How to Manage Your Smartphone Usage
Updated: Jun 6, 2018
Many of us are guilty of being compulsively attached to our smartphones these days. You wake up and check the phone. You munch on breakfast while checking your phone. You head out for lunch with your head down still glued to the phone. Sometimes, even when it’s not in use, we still feel the need to keep it within arms reach on the dinner table, you know - just in case! It has become an extended limb that we just can’t seem to get enough of. But with the world being accessible right from our fingertips, can you really blame us? The problem is that this modern compulsion has become our modern addiction. We’re hooked. And because of this, our virtual life has really begun to overshadow our real life.
So, how can you manage your smartphone usage? Here are some tips to help you balance your time and usage so that you can get back to being more present in your own life.
Be Aware Of Your Usage
When a friend or loved one makes a comment on how attached you are to your smartphone, instead of shrugging it off, listen to them. Better yet, tune in and become aware of just how often you reach for your phone. And try to recognize what it is that's making you so eager to reach for it in the first place. Maybe it’s boredom or maybe you feel stressed out, or maybe you just feel lonely. Whatever the reason may be, by becoming aware of your habit, you can actively try to reduce your usage and instead, have a face-to-face conversation with your partner, or pick up the phone and call your friend (remember the sound of their voice!), or just enjoy the moment, screen-free. Try to get back to that human interaction that's so important for us social beings.
Focus On Discipline
Self-discipline is one of the greatest challenges for us all, whether it’s in regards to finances, exercise and diet, or managing our smartphone usage. But when you reach a point where your finances, for example, really begin to suffer because of a lack of discipline, there’s no other option but to make a change. Well, the same should go for your smartphone. If you’ve reached a point where your personal relationships are beginning to suffer, or your friends don’t bother to invite you out anymore because the conversation ends up being between you and your phone, then it’s time to really enforce a change. Focus on putting the phone down and turning your notifications off to help you resist the urge to reach for it. It will take time and effort, but with enough practise, it will get much easier. And, you just might get that invitation to go out again!
Enjoy Life Minus The Screen-Time
Too many of us are obsessed with capturing life through our screen that we end up missing out on the actual experience. But ask yourself, are those ‘likes’ from people you barely know really worth it? Give yourself a break from being plugged in and seeking the attention of others online. Get back to enjoying those moments in life – birthdays, hikes in the forest, camping with friends – whatever it may be, minus the screen-time. You'll notice just how much you've been missing out on.
Time seems to just fly by with not enough hours in the day. And, it’s not hard to see why when we’re constantly glued to our smartphones. As necessary as they are to stay connected, remember that human connection and face-to-face interaction is more important for our health and for our happiness. So start today by practising how to put the phone down and focus on what really matters most for maintaining those personal relationships, friendships, and actually appreciating what life has to offer.