internet addiction

6 Ways to Reduce Internet or Smartphone Addiction

In 1992, IBM revealed a revolutionary device that had more capabilities than its preceding cell phones. Since then a lot of features have been introduced to smartphones to make the users life convenient and easy.  At the same time, Smartphones have become more affordable over the past few decades. It has reached to larger part of the society and people do everything with their cell phones. In fact, people rely on the smartphones more than ever before and are at risk of having a smartphone addiction. An American adult spent approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphone every single day.

Smartphone addiction, sometimes colloquially known as “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone), is often fueled by an internet overuse problem or internet addiction disorder.  The ability to access the entirety of the Internet on-the-go and low data cost has fueled this problem to higher levels. After all, it’s rarely the cell phone or tablet itself that creates the compulsion, but rather the social media, games, apps, and the whole online worlds it connects us to.

The benefits of the, mobile phones, internet and social media are unquestionably fantastic.  What I personally feel that in many ways, this is the best time in history to be alive. But perhaps these technologies are having some unintended social side effects. The modern life convenience provided by smartphones has come at a cost.  Many people can’t seem to live without using their smartphones during a larger part of their day.

internet addiction

Internet or Smartphone addiction negative impacts

Excess screen exposure, an addictive relationship with your smartphone, can negatively impact your day to day life in following ways

Self-help tips for reducing smartphone addiction

There are a number of steps you can take to get your smartphone and Internet use under control. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the temptation is always within your reach.

1. Remove unnecessary apps

I have found people having the mobile screen full of unnecessary apps. These unnecessary and useless apps can be extremely distracting. Some of the examples of such apps are dating, games, short video and social media apps.

I do not say that these apps are necessarily bad. In fact, these can be a great way to take a quick break and relax your mind when you’re having a stressful day. However, for some people, they can quickly become addictive. Games apps are spoiling not only your eyes, but your kids also. The unnecessary apps also creates various physical and psychological problems.

Cell phone Addiction

What you can do is remove social media apps from your smartphone, so that you can check Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and the like from your desktop computer only. Spending less time on social media apps and comparing yourself unfavorably to virtual world can help to boost your mood and sense of self-worth.

2. Change notification settings

You must have found yourself many times in a situation, when you are laser-focused on your tasks and priorities, and then – Tee Tee! A notification sound breaks your concentration and chain of thoughts, and you’re reaching for your phone. After all, that’s the purpose of notifications. They are supposed to grab your attention to get you to focus on the corresponding app.

You can curb your cell phone addiction by managing and changing the sound and frequency of your notifications. Turn off the notifications of your apps. You may keep notification ON for few key relevant apps, but and large keep them off for most of the apps.

3. Unplug time

One of the way to manage smartphone or internet addiction is create a unplug time or zone or place. In this you decide a predetermined time or place, when use of mobile phone is banned. You restrict the use of phone device in a solid and authoritarian way to break the addiction. I personally do not use the phone on my dining table. If you look it from timing perspective, I do not use the phone early in the morning, just after I wake up.

4. Use ordinary mobile to combat smartphone addiction

I know it’s tough, as most of ordinary mobiles do not have internet connectivity facility. But, I have found couple of my friends switching from smartphone to ordinary phone. And believe me, they are quite happy with this experiment. They say mobile phone is for speaking to others and ordinary phone does it perfectly.

mobile phone addiction

5. Be more real than virtual

One of the reason of smartphone addiction is that it creates virtual world around user. Virtual friends and virtual text conversations can never be better than the real life person in front of you. In fact the truth is that we are so addicted to our phones that we ignore the people we are with to hang out with virtual people over Facebook, Twitter, and text messages. I have found people in social gathering are present there physically, but they are busy with their virtual world.

I would suggest, have some real time fun, meet with friends, work on hobbies, hang out with family. Spending more time in real  world will automatically curb your smartphone and internet addiction.

mobile phone addiction

6. Set alarm for sleeping

Now you must be laughing on me, alarms are used to wake up in the morning ; not in the evening to sleep. But you must adopt this tip to change your smartphone screen time habits. Set alarm for sleeping, and when it buzzes, just go for sleep. People spend a lot of time on smartphone screen before sleeping.

You must ditch your phone before going to sleep. Poor sleep quality results in other physical and psychological health issues. A research stated that Mobile phone usage before bedtime leads to fatigue and insomnia.

Over to you now

Over to you now. Now it’s your turn. Do you find yourself in one of the above addiction scenarios? What’s your plan of action to ensure that your smartphone isn’t controlling your life? Please share in the comments below, and let’s inspire each other to live healthier, peaceful, happier, mindful and more meaningful lives by not caving into a smartphone or internet addiction.

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