It’s no wonder that the majority of us spend a great deal of our daily lives using our smartphones and it’s hard to resist using them as they have pretty much taken the place of many other devices that we used to rely on e.g alarm clocks. From schedule and planning basics like alarm clocks and agendas to picture-taking and online shopping apps, you can do so many things with a click of a button.
The problem is that all these convenient features and apps impose another major issue: smartphone addiction. Some of us are so hooked on our cell phones that we can’t put them down for a minute and keep checking them again and again throughout the day. In extreme cases, this excessive use and addiction can lead to various health issues–from headaches and insomnia to poor socialization skills and eyesight problems.
This inevitably raises the question of whether our cell phones are actually doing more harm than good?
The thing is, it’s next to impossible to live without a smartphone in today’s modern world and fairly enough, they do come with many conveniences. But since they have some unpleasant side-effects too, there are some specific things that you can do to control them and namely, decrease the time you spend using your smartphone.
Here are the best tips for decreasing your smartphone usage:
1.Use A Traditional Alarm
As we stated earlier, smartphones have ditched the need for an actual alarm clock. But this has made your cell phone the first thing that you see when you get out of bed and the last thing before you wake-up at night. And if we are honest with ourselves, most of us don’t have enough self-control to switch the alarm on or off and just go back to bed.
A former study in 2017 has shown that social media browsing 30 minutes before sleeping is linked to sleep problems and disturbance in young adults. Thus, it would be wise to keep your phone as from your bed as possible to resist the temptation of using it and use a traditional alarm clock instead.
2. Manage Your Notifications
Most of us agree that notifications are pesky like flies but they are sadly necessary in many cases. However, this means that all this attempt to stop using your phone at times will go to waste if your phone keeps buzzing countless times per day.
One tip to tackle this problem is to adjust your notification settings. Most smartphones today can let you do this–alternatively, you may get an app that helps you block unwanted notifications.
You can also prioritize your notifications into high priority ones (manager emails, calls from your partner), medium or low priority e.g social media or news alerts. This way, you will be alerted only when the priority is high and you can sort the rest notifications later when you have some spare time.
3. Monitor Your Screen Time
There are many of us who don’t really realize how much time we spend using our “smarties’ on a daily basis and we assume that it’s a problem of others but not ours. Only real and hard facts will help us wake-up and see what we are doing. These insights and data are now accessible on most smartphone models currently and they can show you among others how many hours you’ve spent/24 hours, the number of times you have unlocked it, etc.
In some smartphones, there are notifications that reveal if you have crossed a certain limit of time spent on an app/daily. Of course, you can ignore this but if you keep getting reminders of over-using your phone, you will be able to put it down for more time and stick to it long-term.
4. Turn on The Grayscale Mode
One of the top reasons we are tempted to use our phone more is that it’s sharp, bright and colorful and yes, we are not much different than our feline friends when it comes to light! In fact, developers make interfaces brighter and more colorful on purpose so we are thirsty for more.
To make things appear less mesmerizing, a good trick would be to activate the grayscale color mode. You may access it right from your settings if you have an iOS device. If you have an android and can’t find this particular mode, look for an app that does.