Being More Mindful in Your Smartphone Usage
Technology is certainly beneficial, but we can also overuse and abuse it. This is especially true when talking about those mini-computers we carry around in our pockets nowadays.
Smartphones can become both distracting and addictive, but being more mindful of your usage can help you break that cycle. Here’s how to be smarter with your smartphone.
Check yourself when you reach for your phone
We’ve all been there: You grab your phone to respond to a text or email, and the next thing you know you’ve been scrolling mindlessly through Facebook for 45 whole minutes. Time flies when you’re on your smartphone.
How can you break that cycle? It all starts with questioning yourself. When using your phone, try asking yourself questions like:
“Is this the best use of my time right now? Are there other things I could or should be doing?”
“What benefit am I getting from my smartphone right now?”
“Am I using my phone to distract myself from my feelings or surroundings?”
“Am I neglecting the people I’m currently spending time with?”
The motive behind this questioning and self-exploration is to focus on why you’re using your smartphone. You might find that there are indeed other things you should be doing, or you might realize that there’s no good reason you can’t spend some time on your phone.
How to beat smartphone addiction
Being mindful is a great step to take when it comes to un-tethering yourself from your smartphone, but there are also concrete actions you can complete to set yourself up for further success.
Turn off your phone’s notifications
Are you drawn to the blinking notification light on your phone? Do you check your screen for notifications constantly? There’s an easy solution: Disable your notifications. You can do this for all notifications or only for notifications from certain apps.
A less extreme method could involve placing your phone screen-side down so that you can’t see notifications as they come in.
Set a timer for your smartphone usage
There’s nothing wrong with using your smartphone in moderation, which is why setting a timer for yourself can be a great way to get you off your phone and back into the present moment.
Try setting a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Once your time is up, move on to another task.
Designate “screen free” times in your home
If you’ve noticed that you and other members of your family spend more time on a phone than interacting with each other, setting “screen free” times for each day could be an effective solution.
Try “banning” smartphones for an hour or two to start with — even if it’s just during dinner. You’ll likely face some resistance in the beginning, especially if you’re trying to curtail your teenager’s smartphone use, but these distraction-free times may eventually become everyone’s favorite part of the day.
Concerned about your technology/life balance? Our counselors are here to help, contact us today!