Are you looking for a way out of your phone addiction? Can’t help picking your phone up every 10 minutes? Is your phone addiction hampering your quality of life? Forget all worries because this article will be your ultimate guide on how to stop phone addiction forever.
Why are you addicted to your phone?
Before talking about ways to stop phone addiction, we need to sort out the elephant in the brain. If we are not clear about what we are fighting, we will never win against it. One of the reasons most tips on the internet don’t work is because they do not state the exact problem but provide the solution in general. So the first step is to find the exact cause of this phone addiction.
The instant gratification: Most people do not have a definite cause for using phones too much, but rather it is the instant dopamine hit that compels them to look at their phone every once in a while. Every time you pick up your phone to check notifications, your brain gets an instant boost of dopamine that makes you feel good. And your brain loves dopamine, and it wants to do anything that increases the levels of dopamine again and again. This instant gratification is why most of us cannot help but pick up our phones every 5 minutes or so.
Loneliness: Now, this might sound harsh, but the truth is, we all love attention. One of the best ways to acquire attention in this era is to be active in social media. When you don’t have friends in real life, the likes, comments, and shares of virtual social media seem fun and stress-relieving. It corners people from the idea that deep in their hearts, they are feeling lonely.
Habit: After using the phone for a long period, we start to get habituated to the idea of checking our phones once in a while. We do not like it, nor do we want to do it, but our habits are programmed to put our hands in our pockets and start scrolling through social media.
Boring life: I do not mean to be rude, but if you spend 3-4 hours per day on your phone, not much is going on in your life. Virtual social media cannot give you the experience of real life. Maybe you need a change of scenario and need to find something more exciting to do with your life.
These are the principal causes of using the phone too much. Try to identify the cause of your addiction. It could be one of them or a mixture of all of them too. But whatever it is, you can eliminate it with the help of the given ways of stopping addiction
Check your screen time.
Before knowing how to stop phone addiction, you need to know your average screen time this week. Knowing this will help you to track your improvements over time.
Here is how to do it:
- Go to “Settings”
- Scroll down and go to “Digital Wellbeing.”
- Click dashboard
- The dashboard will show you how many hours you have used your phone this week.
- Go to “Settings”
- Click on ” Screentime”
- There is complete data of how much you have used your phone in the whole week and more.
If you know have your data on average weekly screentime, write it down somewhere. This will help you to track your progress and how much these tips (given below) help or not. Let us take a look how we can stop phone addiction
Set Limits through your screen time settings
This is the first thing that you can do that will help you reduce your screentime significantly. Both iPhone and Android have options for putting limits on certain apps. If you use social media too much, put limits on your social media apps so that you cannot use them for indefinite periods. You will no longer be able to use time-consuming apps for longer periods.
Deleting the Apps that consume more screen time:
According to a study by Apptopic, People spend the most time in the following apps:
It might be a different set of apps for you. But deleting these time-consuming apps is going to help you in the long run. Now I know this might sound like extreme measures, but it is not. You can always browse social media from your PC or Mac browser. But deleting them from your phone will add a level of friction that is significantly going to reduce your phone addiction.
Take a day off from Tech.
Now I know this might not be entirely possible considering how much we are entangled with technology. But I think you can try it as an experiment because a day without social media or no phone is going to feel really good. Pick a day of the week, any day, and don’t use your phone unless for receiving important calls. If you feel this works for you, try to turn this into a habit. Enjoy a no phone day!
Call your friends instead of messaging
Face it, we all love texting more than calling. It’s not because of the phone bills, but rather the internal friction to call our friends, relatives, or even different services. We feel it would be easier and better if we just messaged them through socials. Try to avoid this avoid and start calling. Build up the habit of calling. Texting is easy, and it does not contribute to developing your social skills. This habit of calling people instead of texting will help you reduce phone addiction and improve your social communication skills.
Try to apply the same rules to your friends too. Tell them to call you more often. Rather than texting you, tell them to call you or meet you face- to face. Face- to face meetings or hangouts are much better recreation than long text messages.
Check your phone pick-ups:
Have you ever checked how many times you have picked up your phone? We have discussed how you can check the screen time; you can also check your pick-ups from the same menu. You will notice that you have picked up your phone more than 100 times a day but have not used it for more than 2-3 minutes. So it would be best if you were more mindful of every pick-up the next time. Whenever you are picking your phone up, ask yourself a simple question,
“Do I really have anything to do or I am just doing it out of reflex?”
This simple question will help you stay away from unnecessary pick-ups and help you stop phone addiction.
Use Specific Apps for Self-Control
Many apps help you in controlling your phone addiction. Example :
All of them do a really good job, but I would personally recommend using Forest because of its great interface and features.
Forest gives you the option to focus on your work/ study by blocking other apps or websites. Every time you start a productive session, a tree starts to grow in the background. If you leave the app to use your phone, your tree will wither. But In case you complete a study/work session, your tree will grow completely and be ready to be planted in the forest. It brings gamification to productivity and helps you to break your vicious habit.
Learn more about Forest !
Eliminating your phone addiction is not an easy task. It is not something that is going to happen in days. It may take weeks, months to learn how to stop phone addiction completely. But if you follow these steps above, you will slowly learn to avoid using phones little by little. I would recommend you track your progress weekly by writing it in a journal or any digital note-taking app. Recording your progress and checking your screen time each week will give you an extra boost of motivation also