We live within a society were we rely heavily on technology, whether it be using our laptops to tablets to satellite navigation within our cars to get from point A to point B and of course our phones.
When we look back when we were younger or even at our parents and grandparents day, we would use our land line phones or a phone box to call our family, friends or for help or when look at our grandparents era they would rely on writing letters to each other about what’s going on in their lives.
Fast forward to today’s society and everywhere you go whether it be walking down the street, catching a bus, sitting in a café, travelling on a train to get to work or school/college everyone owns a phone.
So you may ask yourself the question, how can someone have a phone addiction and is it really a thing?
An addiction is when the thing you are addicted to begins to control your life and interferes with your daily activities, work and relationships. The classical definition of an alcoholic is someone who wakes up to a glass of vodka instead of a cup of coffee. But with the boom of technology, the signs of addiction can also be found in other places besides the bottom of a glass, it can also be found in the form of a phone.
If you find yourself checking your phone first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, or text messaging while driving, checking your phone instead of working on an important assignment or checking Facebook during a romantic dinner, then your phone is interfering with your life and are addicted.
Here are five tips to help manage your phone addiction:
1. Track your phone useage
You may be thinking no and that it will be a pain to do, but the more you keep track of times you spend messaging, checking Facebook and Instagram, or talking on your phone, the better you’ll be able to control it. Start writing down in a notebook when your talking, messaging, or any other activities on your phone. Review your notebook in a week’s time and review the amounts of time your spending on each activity.
2. Set time frames
After you have review and analysed the amount of time you are spending on you phone, its time to start cutting back. At first, take it slowly and start with the least important activity you use your phone for, whether it be playing Angry Birds for 15 minutes less than you usually do. Look at it this way that 15 minutes over the course of week adds up and you could use that time to spend on that new hobby or sport that you always wanted to try that you never had the time to try out.
3. Turn it off
Yes, that’s right. Turn it off. You may be asking the question, but I use my phone as my alarm clock in the morning? Look at going down to your local shop and buying yourself an alarm clock that has that ever so irritating noise to wake you up. Trust me at first you may find it hard especially if you have built up the rountine for quiet some time, but in the long term it will be worth it. And anyway, who is really emailing you in the middle of the night that is so important that it can wait til the morning when you wake and have a clear fresh mind.
4. Get Real
When you a with your friends in real life person sharing a conversation over a meal, enjoying that walk by the water, or a coffee in that new cafe your sitting in right now. They are a real life form. A real person right there in front of you to engage with. Are you telling me that your virtual friends and virtual text conversations are more important that the real life person in front of you? Not only is this extremely rude, but it breaks down friendships and can ruin relationships. Look at it this way, they have taken the time out of their busy life to meet with you, and share real life time with you. By turning your attention away from them, you are basically saying to them that they are not as important. It’s time to get real folks!!
5. Keep a low battery charge and set passcode
You may think this an extreme thing to be doing or beneficial for you battery, but by keeping a low battery charge will physically prevent you from using it for extended periods of time and make you more conscious of it. If you know that you don’t have much battery life on your phone, you will be more inclind to use your phone for emergencies. By doing this it will discourage you from taking it out every minute or so and force you into using your phone when you need it then.
Amanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.