Addicted to your smartphone? Here are 7 things to do instead
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The average user unlocks their smartphone 2,600 times per day and checks it 150 times an hour, according to an app that tracks how often people pick up their phones. And these stats are for adults only! Kids are even more obsessed with their devices than adults are — they check them an average of 75 times per day and spend nearly nine hours on them each week.
As the world’s most popular technology, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. We use them to access social media, make calls and text, play games and even browse the internet. But as we get more attached to our devices, there are many other things that we could be doing instead of staring at our phones.
You’re waiting on your date or sitting on the bus. What do you do? You check Instagram again, that’s what. You wish you could be doing something productive instead of mindlessly staring at a screen that was invented to keep us addicted. As it stands now, your phone is keeping you from being productive. In fact, it might be hurting you in more ways than you think.
In summary? Smartphones have become ingrained in our daily routines. But at what price?
So, if you’re looking at your phone 150 times a day or concerned that it’s becoming a severe addiction, try these activities instead of grabbing for your phone:
1. Acknowledge your addiction
This is always the first step in any recovery from addiction. You must admit to yourself that you have a problem. Now that you’ve realized there’s a problem, make a commitment to do something about it.
2. Download an addiction app
It may appear absurd, yet there is an app for it! As if you were flying, these allow you to put your smartphone on hold. They also provide comments on how long you were able to stay unconnected for so that you may improve your performance next time. Other programs can lock you out of your browser, block phone conversations, and send you automated text messages.
3. Read a book instead
Read a book, preferably one that isn’t on your Kindle app! Books are great because they help you relax, increase your vocabulary and even improve your memory! Plus, you’ll be left wanting more when you’re finished reading instead of being tempted by notifications from various apps on your phone.
While reading the news or novels on your mobile device is more handy, it isn’t the same. Reading on paper, in fact, may be quite helpful to your health.
According to a research published in the journal Social Science and Medicine in 2016, those who read on paper lived 23 months longer on average. So, instead of grabbing for your phone first thing in the morning, pick up a newspaper or magazine with in-depth, fact-checked content. Your favorite book, on the other hand, should suffice.
4. Spend time with friends
Spend time with friends in person. It is great to catch up with friends via text message or social media, but nothing beats actually spending time together in person. Whether you go out to eat or go take a walk around the neighborhood, good conversation can be found anywhere!
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends but it’s not the only way. Instead of using your phone to message your friends try talking to them in person. If you don’t have any plans with your friends this weekend why not suggest going out for dinner or a movie? You could even invite them over for a barbeque if you have space in your backyard!
5. Get some sleep
Get some sleep. Sleep is important for your health and well-being — so much so that experts recommend getting seven or eight hours per night if possible. The problem is many of us don’t get enough sleep because we’re staying up late checking our phones or surfing the web before going to bed (or both). If you can’t fall asleep because you’re worrying about something or stressing out over work emails, try taking 15 minutes away from technology before bedtime and read a book instead (or meditate).
6. Take a stroll
Go for a walk instead of sitting down and understand that the world hasn’t ended yet. Get some fresh air and re-start breathing. This exercise does not necessitate the use of a smartphone.
7. Make time constraints for yourself
When you’re doing a task at home or at work, try to turn off your phone and tell yourself that you can check it only after you’ve finished the task.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone’s a slave to their phone. That little device that seems to be glued to our hands is sucking up tons of our time and, in some cases, getting us all kinds of wrapped up in drama that we probably shouldn’t be playing any part in. It can also have a negative impact on our sleep and overall health, even though we think it’s doing the opposite.