Have you ever found yourself mindlessly navigating Facebook? Or unintentionally scrolling your Instagram newsfeed? Maneuvering mobile devices has become second nature to many of us. We could quite literally do it in our sleep. In fact, for many of us it becomes compulsive, we need to check our Snapchats regularly throughout the day & we can’t stop ourselves from one last peek at Pokemon Go before bed. It interferes with our every day life, it distracts us from our regular duties & the relationships we so cherish. If you aren’t careful it is quite easy to become a mobile addict.
Cell phone addiction is being compared to other activity addictions such as gambling. It has even earned it has place in psychology diagnostic literature. How is that even possible? It’s a cell phone! It’s totally innocent, right?
Symptoms of cell phone addiction include: an increased need to use your cell phone, excessive use of your cell phone & a loss of the sense of time, using your cell phone to cope with negative feelings such as anxiety or sadness, thinking about your cell phone even when you are not using it, feeling anger, irritability, or tension when you cannot use your cell phone or you do not have cell service. Do you have any of these symptoms? I get it, I do. I think most of the modern society has, does, or will battle phone addiction. One click quickly turns into two clicks and 276 clicks later you look up to realize the kids are all crying, the house is in shambles, & you’re 15 minutes late to ballet. I know I’ve struggled with these vices from time to time. It’s ok to admit. In fact, the first step to overcoming any addiction is admittance.
I was once a mobile addict.
A cell phone addiction can have mental & physical effects. Too much mobile phone exposure can cause sleep problems, anxiety, depression, eye strain, & neck strain. Cell phones distract us from our surroundings, which often means we are distracted from those we love. We miss out on so many wonderful moments when we our faces are hidden behind a screen. Which is why I came up with a list of 5 tips to break the mobile addiction.
5 Tips To Break The Mobile Addiction
Mix It Up:
Our fingers almost instinctively know where to go on our touch screen phones. Often times, I unlock my phone & open apps without thinking about it. It becomes such an ingrained habit. By regularly rearranging the app icons on your phone screen you ensure that your brain is engaged along with your fingers. It forces you to think about what you are doing & gives you the opportunity to stop.
The more steps it takes & the more inconvenient it is, the less you will do it. Log out of your social media accounts after every use. The added log-in time will make you think twice about using your social media.
Put a Lock On It:
Again, the harder you make it, the less you will do it. Locking your device & regularly changing your password not only secures your device but makes you think about what you are doing before you even lay eyes on that instagram icon.
Tech Time Outs:
I’m sure you’ve used this technique on your kids & that’s because it works. Designate specific times of the day (i.e. school pick-up, family meals, nap time, etc.) when you need distraction free focus & physically remove yourself from your mobile device. Turn off the ringer, plug it in to charge in another room, or lock it in your car.
I know this sounds extreme but when all else fails delete the apps & remove the temptation. When the hand-held device habit gets to be too much you can delete the apps & still have access to your favorite sites via computer. Sitting down in front of a computer isn’t as easy or automatic; it requires both time & thought. Go app free for a few weeks & when you feel ready to restore the apps you can.
Habits are hard, but not impossible, to break. You can do this. By following these 5 tips to break the mobile addiction you will regain a controlled & balanced mobile phone relationship.
Looking for even more tips to help you unplug and reconnect with the family? Check out some of these great ideas: