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Tech breakup: Best methods to use when divorcing your smartphone

Remember: phone-free is the way to be – sometimes.

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Image: The Weekly Review

The secret can no longer be kept from the public: Tech developers and designers are trying to hijack the minds of phone users through various apps, updates, and personal information.

In many ways, an app can essentially be compared to a slot machine in a casino: With its bright flashing lights, noisy environment, and the promise to turn your life around in one game or in this case, one like. This is how the Android and Apple smartphone relationship begins, and it makes sense. Right? Think about it: technology allows us to interact with sports teams, tracks our health right from our phones, and provide an endless number of virtual reality experiences. This is enough information to make most users forget about the constant threats associated with their phones.

The chance of getting a like, emoji, follow, or retweet is a temporary payout, keeping you on your device waiting for more. Still in disbelief? Just grab your phone and take a look. Snapchat, for example, has a feature that keeps track of the number of times you’ve messaged someone throughout the day. Although this might seem harmless, it’s, in fact, a tactic used to keep users on their phones so that the number of messages doesn’t drop too low.

What’s even more shocking is that research has shown us that the devices we love so dearly could also be the reason why so many users suffer from depression, lack of focus, empathy, and suicidal thoughts. Luckily, not all hope is lost. 

Here are some ways you can overcome this permanent breakup and get things moving in the right direction:

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Change the Way You View Your Phone: Generally speaking, when phone users are asked to put their devices away, they view it as a time to deny themselves pleasure – and honestly, who wants to do that? So rather than viewing it from a negative point of view, think of it this way: the time spent on your phone is time that could be used to do other things – like visiting family, exercising, and hanging out with friends. This means the less time you spend on your phone, the more time you spend focusing on life and enjoying the scenery.

Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure: For some people, stepping away from their phones seem nearly impossible. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success by creating triggers that will remind you about the goal at hand and make it easier for you to live up to your expectations. If you want to spend more time reading, don’t reach for your Kindle. Instead, leave a book on your nightstand. If you want to spend more time cooking, then make sure you leave a cookbook out on the kitchen counter along with a shopping list for that recipe you’re eager to make.

Another thing you can try is setting up charging stations around your home. One that’s isn’t by your bedroom. That way, you won’t always feel the constant pressure of checking your phone or missing out on something. On the flip side, avoid triggers that will make the process harder. Delete social media apps and establish certain rules for yourself around the house. For example, when you’re around the dinner table, put your phone away.

Pay Attention to Your Physical Appearance: The next time you’re on your phone, ask yourself: What’s your posture like? How is your phone helping your body’s physical appearance? How is your phone ruining your mood, and what can slouching do to your body 10 years from now? That said, the more engaged you are with your body, the more you’ll realize how your phone can affect you physically, emotionally, and financially. This in itself will help your bad habit become a thing of the past.

Use Technology to Break Your Habit: Believe it or not, you can actually use technology to help you overcome your phone addiction – as long as it’s used responsibly. Time-tracking apps, for instance, can measure just how much time you’re spending staring at the screen. Get ready to be horrified.

Fortunately, there are security software’s that allows you to block certain apps from your phone. That way, you can stay focused throughout the day, and appreciate the environment around you. Apple phones, for example, now has a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature that automatically sends a message to anyone trying to contact you while you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle. An app called Lil Space does the exact same thing for Android phone users. It also shows a clock that lets you know just how long it’s been since you last checked your phone. If you’re a student, a great app to help stay focused would be Flipd, made by a company that’s teaching students to unplug from their phones when they should be focused/engaged. To learn more, visit https://www.flipdapp.co

What if you’re using your device for reasons other than social media?

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Well, don’t worry because they are other tools that can help. For instance, if you’re someone who likes to monitor your bank account, there are online banking tips to help you with your technophobe; and if you’re someone who just likes to read trending news on your phone, there’s a software for that too. Pretty cool, right?

Leave Your Phone at Home: Going phone-free isn’t just hard, it’s nerve-racking since there are a number of benefits to having your phone on you – including safety. Although that might be true, in most cases, it’s perhaps the only way users can successfully cut ties with their phones. That’s because storing your phone in another room or putting it in a drawer can only do so much. However, leaving your phone at home while you run errands, go to class, or hang out with friends is far more beneficial than just simply liking a picture they’re tagged in. It connects you – the human – with the real world, not the virtual one.

As you go through this stage, you’ll notice that after 20 minutes, it won’t feel so weird. Soon you’ll end up getting used to it and no longer feel the need to travel with it as much. You’ll be surprised how good it feels not to have the weight of the world inside your pocket pinging you throughout the day. Remember: phone-free is the way to be – sometimes.

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