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!