Let’s start off by testing to see if you’re addicted to your phone:
- Check your phone first thing in the morning?
- Freak out when your phone runs out of battery?
- Check your phone even when you didn’t hear any notifications?
- Understand fully that using your phone while driving puts both your life and the lives of others in danger, but do it anyway?
- Believe that life is boring without a phone?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you might be addicted. Before I start offering solutions, let me explain why this matters.
Phone addictions lead to lower quality of work, wasted time, higher stress levels, and an overall lower quality of life. You really don’t have to be scrolling through your Facebook News Feed. Same applies to your Instagram feed, or any other social app you’ve been filling your life with. Don’t worry. You won’t die. If anything, you’ll become more alive and realize the absurdity of it all as you finally take a look around and see that pretty much everybody has their noses pressed up against these little tiny screens. Crazy.
By order of severity, I have listed several options you can try as a solution to your phone addiction. If it doesn’t work for you, move on to the next line. Once you get stronger, make your way back to the top of the list.
- Don’t use a phone
- Replace your smartphone with a circa pre 2006 phone
- Delete all social apps off your smartphone
- Keep all your social apps, but turn off all notifications
- Keep all social apps, but put your phone on silent
- Keep all social apps, but turn off all notifications and put your phone on silent
- Designate specific time slots for when you can check all your notifications – in other words: Set a timer + batch process.
The last one is probably the most doable and realistic, so at least give it a shot.
Checking your phone every time a notification pops up is not only highly inefficient, but it also distracts you from the current task at hand and lowers the quality of your work and your life. By simply changing your behavioral habits with your phone and designating specific time slots to batch process, you’re still functional in an increasingly modern world. You still get to have the latest smart phone. You don’t have to explain to everyone why your phone is a dinosaur. You also don’t have to explain why you don’t use social apps. In short, you get to take advantage of all the great innovations technology provides us without technology taking advantage of you.
by Jason Lam