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FIVE TIPS FOR BEATING SMARTPHONE ADDICTION

FIVE TIPS FOR BEATING SMARTPHONE ADDICTION

An article in The Guardian last week proposed ditching our smartphones for a happier life. Short of taking that nuclear-option, what can we do to reap the benefits without letting our phones take over our lives?

1) First you need to become aware of your phone habits. At what times and in what situations do you compulsively reach for your phone? Are you deriving a benefit from picking up your phone every time you pick it up or are there times when it's unnecessary? Start trying to catch yourself before you submit to the urge to reach for your phone.

2) Give yourself some quiet time each day, without the internet, TV, or music. It may be worth identifying a particular time of the day when you can do this and get into a routine. This may be first thing in the morning, on the way to work or last thing at night.

3) Don’t charge your phone or tablet in your bedroom. This will stop that late-night work emailing (nothing good can EVER come of checking your work email just before going to sleep) and will, at least, ensure that going online is not the first thing you do in the morning.

4) Consider having 3G/4G disabled as the default setting on your phone. This will, at least, act as some kind of brake on the urge to reach for the internet in your pocket when you're out and about.

5) Consider having one day each week, every two weeks or every month when you stay offline all day. This won’t be easy and you will have to keep catching yourself to stop going online. But over time, it will get easier. For the uber version, on these quiet days, consider staying off all media, TV, radio, newspapers, books (and even conversation for the most advanced version). Freeing up your day for other activities can be a revelation. You may enjoy catching up on the news you missed the day after but you won’t regret the other fun you had instead. 

 See here for the argument in favour of downgrading one's phone in last week's Guardian newspaper.

Image: © Andrey Kuzmin - Fotolia.com

 

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