Thirteen simple tips for breaking up with your phone this month

Never mind Veganuary and Dry January. . . it’s time for a digital detox.

We’re more addicted to our phones than ever, according to new figures, spending an average of four hours a day staring at their screens.

That’s a one-third increase since 2019.

In addition to “technical neck” and repetitive strain injuries, research suggests that digital overload can increase anxiety, damage eyesight, and make us more vulnerable to cybercrime.

But there are ways to reduce your addiction.

Kate Jackson shares some simple tips to help you hang back for a while. . .

make it less attractive

By switching the display mode to “grayscale” you are effectively switching from color to an old fashioned black and white.

Dull icons will be less appealing, and notifications that are usually red will lose their urgency.

On iPhones, go to “Accessibility Settings/Display” and “Text Size/Color Filters”.

A study from the University of North Dakota in the US found that students spent 40 minutes less on their phones after making the switch.

By moving social media apps from the home screen to another page, you may be able to reduce screen time.
Wang Gang / Costfoto/Sipa United States

Rearrange your apps

Try moving social media apps from the home screen to another page.

Psychotherapist Hilda Burke, author of The Phone Addiction Workbook, says, “When something is very accessible to us, we may find ourselves clicking on something without even thinking about it.

Ditch automatic connections

How often would you use Facebook or Instagram if you had to enter your details very quickly?

Removing social media details from your history will make it less appealing.

A phone displays a game application.
One way to reduce screen time is to keep only apps on your phone that are useful or that make you happy.
Getty Images

Marie Kondo that’s it!

The decluttering guru urges us to keep only the items that bring us joy and toss the rest. Do the same on your phone with the apps that make you happy.

Get him out of bed…

Ban phones from the bedroom. Use an old fashioned alarm clock.

… or out of reach

Bill Stirling is the founder of Tech-Break, a tool to keep gadgets locked away for a set amount of time.

He says, “Keeping your device out of reach will help you break the habit of mindlessly checking notifications or browsing social media. The physical act of having to get up to retrieve your phone gives you a split second to reconsider.

A woman uses her mobile phone and wears a mask.
Using an old-fashioned alarm clock instead of your phone is a good way to keep it out of the bedroom.

Have a trial separation

Like a bad relationship, a little time apart can help you reassess yourself.

Catherine Price, author of How To Break Up With Your Phone, recommends a 24-hour trial separation. You’ll realize how often you normally reach for your phone – and remember how much fun you can have without it.

Set a mental “speed bump”

Catherine’s program also recommends setting up a “speed bump” to force you to think before engaging with your phone.

Writer Kevin Roose put a rubber band around his device and changed his lock screen to display three questions: “Why?” “Why now?” and what else?”

You can put it on a piece of paper under the rubber band.

A woman uses her phone in a phone shop.
Tech-Break is a tool to keep gadgets locked away for a set amount of time.

Go old fashioned

Before we became so dependent on our phones for everything, we used to write down lists on paper.

Get a calendar to jot down plans and reminders, start writing your shopping list on a notepad, and choose real books over electronic versions. All of this helps reduce screen time.

Define a scrollable window

If you find yourself constantly reaching for your phone, set specific times of the day when you’re allowed a few minutes of screen time.

Psychologist Niels Eek, co-founder of mental health platform Remente, says, “Giving yourself a ten-minute window a few times a day to catch up on news and notifications might be a good approach to cutting down your time. everyday screen. ”

A user holds up a Blackberry cell phone.
Jackson suggests not using your phone while eating or in the bathroom.
AFP via Getty Images

Keep an eye on your time

You can find out how much time you spend on your phone in “Settings”.
If the amount horrifies you, try slowly reducing it.

You can start by cutting it by 20 minutes a day or challenge yourself to cut it in half over the course of a week.

You can set time limits on your phone, not only for total screen time, but also for individual apps.

A user is holding an Android phone.
A study from the University of Texas found that people feel more connected when talking on the phone, rather than messaging.
SOPA/LightRocket images via Gett

Leave him alone

Do not use your phone during meals, even if you are alone.

And don’t take it with you into the bathroom.

Research shows that countless germs are spread up to 6 feet around a bathroom from a single flush with the lid open. Now think about those germs on your phone, which you place next to your face. . .

Phone a friend

Do you remember the last time you spoke to someone in person, instead of emailing them, texting them, contacting them on WhatsApp, or sending them a few likes? on Facebook or Instagram?

Instead of getting frustrated with predictive text or getting stuck in a ten-minute chat thread, why not spend that time talking to them and hearing their voices?

A study from the University of Texas found that people feel more connected when talking on the phone, rather than messaging.

Get a puzzle book

Many of us turn to our phones for a few minutes of distraction with a game or a puzzle.

Instead, get a puzzle book and stretch those gray cells using it.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.

About Anne Wurtsbach

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