It’s a fact universally acknowledged that for most of us our cell phones have become our constant companions and they often receive more attention than our friends and loved ones.
Many of us have stopped using phones for their primary function, that is, making calls; we prefer placing online orders and sending Whatsapp messages rather than calling someone up. And we use our phone for everything else: to wake us up in the morning, entertain us through music and video on demand, keep track of our fitness goals, to provide directions and give us news updates, and to help us socialise (read: stalk).
However, if we are really honest, most of the time spent on our phones is unproductive and actually distracts us from accomplishing things in the offline world. Before things get really out of hand, it’s time to think about our phone-life balance and work through it via these steps:
• Like any other addiction, we have to first acknowledge that there is a problem and that we’ve lost control over our daily life due to our cell phone addiction.
• We can replace the phone for certain tasks. For example, using a traditional alarm clock will help us avoid checking our phone first thing in the morning.
• Keeping the phone in another room or at least far away — close enough to hear it if it rings — can help us focus on what we are doing in the real world.
• Saving important contacts and passwords in a diary might help alleviate the panic we feel when we think we’ve lost our phone.
• Keeping the phone away while socialising can help us be present in the moment and pay attention to other people. Some restaurants have actually started offering incentives to guests for keeping their phones in a box!
• We need to cut down on screen time and keep our phones asides at least an hour before going to bed. This hour can be used to meditate and clear our heads instead of mindlessly browsing through our social media apps.
Building these healthy habits will gradually reduce our dependence on cell phones and decrease the related stress and compulsion that we feel to be online all the time.