How much is too much? It’s an important question, particularly when discussing the way people interact with technology. Everyone’s surrounded by digitalization 24/7, from the supercomputers in their pockets (a.k.a., smartphones) to quick-changing highway billboards. Keep reading to find five ways to cure yourself of tech addiction.
Consequently, it’s not feasible to unplug or go off-grid completely. Nevertheless, untethering some essential ways to cure yourself of your tech addiction.
What does a tech addiction look like? It tends to fall into a category of “I’ll know it when I see it.” Even though it’s a real mental health phenomenon, it’s not quite clearly defined. For some people, being overly absorbed in tech causes them to stare at their screens as a way to avoid human interaction. This includes during inappropriate moments, like client meetings or family gatherings.
Other people’s addiction to technical devices causes them to overspend on the latest, greatest gadgets, as well as need to be close to WiFi at all times—just because. No matter how tech addiction presents itself, it can lead to social concerns, sleep deprivation, familial and friend alienation, stress, and possibly job or financial security.
If you’ve been told that you have a problem with technology, or you suspect you might, you may wonder how to curb your appetite for devices. Try taking the following steps to get a better handle on the ways to cure yourself and react to technological products and tech-related situations.
Let’s face it: One of the biggest tech items nearly everyone uses is a phone. You may not want to go back to the Stone Ages and buy a Tracfone. But why not systematically prune your apps? Remove all the games that beckon, or other apps that keep you coming back.
Trim anything that’s unnecessary so you’ve basically turned your device into more of a basic phone for kids. In fact, think of the process as turning on the Wayback Machine and starting over in terms of how you relate to your phone.
This process may feel a little scary at first, but do your best to be brutal with your cutting out any apps that keep taking up a lot of your time, its one of the best ways to cure yourself. To avoid a feeling of complete shock, you may want to keep a music app and perhaps one news app. Your overarching goal is to make your phone practical and utilitarian, rather than a place to eat up time.
Social media can connect users. It can also divide them, creating and publicizing feuds and fights. More than half America’s teen and adult population is connected to at least one social network, spending more than two hours daily uploading images, browsing, chatting, and discovering. Over time, though, social platforms begin to feel so “real” that they become go-to places for validation and belonging.
Every minute you spend haunting your social or reading comments is time you take away from something else in your life. Other ways to cure yourself eather than quitting cold turkey, you may be able to put the brakes on your online presence without temporarily or permanently suspending your social accounts.
Each time you jump onto social, give yourself a set time limit of five or 10 minutes. Track your time on social apps so that you’re aware. Tell yourself that if you go above your time limit, you have to wait an extra day to check in again. Being time-conscious will help avoid hanging out online too much.
Or Alexa. Or any digital assistant on your phone. Though you might want to use your smartphone as an alarm clock, put it across the room or in your closet. You shouldn’t sleep with your phone beside you on the mattress or the nightstand. Why? You’ll want to check it constantly. Be sure to turn off all alerts before bedtime, too. The last thing you want is to be lured into picking up your phone because it’s dinging or vibrating.
Of course, you might not be able to resist dashing to your phone if it’s in your bedroom. In that case, put it somewhere else, such as on a charger in a different location. You may have to buy an old-fashioned alarm clock, but it’s better than losing sleep because you couldn’t pull yourself away from a screen at two in the morning.
You’ve heard of food-related fasting. Did you know you can initiate micro tech fasts? These are periods where you go without using any kind of technology, like phones, laptops, Kindles, or even television. A tech fast can be as simple as staying off tech for an hour or two.
To make your tech fasts easier and ensure the time goes quickly, have something else to do. Maybe you’ll work on your yard during your tech fast, or finally buckle down to read the book you bought last year. Perhaps you’ll spend tech-free time with your partner or children. Planning out your moments will make your break from technology fly by. In time, you can increase your number of weekly tech fasts. Keep track of them to see how many hours you’ve recovered.
Are you stumbling along as you try to disconnect from tech? Don’t be afraid to rely on the people in your life to help you. Ask them to remind you when you’ve been on your phone too long, or when you start to get distracted by a game or app. Give them permission to kindly point out your behaviors.
Having loved ones on your side as you lessen tech’s grip can mean the difference between overcoming tech addiction and sliding further into it. And be open to talking with a therapist or counselor if you’re too overwhelmed by the process and require professional advice.
Beating tech addiction won’t happen overnight. Yet it will happen if you’re committed to the journey. Take small steps and celebrate your big wins. In time, tech will become a tool, not a BFF.