Some of us have a digital addiction with our computers or smartphones. A recent study conducted by Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey discovered some interesting facts about our smartphone usage. The significant take away from this study is that the average American looks at their phone 52 times per day. The 18 to 34 demographic are the most willing to admit the addiction, with 60% of responders acknowledging they use their phones too much. 63% of the responders have said they have tried to cut back their usage, with only about half being successful. Today we want to go over some tips on how to limit how many times you are looking at your phone.

Why Your Digital Addiction Is Harmful

Implementing these tech-free strategies can improve multiple areas in your life!

Safety

ATT surveyed its teenage users and found that 75% of them said texting and driving are dangerous. 43% admitted to still texting and driving despite knowing the safety issues. Using your phone while driving can not only hurt you but those in the vehicle with you or in other cars around you. Having your location broadcasted at times can also put your safety at risk. There are ill-intentioned people out there, many of whom can use social media to track you down. Checking in on Facebook or showing your location on SnapChat can make you easier to find.

Health/ Wellbeing

Technology is influencing our health, especially among young people. Depression and anxiety have been linked to those who are addicted to their phones. Studies have shown that teens who are addicted to their smartphones have also tested high for insomnia, impulsiveness, anxiety, and depression. Social media consumption has been linked to an increase in these disorders. The World Health Organization has also classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition. This ranks gaming disorders with other addictions like substance abuse and gambling. Lastly, the more we are on our devices, the less time we are outside or exercising, which can lead to a whole slew of other health problems.

Tips For Making Your Digital Detox Successful

  • Designate times to be unplugged during the day. This can improve communication with your family members. Unplugging before bed also will help you sleep better.
  • Designate areas of the house for no screens. This might be the dining room or kitchen. Kids don’t need computers in their rooms. This can also help parents monitor what their kids are doing online.
  • Turn off pushing notifications. Every app will fight for your attention, but turning those notifications can reduce stress and the urge to look at your phone.
  • Don’t use your phone when your eating. Enjoy your company and your meal without checking your phone every five minutes.
  • Turn your phone on silent or off while driving.
  • Instead of reading your Facebook feed, read a book before bed.
  • Set total time allowances for using your devices each day.
  • Unsubscribe from emails you never open.
  • Go for a walk and leave your devices at home.
  • Delete apps you don’t use off your phone. If you want to be extreme, delete social media apps off your phone and only view them on your computer.
  • Pace yourself. Start by not looking at your device for 15 minutes here and there. When your successful, add 5 minutes to your goal.

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. He discusses our growing reliance on our smart devices and gives a list of ways to help take control back from our gadgets. You can find the book here.

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