CE Insight: Break The Addiction To Your Phone
Have you ever heard of 'nomophobia?' It's defined as the irrational fear of being without your phone.
I didn't know it had a name lol.
Maybe you relate to this fear or maybe you don't, but according to some statistics, 66% of the population shows signs of nomophobia.
Nomophobia or not, today I want to talk a bit about how we can use our phones in a healthier ways to break addiction, be more present and embodied, and get our brains back.
The typical cell phone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day.
Research has shown that the mere presence of your smartphone, even when it is turned off and face down, drains your attention.
Most people spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone each day.
50% of all phone pickups happen within 3 minutes of the previous one.
There are a ton of negative effects associated with too much screen time and cell phone use including poor sleep patterns, depression, loss of memory and problem solving skills, reduced quality of conversations, and feeling disconnected from our environment and body.
The good news is, small changes can go a long way.
Some Small Changes
The intention here is to improve, not go cold turkey, so keep titration in mind. This means trying little bits at a time to build solid habits vs trying too much at once and becoming overwhelmed.
As always, have fun too.
Tip #1 One of the easiest things to do is create a bit more distance from your phone.
Don't bring your phone to bed with you. Also, charge it in another room.
At meals, leave your phone somewhere else, not on the table, or on your person.
Tip #2 Become aware of your habits and reflexes.
Make a point to notice when you reflexively pick up your phone to check 'nothing'. Help break this neurological connection by putting down your phone and taking a breath. Come back to your body, notice how it makes contact with the chair/couch or whatever it's touching. Be with it.
Check your screen time stats on your phone. Is it under 2 hours? If not, see if you can lower it by 10 minutes a day until you get there.
Tip #3 Turn off notifications.
Just because you get a text, email, Facebook comment or DM, doesn't mean you have to check right away and answer. Turning off notification sounds can help decrease the amount of times you pick up your phone.
Up For A Bigger Challenge?
Back in 2009 I started doing something I called 'no tech days.'
On a Saturday before bed I'd turn off my phone and wouldn't turn it on again until Monday morning. Sunday was the no tech day.
To be honest, I didn't use my TV or laptop either. Instead, I'd spend some time alone, some with people, reading, or doing something I loved - sometimes even chores.
If you're up for this challenge, give it a go this weekend or next - even if you do it with just your phone.
Make a point to notice your body, habits, and sensations if you keep thinking about your phone.
Perhaps ask yourself: what qualities do I feel in my thoughts or body when I reflexively think about my phone? Am I bored? Do I feel anxious? etc.
Phones are useful and helpful, especially in our modern world. We might reflexively want to get rid of them entirely, but for most of us that's not really an option.
But with some simple steps and more awareness, we can greatly improve our digital well-being.
Take small steps, track any improvements, and have fun. Improving your life doesn't have to be serious and stressful.
p.s. I have started a personal Substack to talk personal transformation, society, culture, and consciousness. Check it out here. I enjoy connecting with readers in the comments as well.
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