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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Breaking Phone Addictions

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Phones are designed to be intuitive and user friendly. They connect us to friends and family close and far away. They also can cause us to miss out on things happening right in front of us. My screen time is something I struggle with, and I’m trying to get a better hold on it. 

There are several things to think about and implement to reduce the amount of time we use looking at our phones. Whatever your reason for wanting to put the phone down, it’s possible to lower that screen time amount.

  1. Implement phone free zones, or parts of your day that your phone is put away. Deciding your phone doesn’t belong in your bedroom or at the table is a good place to start.
  2. Limit your notifications- go into settings and tweak what apps send you notifications. Do you feel you must check every comment you get on Facebook? Turn off Facebook notifications to limit the desire to unlock and check.
  3. Have a clear goal in mind. Smartphones are tools, they aren’t inherently bad. If you decide to sit on your couch and scroll social media as a way to unwind, that is okay. If you open your phone to find a recipe on Pinterest keep the task and find that recipe. When choosing what to do make sure you have a clear idea in mind, even if just scrolling is your idea.
  4. Find screen time alternatives- feeling bored will happen. Rather than immediately grabbing your smart phone to dash away the board feelings think of something else to do. When was the last time you played solitaire? Have any books to read? Looked through an old photo album? Taught yourself a new hobby? The options are endless, think outside the phone case and come up with something different to do.
  5. Turn your phone on loud and put it up. If you have your notifications limited it will be safe to check when a message or phone call comes through. Until then, put your phone in a safe space but out of site. It’s easier to resist the urge to pick up your phone when it’s not directly beside you.
  6. Last, set those screen time limits and stick to them. Facebook effects my mood in a way Pinterest does not. So while I want to spend less time on Facebook, I enjoy looking at Pinterest when my children are napping. For that reason I want to set a limit for Facebook and then an overall limit for my whole phone. This lets me know when I’ve been paying too much attention to the virtual world and not enough attention on the real world.

Give yourself some grace if you are on a mission to lower your screen time. It may be a work in progress, and that’s okay. Knowing it’s something for you to work on is a great starting point. 

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Madison VanRavensway
Don't let her quiet nature fool you. Madison is a force to be reckoned with in the outdoors, or creating amazing recipes from scratch.
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