In the world we live today, it is impossible not to use technology for the most part of the day. We use tech to communicate, perform tasks, and manage our day-to-day lives. With remote working becoming popular, tech has become more important than ever. But while technology is integral in our lives, there are instances when excessive use of tech can become disruptive, and for some people, even damaging. This excessive use of devices is often referred to as tech addiction.
But when can tech use be considered an addiction? How much is too much? Tech addiction can be classified under behavioral addictions. People with a tech addiction would typically have an uncontrollable urge to use tech devices, even if this is already disturbing their daily routine and making them unproductive. If you think that you have the same problem, here are some recommendations that you can try out.
Track your usage
When somebody points out that you’re glued on your phone too much, you may even deny this. That’s because it is possible not to realize that you are already addicted to your tech devices. One way to find out whether you’re already addicted to your tech is to track your usage. This way you will have hard evidence on how much time you’re hooked and you can judge for yourself if it’s already too much.
Many smartphones offer this feature where you can see the time you’re spending on each app. You can also see this usage time on the specific apps you’re using. For example, you can go to your Facebook settings and click on “Your Time On Facebook”. There will be a chart to show you the hours you’ve spent on the app for the past week. You can also set a time limit on your preferred usage and Facebook will notify you if you’ve exceeded this time limit.
Keep your phone out of reach
Keeping your device in another room or somewhere where you can’t easily access it can be effective in curbing your tech addiction. If your device is out of your reach, it will obviously make it difficult for you to always reach for it. This can be helpful if you’re trying to concentrate on finishing a task but you keep getting distracted with chat messages from your friends or you’re always tempted to check on Instagram instead.
If you find yourself endlessly checking your phone instead of sleeping, keeping your phone out of your bedroom is advisable. Even if you’re using it as an alarm, don’t keep it at your bedside. Instead, put in a place away from your bed. This way, you will not be tempted to check your phone in the middle of the night.
Engage in activities where using tech is difficult
To lessen the amount of time you spend on your tech device, what you can do is find an alternative activity that does not involve tech or where using your tech device is difficult. For example, if you make pizza dough from scratch, this requires the use of both your hands. It will be difficult for you to reach for your phone if your hands are filled with flour and oil.
Examples of other activities that will require your full attention include yoga, dance classes, fitness classes, cooking, team sports like basketball or football, extreme sports, outdoor camping, and swimming.
Turn off unnecessary notifications
You don’t need to always be available 24/7 for everyone especially if you’re supposed to be working or completing a task. However, if your phone notifications keep on beeping, it will definitely be difficult to focus on what you’re supposed to be doing.
One way to avoid getting distracted is to turn off all notifications on your phone and keep them to a bare minimum. Only allow notifications for phone calls or video calls. If it is an emergency, people will call. Otherwise, they can wait until you’re available to check your phone.
Mindfulness refers to the practice of being in the moment and appreciating your present experience. When you practice mindfulness, you can lessen your anxiety, your compulsion to multitask, or your urge to check your phone every other minute. Instead, you’ll be more focused on what you’re currently doing, whatever it is.
You can start applying mindfulness in the usual activities that you do every day. Mindful eating is one example of how you can practice mindfulness. When you’re eating a meal, avoid doing it while watching YouTube or scrolling your Facebook feed.
This could result in mindless eating and eating more than you intend to. Focus on every bite by savoring its taste, smell, appearance, texture, and sound. When you’re immersed in your eating experience, this will lessen the temptation to use your tech device at the same time.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse.