Who doesn’t love their smartphone? I know I do. And with all the evidence I see everyday of people with their faces glued to these little glass boxes, we are all a bit too attached to our smartphones. I love techy stuff obviously, so I don’t want to sound like an old curmudgeon, but here I go.
Smartphones are wonderful, we all agree. But there is life away from these little devices. We truly miss out on a lot of physical reality when we only choose to participate in this digital world that our phones provide. Here are five ways we can unchain ourselves from our smartphones….just for a break, not forever. Don’t panic folks!
- Set up rewards so you have to earn extra use of your smartphone. For example, you could tie it to an exercise program. If you walk or jog a certain amount of time each week you can use your smartphone an extra 30 minutes each day. You can tie this to any “good” activity or goals you are trying to reach. Eating healthy, not criticizing others or yourself, or watching less TV are examples. In the end, you are being accountable to yourself. So make the decision to really follow through with these reward systems. Cheating is just cheating yourself.
- Download an app to monitor and block certain apps from being over used. We truly can be using our phones more than we realize. Ironically, a little technology to restrain your addiction to technology is helpful. This is using your current willpower when you are determined to lessen your smartphone use, to prevent your future self, without that same willpower, from over using your phone.
- Make time for outdoors activities. You don’t have to go full blown “Survivorman”. Just go for a simple hike or a smooth whitewater rafting trip. You can take your phone for emergencies, just turn it off. These type activities will make you feel much more alive than playing any smartphone game all day everyday.
- Make a point to only check certain apps once a day. I will assure you that there is not much groundbreaking news on Facebook each hour. If you miss seeing what your 3rd grade friend had for lunch, I think you will survive. Email is the same way. Checking it once a day is fine unless you depend on it for business purposes.
- Schedule time off from your smartphone. You can choose just an hour a day to turn it off. Or you can choose one day a week or every other week. This will seem like a lot to the most attached smartphone users out there, but it is not. You wouldn’t watch TV all day everyday would you? Never turning your phone off is the equivalent.