No doubt many people are addicted to their cell phones. You can go out just about anywhere in public – a restaurant, the mall, bus, etc. – and see faces staring at mobile phone screens while life passes them by.
The thing is, many people have no idea they’re addicted to their phones. They feel it’s quite normal to be glued to them or panic if they think for a second that they’ve lost their phone.
This isn’t to say losing your phone shouldn’t cause any anxiety, because surely there’s personal information on there you don’t want in the hands of others, except maybe a trust technical support team, of course. And, it likely cost you a pretty penny to buy that phone.
However, panicking or spiraling out of control might be a sign that you’ve become overly attached to it.
Signs of Cell Phone Addiction
Not everyone who uses their cell phone a lot is addicted to it. Sometimes it just becomes a habit to grab your phone often to scroll, text, and so on. However, addiction to your phone is possible, and the following are some signs you may be addicted:
- You are on your phone most of the time. You eat with it, sleep with it, and can’t stand the thought of not having it with you. You even take it to the bathroom with you.
- You use your cell phone as a means to cope with loneliness, boredom, or depression.
- You try to spend less time on your phone…but fail.
Tips for Avoiding Cell Phone Addiction
Now, let’s talk a bit about how you can avoid getting addicted to your cell phone in the first place. This is the best kind of scenario to find yourself (or your kids) in because when you know what NOT to do, you’ll likely avoid the addiction.
Don’t Take Your Phone with You Everywhere
It might feel weird at first but sometimes leave your phone behind. This means leaving it at home when you go out somewhere, leaving it in the office when you head out to lunch, leaving it in the house when you’re out doing yard work, leaving it anywhere but your bedroom as you sleep, and leaving it in the car or purse as you engage in conversation with others.
When you leave your phone behind more often, you’re not letting yourself become so dependent on it, which can decrease your chance of becoming addicted to it.
Only Have Minimal Apps
The fewer apps you have on your phone, the less you’re going to be on it. This goes for social media too. If you’re prone to getting on Facebook or Instagram every 15 minutes to see what’s new, you’re prone to becoming addicted to your cell phone. But if you don’t have those tempting apps on your phone, you’re less likely to reach for it.
Memorized Loved Ones Phone Numbers
Do you know your closest family members or friends’ phone numbers? If not, take the time to memorize then (like folks in the old days did). This way, when you leave your phone at home or in your car, you won’t be obsessing about the question, “What if something happens and I need to call someone?”
In case you DO need a phone for an emergency, bet and believe within minutes you’ll find someone who has a phone that you can borrow. If you’ve already memorized phone numbers, you can just dial them and let them know what’s going on. This way you can calm your mind as you leave your phone behind more often.
Don’t Sleep with Your Phone
It’s tempting to sleep with your phone right next to you. However, having it that close makes it really tempting to grab it every time you hear a ding. Or, if you can’t sleep, you’re grabbing it to text someone or seeing who’s available to chat on Facebook or some other social media site.
Putting your phone in the kitchen or another room to charge up for the evening is a great idea and can help you avoid mobile phone addiction. It might be tough at first, but before you know it, you won’t miss it so much.
Get Involved in Community
You’re less apt to get addicted to your cell phone when you are involved in a caring community. Sure, being on your phone can help you feel connected to others, but nothing can really take the place of that face-to-face interaction with people. It’s simply more fulfilling.
Why Do You Reach for Your Phone?
Learn what triggers you to reach for your phone. Are you bored? Lonely? Anxious?
If you can pinpoint the triggers, you can learn to deal with those triggers in a different, healthier way. For example, if you reach for your phone every time you’re bored, maybe you can close your eyes and recite a positive mantra instead. Rather than grab and scroll, you could quietly say, “I am a positive, healthy, successful, worthy person.” Or, some sort of mantra that resonates with you. You’ll get more out of doing that when you’re bored than getting on your phone.
Keep Track of Phone Time
There are apps that will actually track the time you’re using your phone. This is helpful because you can set limits and do your best to stay under those time limits.
There’s A Lot More to Life Than Technology
Technology is great, from cell phones to iPads to computers. However, there’s a lot more to life than tech. Take some time right now to get honest with yourself. Do you think you spend more time on your phone than might be healthy? If so, use these tips to help you spend less time on your phone and more time engaging in activities with friends, family members, and community. It’s likely you’ll feel freer and happier as you do.
Tips and information brought to you by TickTockTech – Computer Repair Calgary, Alberta. Expert information sourced from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Psychguides.com, & Helpguide.org.