In a committed relationship with your phone? Well, maybe it’s time to take a break. The invention of cell phones is one of those pivotal moments in history, but with the introduction of the smartphone, we’ve taken a tool for quick and efficient communication and turned it into a life source. Smartphones aren’t the problem, it’s the way in which people rely on them that is. Ever hear the saying everything is healthy in moderation? Yeah, that applies here too.
The first “smartphone” is not what we think of today; it was actually this brick that came out in 1994 with the ability to send/receive emails and faxes, had a touchscreen and included features like a calendar, address book and schedule. Compared to today, that doesn’t seem too complex, but arguably, it was all you really needed and it was enough to be considered a smartphone. It wasn’t until the introduction of a small brand called Apple that society really began to depend on their phones in the way we see now.
It’s not hard to understand why people become so attached to their phones, it’s basically a portable computer that could fit in a pocket or purse and allows you unlimited resources with just a couple of taps. You take a smartphone with a solid WiFi connection and all of a sudden you’re the keeper of everything there is to know about anything. This type of access is definitely a feat but it’s not the need for knowledge that drives our addiction.
Social media undoubtedly plays a huge part in the lives of the population majority and this generation in particular has a universal narcissistic identity that is fueled by likes, views and follows. Every demon has its good side, however, as social media does provide a good way to stay connected to friends and family. Moreover, since social media exploded, it is used more and more as a platform to display work, projects, art or even promote stores and businesses. Regardless of how it is being used, there is no doubt that maybe people are on social media more than they should be.
Now everyone is entitled to live their life how they want to, but it’s also important to remember that every minute spent online is a minute you aren’t really in the moment. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, here are some tips you can remember to make sure you aren’t overusing your phone.
- Set a timer during study breaks. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of Instagram models and Twitter memes, so set a timer to make sure you don’t lose track of time.
- Put your phone face-down when at dinner. It’s distracting for you and whoever you’re with when your phone is going off with the thousands of notifications you get so put the screen face-down to fight the temptation to answer.
- Lower screen usage each week. There is typically a setting in a smartphone, in which screen-time during the past couple of days is tracked. Try and make it a competition with yourself to lower that percentage each week.
- Turn push-notifications off. No notification, no temptation, no distraction. Notifications have become a Pavlovian reminder to use our phones. When we hear that ping or feel the ringer buzz, our immediate reaction is to check to see what is happening. Turning off the notifications will help cut back on that reaction and in turn, decrease the desire to use your phone.
- Change the color scheme to black and white. Studies have shown that changing the color scheme of your phone’s background to black and white from color can actually decrease how much you use your phone.