Digital addiction has become a real problem in modern days. We all tend to spend too much time on our phones, often doing nothing important. It is all about quick dopamine boosts and engaging apps. But in the long run, this can be a very harmful habit.
If you feel like you need to cut down on your screen time, this guide will help you out.
Why You Should Be Concerned
Maybe you haven’t given much thought to it. But the internet and smartphone users can become a real problem when left unchecked. Like any other addiction, it can interfere with life, damage relationships, and impact academic or work performance.
Surely, technology makes our lives easier in many ways. But one should be responsible about how they use it. For instance, the young generation is particularly prone to long screen time. Students might struggle with their time management or even assignments. One too many videos on Tik Tok, and you do not realize how close the essay deadline is.
Luckily, there is a way to solve an urgent issue of this sort. Students can order essay paper help from credible academic platforms to get instant assistance. You’ll get fast and high-quality results from expert writers. However, it is still important to be reasonable with the time you spend on your phone.
Multiple pieces of research show that longer screen usage is linked to:
- Growing anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem;
- Nomophobia is a fear of not having your device with you at all times;
- Ringxiety is a type of anxiety when you have to check your smartphone all the time because of imaginative calls or texts;
- Textiety is a feeling that you need to text right back and be available 24/7;
- Fear of missing out.
According to psychologists, internet addiction impacts the same stimulus highs as other additions (shopping or gambling). This can lead to serious mental health issues. But do not worry, there are several ways you can beat this problem.
How to Cut Down Screen Time
Recognize the Problem
The first step in any life change is to recognize the issue. If you do not want to make a change, you will not succeed.
Check your screen time for a couple of days and see the results. What apps do you use the most? How long do you use your phone? Also, think about the feeling you get before and after it. Do you feel more anxious or sad after? Or do you feel more confident in your daily life?
The next step is to set realistic goals. If you are used to looking at the screen for 12 hours a day, it will be unrealistic to cut it down to 1 hour immediately.
Based on the apps you use more, create a list of goals you want to achieve. To stay motivated, remember why you are doing this.
Use Limiting Apps
There are plenty of technology tools and software solutions that limit internet access. If you feel like you do not have enough willpower right now, you can use them.
For example, one can:
- Use an internet-blocking app and set it for a specific schedule;
- Download browser extensions to limit particular sites like Facebook or Reddit;
- Change router settings to turn the internet off at night or to block specific sites;
- Install parental control on the smartphone.
When you set a specific limit for yourself – stick to it with a timer. Turn it on, and as it goes off after 20-30 minutes, it is a signal to put the device down.
Turn On Grayscale
Another proven way to use a phone less is to make it less fun. You can turn your Android or iOS device into a grayscale. With no colors and fewer stimuli for the brain to get addicted to easy dopamine.
It might seem radical at first, but it will actually help.
Turn Off Notification
Surely, don’t do it for those that are truly important. You can leave notifications from people and work emails. But turn off the game notifications and social media apps for sure. You do not need to immediately respond to an Instagram comment. And you do not need to know that your energy in a game is recharged when you are busy with an important task.
Notifications make us take the phone in our hands, and then it is hard not to check all the other things we are used to.
Delete Some of the Accounts and Apps
Of course, for the majority of people deleting all the apps sounds unrealistic. But for better time management, you can cut on those that are not very important at all. The fewer distractions you have, the better it is.
Delete the accounts you no longer use or do not need. Limit the number of games on your device. Put the most addicting apps far from the main screen or in a specific folder. It might take a few more seconds to access it, and during this, you might reconsider using them at all.
Start New Hobbies
Often the case, people go on their phones when they do not know what to do. A healthy substitute is any other hobby you can do without your device. Think of what you always wanted to try and incorporate into your routine. It can be something like:
- Drawing or painting;
- Knitting, etc.
A great idea is to join a club of people with the same interests.
Leave the Phone Behind
Accessibility makes it harder to resist temptation. Try to leave your phone to rest sometimes. Do not take it to the bathroom, and do not use it while eating. Put it down when meeting friends. Go for a short walk without it. If you are outside in the park, enjoy the view without scrolling the feed.
Also, do not put it on your nightstand. Preferably charge it in another room and do not use it as an alarm.
Smartphones can be addictive and can turn into a harmful habit. That’s why it is important to be aware of the risks and cut down on screen time. It will help to be more efficient, manage your time reasonably, and feel better about yourself.