it would be an emergency if it was in the middle of the night.

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Smartphones

LG G Flex will have a curved display: why it even matters

The LG G Flex is exciting as it is curved, but there are much deeper implications of this announcement that your company should take note of before your competitors do.

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LG G Flex to feature curved display

You may have heard that Samsung will launch a smartphone with a curved display (although they’ve so far fallen short on their plans to produce their smartphone prototype that is completely flexible), but did you know that LG is hot on their heels, with rumors of the LG G Flex launching this November?

As depicted above, what is believed to be called the LG G Flex is similar to a standard smartphone in shape, with just a slight curve, using plastic OLED screen technology

CNET reports that sources close to the project say the G Flex will have a six-inch display and November is the projected unveiling, but that could always be pushed back (although to be in time for the holiday shopping season, we suspect it will be a November launch).

Samsung will likely unveil their curved display phone this month, and there are rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could feature a curved display as well.

Curved does not equal flexible

So why develop a curved display? Analysts point to the device actually fitting around your face naturally for making calls, and others note that it fits in a rear pocket more comfortably with a curve.

Curved does not equal flexibility, though, as the devices are still stationary, but the reason the LG G Flex being curved matters to you is that mass production of this type of technology is the precursor to what’s coming next – flexible devices.

Looking into a crystal ball

LG already introduced a curved 55-inch OLED tv panel, and was first to the finish line with the ability to mass produce fully flexible plastic screens, announced last year with their electronic paper display (EPD) product, sold overseas.

The LG EPD is not just flexible, allowing the screen to bend up to 40 degrees from its center, it is a 6 inch, 1024 x 768 e-ink plastic screen. The technology used mimics the way traditional ink appears on paper, which many prefer over the backlit flat panel displays of tablets and computers. The EPD is only 0.7mm thick, weighs 14 grams (that’s 1/33 of a pound) and is said to be scratch resistant when dropped.

Flexibility is next, and it is relevant for your brand not just for the novelty of having a flexible device, but because the way people interact with your website or app could be changing sooner than you might suspect.

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Smartphones

iPhone 6 concepts beginning to emerge

With all the hub-bub about iOS 7 and iPhone 5, several iPhone 6 concepts have emerged. The most prominent feature is the wrap around screen.

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Looking into the future

Whether you are an Android lover or an Apple fanatic, people love to fantasize about what the newest phone release will bring, from hologram keyboards, an added projector, and so forth. As for the iPhone 6, the most common feature designers and fans think it will have is the wrap around screen. AGBeat has featured this concept several times, and while it has yet to become reality, there seems to be high hope for the iPhone 6 release.

Dribble users have designed and shared several concept models, all of which have the wrap around screen, also known as the infinity screen. This design allows a more engaged user experience, by removing the side casing. The sides have a flat, touch-responsive volume control and a much thinner design overall. And some additional revisions (based upon Cladio Guglieri’s original) have included wifi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, airplane mode, and rotation lock icons, right on the side.

These additions give you instant access to your most used controls, without the need to tap through to gain access to the settings screen. Also, with the extra features, the opposite side of the phone shows your message status, emails, and music controls. DeviantArt also has multiple postings of the infinity screen design. This is absolutely amazing to me because there is so much information in such a limited amount of space. The thickness of the phone in the concept states 0.30 inches; it is really hard to believe an email icon can fit and be legible, but it does.

Other futuristic possibilities

There are also several versions that include aluminum plus carbon fiber casing, in many different variations. Although most still remove the edges from the iPhone 5 design. Behance users have also created several examples of this design concept. With touch sensors wrapping the display edge, concept designers believe no borders means nothing between your hands and the display. And they hope accidental gestures can be prevented with the sensors, although this is just a concept. You certainly would not want to pick the phone up to answer a call from your boss and accidentally start your iTunes playlist.

The only problem I see with this beautiful design is protecting the edges, despite designers touting the durability of the new technologies. As someone who frequently drops their phone, and attempts to keep it safe by using a protective case, I wonder how you can utilize the edges, but still keep the phone safe. Also, I would be interested to see, how often holding the phone triggers the side sensors. Otherwise, I think the wrap around design is both beautifully functional and a long overdue, welcome feature.

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Smartphones

Contacts+ app adds productivity to any Android

Android users: Contacts+ is a great new way to manage your contacts, making a potentially frustrating process simple and streamlined, adding productivity to your phone.

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Contacts+ is more than a contact manager

Contacts+ is more than just a contact manager though, it is also a dialer app and combines photos with information from all your connected services: WhatsApp, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Contacts+ is a welcome alternative to the Andriod favorite Smartr. Since Smartr was recently acquired by Yahoo!, Contacts+ could not have come at a better time.

You can send free and regular messages without switching apps, sync pictures to your contacts, including cover photos, from Facebook and get birthday reminders.

How the app works

With optimization for both Android phone and tablets, you have the ability to sort your contacts in a variety of ways without worrying if you will be able to see all the data. You can sort by groups, favorites, smart contact (prioritization by frequency or A-Z), and search message history of your contact from one place. If you happen to have the same contact in your phone more than once, Contacts+ will sync them together to save you any confusion.

One tap opens a contact card, and then you can tap again to make calls or email them. Once the contact card is open, you can also catch up on their social media life. Leo from Contacts+ writes, “they have a sync process with Facebook and Google+, essentially users connect their accounts (authentication is performed securely through the respective service) and once an account is connected, Contacts+ links and syncs contacts based on unique identifiable information, enabling them to automatically connect your contacts and their identities.”.

New features have been added

The newest features include high res picture sync, a new black theme, T9 search in the call log, Dialer+ shortcut that can be opened over your call log/contacts screen, the ability to call back directly from the incoming message pop up and ignore accents improvements.

The only drawback is that some of the “sorting” features are a bit harder to find. You will need to tap through a couple of different options to find the ability to sort by last name, for example. But, once you get used to it, it really is a nice way to manage your contacts. Contacts+ is free in the Google Play store.

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