Stuck on Your Mobile Device? Methods for Conquering Addiction

Stuck on Your Mobile Device? Methods for Conquering Addiction

The problem is not with technology per se, but with our own actions in relation to it. When used correctly, its potential to benefit our lives beyond anything we could have imagined is limitless. When not handled properly, it has the potential to make us feel overwhelmed, lonely, irritated, and isolated. Master technology, make intelligent decisions, and put it to good use for yourself and the people you care about. – Andy Puddicombe

I like getting one or two notifications. When those small pellets arrive from a specific individual in the mobile cosmos, I get a pleasant little thrill. Also, it’s always tempting to look at certain applications.

My phone is great, but I’ve come to learn that it can be a major distraction at times.

There have been days when I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the light on my screen. On different days, I’ve unlocked my phone more times than I can remember because of pure obsession. I have done both on several occasions.

I’ve even experienced the peculiar feeling of possessing a mental phone, connected to all the potential alerts, features, and bells that my physical phone might offer. Perhaps as I strolled down the street, I would find myself torn between two realities, unable to fully appreciate my surroundings.

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How Did Our Addiction to Cell Phones Begin?

If you’ve ever been bored, lonely, or anxious and found yourself reaching for your phone, you know the feeling. Experts estimate that the typical individual unlocks their phone between eighty and one hundred times daily.

It’s starting to seem like most of us use our phones carelessly. On the contrary, when we are unhappy, we seek solace in them.

We think about the conversations we’ve had and the ones we’re going to have on our phones. Maybe we long for little breaks in the middle of the day. However, such omissions fritter away our valuable attention.

We lose the ability to live lives of significance when we mindlessly give our attention to so many things, day after day.

I can’t tell you how many times I typed “f” for Facebook on my mobile browser before I beat my addiction to smartphones. Sometimes I would check my Gmail more than twenty times in a day. The mobile sites continued to entice me even after I removed the corresponding applications.

I craved a signal that would bind me, and I found myself captivated. Maybe you’ve experienced it before. The “little checks” had an undeniable hold on me. A part of me hoped that a fresh experience would suddenly appear in my life.

This is becoming ridiculous, but I get it; it’s increasingly the rule rather than the exception. We must discover our desires in the physical world, both within and beyond ourselves.

The Emotional Cost of Being Preoccupied with Your Phone

Does checking my phone make me feel better? Perhaps a small amount. But after a while, it just makes me feel fantastic in my head. Actually, I end up feeling dissatisfied and unable to concentrate because of it.

My mind becomes frazzled from checking my phone so often during the day. It takes my mind off of things while simultaneously offering the illusion that something external, on a screen no bigger than four or five inches, will improve my health.

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Disconnecting from my phone for a few days helped me understand this on a deeper level.

A part of me believed I was about to lose something important. I refused to give in to the impulse; instead, I sat with it until I realized it was an illusion—a method for me to avoid taking charge of my day.

A growing sense of detachment emerged as the hours went by, and I gradually detached from the beehive and its cacophony. After only one day, I felt a lot closer to others and myself.

The idea that our cellphones can transport us to a more interesting and thrilling place is something we take for granted. In terms of our addiction, our phones are like smoke for our eyes and sweets for our cravings—we can’t get enough.

However, the more we look at our phones, the less we are able to unwind and connect with ourselves.

Why Ditching Your Phone Isn’t the Solution

After realizing I needed to quit my addiction, I went for the easy way out. I reverted to using a regular phone, devoid of any applications.

Even though it had many great features at first, after a while I started to miss being able to use Google Maps, hail an Uber, take photos, and chat with friends all over the globe on Messenger. Music, audiobooks, and podcasts were things I really missed.

Anyone who has decided to fully disconnect from their smartphone has my full support. However, most of us cannot live without our electronic gadgets in this modern day. Doing so also prevents us from making good use of the many technological advantages that may better our lives.

The problem is not smartphones as such, but rather our habits around their usage.

How to Stop Being Dependent on Your Smartphone: 7 Actions

Whether it’s in your pocket or a few meters away, a smartphone may disrupt your concentration, awareness, and tranquility. It also depends on you and your chosen path.

Simply put, if you spend more time staring at your phone screen, you’ll have less time to pursue your passions. My concentration, efficiency, and serenity were all greatly enhanced after following these procedures, which allowed me to halve the amount of time I spent staring at my phone.

1. Your phone isn’t an alarm clock.

A lot of us have morning rituals where we check our phones. We set aside our own plans for the day and instead follow other people’s agendas.

2. Ideally, set your phone to flight mode at the same time every night.

You can be certain that setting it to flight mode before bed will not wake you up throughout the night, and you will be less likely to surf the web first thing in the morning. Good night’s sleep and a peaceful morning await you.

3. Every week, give yourself a whole day without your phone.

It has been a boon to me to take a day off from my phone every week. Because of this, I no longer feel the urge to cling to my smartphone at all times; it is only a tool. It has been helpful in separating me from my phone.

4. To find out how many hours a week you spend staring at your phone, download time-monitoring software.

You can find TimeUsed on the Play Store for Android. Have a look at Moment on the iPhone. All those minor checks on your phone may quickly add up to a significant portion of your day when you become aware of how much time it consumes.

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5. Turn off the applications that aren’t in use.

Eliminate all except the most useful social networking applications from your device. To illustrate my point, while I do use WhatsApp and Snapchat, I do not have Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook loaded on my phone. Find out what suits you best.

6. Turn off your phone’s email.

And if you’re really hooked, you may want to disable the browser, too. Getting rid of email on my phone has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. On Android, you have the option to deactivate the stock browser using PackageDisabler Pro. In any case, removing your preferred browser might be the solution.

7. Keep in mind that you’re making good use of your smartphone when you have a plan before you unlock it.

Make an effort to distinguish between reaching for your phone out of a desire for solace and reaching for it with a purpose. After this, you won’t check your phone as often.

Just picture a movie where the protagonist can’t stop staring at his phone. It would be challenging to support a hero who is prone to distraction.

Who are we to argue that you aren’t the protagonist of your own story?

Get out of your rut and start making good use of your smartphone.

Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.

-Dr. Jonathan Parker-

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