I grabbed the hold of my baggage and started lifting it but could not. After six hours of torture in the form of uninterrupted telephone use, my hands begged for a break. If that was the epitome of a millennial wake-up call, that was the case.
I've known for a long time that I (and many people) spend too much time on the phone – and probably for no good reason. Somehow, it's never enough to check my inbox or take Instagram for a few minutes. "Just checking a little quick" often turns into a 30-minute dopamine party of pretty photos, double-taps, and wipes that somehow make me productive when I'm not.
A Nielsen study from 201
And I feel better.
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WHO can not put my cell phone out of my hand.
Researchers do not definitely know why smartphones are so addictive, but they have some ideas. It could be the phone itself, like the satisfying feeling of unlocking or touching the screen. It can also be feedback loops created by apps like Facebook and Instagram. (Something tells me it's mostly the latter, but after using the techniques outlined below, I think it's both.)
A former Google product manager called the smartphone a slot machine that does the work of our entire business Brain: we want dopamine (the happiness molecule), and our phones deliver it. Product designer, he said in a 60-minute interview, designed products that take advantage of this vulnerability and addict us.
It's really that easy: we are all Pavlov's dogs.
What's up with the smartphone addiction?
Besides the repetitive injury that I experienced in my hand, the effects of telephone dependence are mostly psychological.
Anxiety and phone use continue to correlate in studies that find that those who spend a lot of time on the phone are also frightened, depressed, or have low self-esteem. But just as we do not know if it's the phone itself or the apps that are so addictive, we do not know if people who are already anxious spend too much time on their phones or vice versa.
The telephone (and app) addiction is so problematic that a series of unfortunate but legitimate terminology has been created to describe some of its symptoms:
- Nomophobia . Yes, "No-Mobile-Phobia". That is, the fear of being without your device.
- FOMO . The fear of missing.
- Ringxiety . Featured rings or vibrations that cause your phone to be checked frequently.
- Textiety . Anxiety associated with the feeling that you need to respond to a text message as soon as possible.
How can I reduce the screen time to one hour per day?
If I can, you can too. After implementing these techniques, I reduced more than three hours of screen time every day. It was extremely hard and sometimes I pass an hour, but I feel so much better.
In general, I feel less anxious, but I also feel really good about giving my undivided attention to non-phone tasks (such as talking to other people) (which is difficult if you always pick up your phone). Here is what I did.
Make your phone grayscale
Without all these colors, apps like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and even news apps are less interesting. This is a fantastic little mind-trick that worked wonders for me. On an iPhone ($ 1,000 on Amazon) go to Settings> Accessibility> View Accomodations> Color Filters. Activate this setting.
Next, go to Settings> Accessibility> Accessibility Chooser and select Color Filters. In rare cases where you need to see your screen in color, you can click the side button on your phone three times. To return to grayscale, click again three times.
Uncheck "Wake to wake up"
You only need a little push and your phone's screen lights up. In the car or at my desk, I realized that these wake-up calls would lead me to long, unplanned phone sessions. If you disable this feature, your phone will prompt you less.
To disable the wake up boost on the iPhone, go to Settings> Display and Brightness. Turn Raise to Wake off.
Disable almost all notifications.
This trick is amazing. First, instinctively unlock your phone to see if you've missed any notifications. Then your unlocks become less frequent over the days, when you realize that nothing is waiting for you.
I've turned off notifications for emails (except for key people, such as my direct colleagues and managers), messages, and Google Calendar. That's it.
Delete social media apps
No, I'm not kidding. Yes, I am serious. No, you will not die without Facebook.
and never looked back. I felt better almost immediately, and I think you will.
Granted, I did not delete Instagram. Instead, I useto limit the time per day that I can spend in social media apps, including Instagram.
Stop shitting with your phone.
Humanity has survived millennia without a bathroom attendant, and I believe you will live too. It's not just disgusting to take the cell phone to take number two, it's also a lame excuse to spend more time reviewing results, browsing through social media or playing games.
Depending on how long you spend, um, in the bathroom, this can significantly reduce the screen time.
Discipline Yours (and Those of Your Friends) Googling Habits
My friends seriously hate me for it, but love me for it too (I think). The next time you debate with friends about a fact, stop yourself and everyone else from grabbing a phone and googling it.
If you never know what the state bird of Nebraska is, who cares? In return, the lively conversation continued and was not stopped by a final fact that no one would remember anyway.
Stop taking so many pictures.
Just as skipping your brain prevents information from being stored, photographing prevents your brain from forming actual memories. In three studies, people who had not taken photos during an experience had much more detailed memories than those who did.
If this is not enough to keep the phone in my pocket, I do not know what it is.
Leave Your Cell Phone
On weekends, it takes a long time – sometimes hours – to respond to messages. That's because my phone is rarely with me. At lunch or on a hike, I leave my cell phone behind and spend more time "living in the moment" and away from my screen.
Do not use your phone as an alarm clock.
In one minute you set the alarm clock of the morning and in the next 30 minutes you are in other apps.reduces the screen time, but it may also reduce some fears. A recent survey found that people sleeping near their phones were also twice as likely to report nomophobia.
Use a Smartwatch or Tracker
My biggest phone-dependent challenge was what I call a rabbit hole. I would get a notification – even just a text message – and suddenly I'm in the rabbit hole, check other apps and spend many minutes with my phone.
In some cases, this could be prevented by adding another tech part to the mix. With a smartwatch or a fitness tracker with notification features, you can check the time and receive important messages without getting into the rabbit hole.
The main star here is that smartwatch notifications can easily get out of hand. Therefore, you need to be very disciplined to limit the types of alerts that you receive on the wrist.
Tell Your Friends and Family
If you want to tell your friends and family that you are on a journey to reducing screen time, be honest.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered as health advice or medical advice. Always ask a doctor or other qualified physician if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.