Smartphone Addiction is getting more serious than we think. In a recent study conducted by Deloitte, 80 percent of people check their smartphones within an hour after getting up and before going to sleep. 35 percent of these people do it within 5 minutes. A research project conducted at Aligarh Muslim University brought an alarming fact claiming that an average university student checks his/her phone about 150 times a day. The researchers emphasized that Anxiety and Fear of Missing Out on Information were to two main reasons behind this.
The good part is that a lot of people are trying to control their smartphone usage. Even Google has stepped up and brought its Digital Wellbeing platform in Android Pie that helps one to analyze his smartphone usage. The bad part, however, is that the success rate is still significantly low. But, not to worry, today we have some really useful ways through which you can overcome your smartphone addiction.
1. Charge Your Smartphone Away From Your Bed – If waking up in the morning and not finding your smartphone within arm’s reach gives you a mini heart attack, there is a problem. For all the important emails, missed calls, notifications you receive – you should still not use your smartphone first thing in the morning. A pretty straight forward solution to this problem is charging/keeping your smartphone away from bed, maybe on a desk or in a different room when you go to sleep.
2. Manage App Notifications – Both iOS and Android gives you the liberty to customize app notifications pretty comprehensively. We have a separate article on How to Block Notifications on Android?
We understand, blocking notifications is not feasible for everyone but you can definitely snooze or mute notifications from some selected apps. On Android you can simply swipe a notification half way and select the clock icon to snooze notifications from that particular app. If this is not working for you or it is too much of a task, you can turn on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your device which will instantly mute all your notifications.
3. Shift Tasks Like Reading News, YouTube to a PC – Smartphones have kind of changed the way we consume media. You want to listen so some music, you open Spotify/Gaana.com and play your favorite music. You want to watch a movie, Netflix is just a touch away. However, we forget that this leads to a compulsive smartphone usage pattern which is difficult to let go.
An easy workaround to this problem? Start watching your favorite movies, reading news and checking emails on your PC instead. This is will not only boost your media consumption experience but it will also remarkably reduce your overall consumption.
4. Turn Your Smartphone’s Screen Gray Scale – We check our smartphones a lot of times throughout the day. 90 percent of the times there is nothing happening on the screen and we still stare at it endlessly.
Instead, turn your smartphone’s screen Gray-Scale. Tuning your smartphone’s screen to grayscale will make it a little less addictive. It will not eliminate the entire problem but Instagram and Snapchat will definitely become a lot more boring.
If you are on iOS, go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale.
If you are on Android, go to Developer Settings > Simulate Color Space > Monochromacy. To enable Developer Options, go to About Phone > Tap Build Number 5-6 times until you see a notification toast saying ‘You are now a developer’.
5. Try Smartphone Usage Analyzing Apps – If you actually get your personalized smartphone usage stats, you will be shocked and hopefully a sense of realization will flow through. This is where apps platforms like Digital Wellbeing (Android), Screen Time (iOS) come into the picture. Both these platforms are limited to Android Pie and iOS 12 respectively. Meanwhile, you can try apps like OFFTIME.
OFFTIME will help you block apps, notifications, calls and SMS. Further, you can then choose some select apps which you would still want to use. The app gives you interesting stats based on your usage and also encourages you reach your daily target. Some alternatives to OFFTIME are AntiSocial, Stay Focused etc.
Remember, the problem is not the smartphone – It is us!
We hope you found this article helpful. If you have more ways to overcome smartphone addiction, let us know in the comment section below.