If you want to develop a healthier — slightly less reliant — relationship with your cellphone, we’ve curated some easy tips to lessen your device’s grip and help you use it for a purpose and in moderation.
In varying degrees, many of us have become more and more dependent on our phones. Some people are fine with that — they feel their use is productive. Others want to cut back on the amount of time they spend looking at their screen — they may feel it’s detracting from their life rather than adding to it. For some, it may even have been a New Year’s resolution.
So, we spoke to an expert to get some simple and helpful tips that will help you change your cellphone habits.
Take stock of your cellphone use
You may not check your phone that often. Or you could be addicted.
“Some people might be,” said Rodney Schmaltz, an associate professor of Psychology at MacEwan University. He specializes in productivity, self-management and social psychology.
“There is research showing that there are people who check their phones up to 300 times a day.
“They’ll even wake up in the middle of the night and check their phone. You could argue that that might be an addiction. For most people, I think it’s more of a habit.”
Most phones have a feature that allows people to track their screen time.
“When they self-monitor, they’re usually surprised,” Schmaltz said. “Even just tracking how many times you pick up your phone. If you do that, you’ll start to realize that it might be a lot more than you think.”
He suggests that every time to go to pick up your phone, ask yourself: “What am I going to do with this? Why am I doing this?”
“So much of what we do on phones is mindless; it’s just habit. We’re in the line at the grocery store; we just grab our phones instantly.”
Cellphone use in and of itself is not a bad thing, he stressed.
“The way we should think about cell phones is like a tool. If you’re using it to schedule things, you’re using it to enhance what you’re doing, that’s great. But if you have any moment when you’re not actively doing something and feel the need to pull out the phone, that might be a problem.”
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