Smartphone Addiction – Six Practical Tips for Less Screen Time

The beginning of the year is a ripe
time to take stock of behaviors we want to change in our life. These days, many
people are using their phones to a level that arguably rises to unhealthy.

Smartphones provide so many benefits
until they take over your life and daily activities. Addictive behavior can
impact our health, wellbeing, interactions with family and friends, and basically
be a wormhole.

These six tips can help you reduce
the use and attention you devote to your smartphone.

Put a Stop to Relentless Notifications

Constant dings from your phone are
distracting and help feed the addiction. Manage your notifications under settings,
so you aren’t getting alerts every time someone is posting on Facebook or the
weather changes.

Group chats in text or message apps
can get unruly quickly. I recommend muting the group chat notifications. Catch
up with the gossip or discussions on your timeline, not theirs.

Phone-Free Meals

Put your phone away when you are
eating. Whether you are by yourself or with family and friends, use your
mealtime as a time to disconnect.

No Phones at Bedtime

Many of us check our phones right
before bed and then keep it next to us when we sleep. Study after study
demonstrates that the use of screens at night before sleep time can inhibit

Even if you have it on Do Not Disturb,
bedside placement makes it too easy to reach for it before you nod off to sleep
or as soon as you wake up. Get a real alarm clock. Make it a habit of keeping
your phone in another room overnight.

Use the Screen Time Settings on Your iPhone

Apple has put a lot of measures in
place to help you help yourself when it comes to monitoring your screen time.

Within Screen Time, you can schedule
downtime each day or limit the use of certain apps to a specified length of
time every day or varied by day.

Screen Time tracks your daily usage, so
you can see how you are spending your time. This can be eye-opening. It’s an
excellent place to start if you are wondering where you can cut down the use of
your phone.

Put Your Phone Away When You Are Driving… Or Walking

Distracted driving has become a real
issue with the saturation of smartphones in our society. Glancing down for a
couple of seconds can have horrible repercussions.

AND, can we talk about people that
walk down the street staring at their phones? We have all seen crazy videos of
people walking into things because they were oblivious to what was going on
around them. Don’t be that person.

Remove Apps You Aren’t Using

Most of us have suffered from app overload.
Our phone is cluttered with apps we don’t need or use. Take time to do an audit
of the apps using pen and paper. Look at usage statistics. If you can’t
remember the last time you used the app, you don’t need it.

I’m not suggesting you go “cold
turkey” on your phone. Making small adjustments in sensible areas can help
you become a little less dependent on your phone. Who knows, you might even
enjoy having actual eye-contact when dining with someone.

What do you do to help limit your
phone use? Where is your phone at night? Are you having any hand or wrist pain
associated with overuse of your devices? What has worked and what hasn’t?
Please share with our community!