No matter how late I wake up, how busy I am, or how long my friends are waiting for me to get dressed – I HAVE TO CHECK MY PHONE. It’s literally the extension of my right hand and I know it’s a bit sad to admit, but I can’t live, leave or breathe without it.
I’ve realised that I’m literally addicted to my phone. The other day when I went to a party and I forgot to take it with me, I freaked out. I felt completely helpless and I swear to God that I almost started shaking.
If you’ve ever been in my shoes, this “smartphone diet plan” is for you!
- Acknowledge the problem:
It’s important to recognise that your relationship with your smartphone is not healthy so try to do something to change it! You know what they say: “If you acknowledge the problem, you’re halfway towards its solution.”
All my life I thought that my relationship with my phone was productive and positive but obviously, I was wrong. It took me a while to have a look around and notice that almost half of the people I know have a toxic relationship with their phones (guilty) and they don’t even know (double guilty)! As per my research – which is basically Google searching “Am I addicted to my phone?” – the addiction is real and it has a name!! It’s called “nomophobia” and unfortunately, it’s a common one.
- Set time limits for each media app:
Almost every app on your phone has been expertly engineered to hook you. Have you found yourself searching for your smartphone every 5 minutes? Or refreshing your social media feeds even if you’ve already seen the “You’re all caught up!” sign? Did you know that Instagram has created a code that holds back on showing users new “likes” on purpose so that it can deliver a whole bunch of them the moment at which seeing new likes will discourage you from closing the app? Our smartphones control us and we’re not doing anything about it! (Honestly, I feel a bit used right now!) What I’d suggest is to set a time limit when you use a media app, or if you’re not “strong enough” to do it on your own, download a tracking app to help you track your device usage and set daily limits. There are plenty of choices such as Moment (iOS) or AppDetox (Android).
- Leave your phone out of your bedroom over night:
Lying in your bed and staring at your phone isn’t the best way to put yourself to sleep. Nor is it any better to leave it plugged in only 30cm away from you so that you can grab it approximately 10 times during the night to watch videos on Youtube, scroll down to Asos and check your feed on Instagram. I know it sounds impossible but you’re going to have to keep your smartphone out of the bedroom if you want healthy, restful sleep. If you need your phone’s alarm to wake up, just get yourself an actual alarm clock; I bet you still have one as a decoration on your bedside table!
I know that it’s really difficult for all of us to take control over our smartphones. It’s not like we’re going to stop using them, though! We should think of it as more like going on a diet – just cutting out the unhealthy bits! OKAY, I know what you’re thinking: “Why should I think of it as a diet, I HATE DIETS!” – Yeah, me too sister but there’s no other way: We have to cut back to more healthy levels of use; and we have to do it ASAP!
Otherwise, God help us!