In our day to day lives, we use a whole variety of gadgets (and appliances), that help us work faster and better, and be more productive. But if there is one device that has almost become an extension of ourselves, it has got to be smartphones. They are with us all the time, and a large chunk of our day is spent using them, which includes everything from managing emails and chatting on instant messaging apps, to taking a gazillion selfies and posting updates on Facebook, Twitter and things like that. Even when we’re not doing any of those things, we still check our phones every few minutes, to see whether there are any notifications,
But as much as we enjoy being glued to our smartphones, it’s not a good thing at all. This overuse has reached dangerous levels, and a large number of studies, news articles etc. are all over the place to prove it. Smartphone addiction makes you unproductive, and leaves you with little time for things like going out and spending time with family. Not only that, there are numerous ways it adversely affects your health. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So yeah, it is indeed a big problem, and one that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. But how do you do it?
That’s what we’re here to help you with. Being hardcore geeks here at Beebom, we love our smartphones as much as you do. But, we also realize that no technology or gadget can replace the joy of playing outdoor games, or enjoying a meal with family. So without further ado, here are some of the ways you can overcome smartphone addiction.
Best ways to overcome smartphone addiction
1. Disable app notifications during work, conversations
Continuous notifications from apps (e.g. Facebook), popping up on phones are the biggest reason why you feel the urge to check your smartphone(s) every five minutes. And this happens all the time, whether you’re working, or talking to a friend/family member. It’s not only distracting, but also incredibly rude. So whenever you’re in the middle of work, or engaged in a real conversation, turn off any and all notifications. On additional note, if you’re a fan of the “group chat” feature in apps like WhatsApp, it’s best to mute the groups that you’re not active in, so that you don’t receive any notifications from them.
2. Change email sync frequency
Checking/answering email is also one of the primary uses of smartphones. And most of you have your email accounts on phones configured to sync as soon as a new email arrives. And when it does, you instinctively check your phone to act upon it. Unless you’re expecting an important mail to arrive, this is unnecessary. Therefore, configure your smartphone to poll for new email messages less often. If you view those newsletters a bit later, it won’t cause hell to freeze over.
3. Put phone on Airplane Mode at night
Imagine this – it’s the middle of the night, and you’re sleeping soundly in your bed. Suddenly, your phone beeps with a message alert. What do you do? You sit up immediately and check your phone. Stop doing this, as it disturbs your sleep. And if you can’t, put your phone on Airplane Mode, so you don’t get any calls/messages/notifications anything during the time you should be taking rest. Barring a few exceptions, no call or message (and of course, FB update) is so important that it can’t wait till the next day.
4. Don’t check phone on waking up
When we get up in the morning, it’s the best time of the day. It’s meant to take a deep breath, and give your day a fresh start. What it’s not meant for, is checking who liked that selfie that you posted hours ago. So when you wake up, devote time towards getting freshened up, and preparing a nice breakfast. The likes on your selfies can be always checked later, they’re not going anywhere.
5. Get a limited Internet/Mobile Data plan
Another major reason why we stay buried in our smartphones’ screens all the time, is the fact that they are always connected to the Internet, whether it’s mobile data, or Wi-Fi. So do yourself a favor, and get on a limited Internet/Mobile Data plan. That way, you won’t feel the urge to browse the web, watch YouTube, or listen to streaming music. Oh, and it’ll also help you save some bucks on your mobile bill. Cool, right?
6. Uninstall apps you don’t use
Smartphones are all about apps, and more apps. And if you’re a heavy smartphone user, it’s highly likely that you check out the app store everyday, to see all the latest apps and games, and install them. But in due course of time, you continue to use only a handful of those apps. They just sit there doing nothing. So the best solution is to uninstall apps that are no longer useful to you. It’ll save your time, and also free up space on your phone.
Tip: Wanna get even more productive? Get rid of all the social media apps on your phone. It may seem like that, but it’s not impossible.
7. Get involved in real, outdoor activities
These days, people (especially kids and teenagers) spend so much time on their smartphones (and gadgets, in general), that they’ve all but forgotten the real life, and its many adventures. They no longer meet up with friends, just chat with them. When was the last time you left your phone behind, and went camping with your old buddies? If you don’t remember, now is the time to toss that smartphone aside, and go out. It’s not only fun, but also incredibly good for health.
8. Use apps to track/limit phone usage
If you’re looking forward to limiting your phone usage, you’ll have to use some apps on it. Quite an irony, isn’t? That’s exactly what apps like Moment and AppDetox are there for. These have features that let you track smartphone usage time, and even remind you to take breaks when you’re using it too much. Now that’s amazing.
9. Keep/charge your phone in another room
We all have this habit of having our phones close to ourselves, so that we can use them at all times. Even when they’re charging. So what’s the solution for this? Simple, just keep your smartphone in another room, both when it’s charging and when you won’t be using it for some time (e.g. during sleep). This will not only help you sleep better, but also let your phone get juiced up quicker.
10. Get a simple feature phone
Smartphones have (almost) completely rendered the humble feature phones (e.g. the legendary MOTO RAZR V3, and Nokia 1100) obsolete. And then there’s also the fact that smartphones are available at dirt cheap prices these days. But that doesn’t mean that feature phones don’t sell. They are still sold in the market, and perfect as secondary devices (for calling, texting, and playing music). So if you feel that you don’t really use all of the smartphone features, ditch it and go old-school with a nice feature phone. Among the many advantages is an amazing battery life, a “feature” that most smartphones don’t yet have.
Break out of your smartphone’s control
Given how useful they are, it’s no wonder that our smartphones have become an inevitable part of our daily lives. However, at the end, they are still electronic gadgets that are meant to make you more productive, and not take you away from the better, real things in life. So which of the above points would you be following? Talk to us in the comments below.