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7 Tips To Help Nix Your Cellphone Addiction

It's time we put the phone down...at least for a little bit. Welcome to cellphone rehab.

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Cellphones are no longer just mobile telephones, they have now become a form of escape accessible at any moment, an escape which for many has become addictive. This addiction is exemplified in the amount of people who still use their cellphones while driving and the resulting tickets and accidents. If we can’t avert our eyes from our phones even in times when it may cause serious injury, death, fines, or jail time then it’s about time we nix this bad habit. Do you often use your phone to get out of awkward social situations? I think we can all say we've done this at least once. A study from the Journal of Behavioural Addictions finds that this phenomenon is actually a common negative reinforcing behaviour of cell-phone users. So let’s unglue those eyes from our phone screens. With the simmering down of the Pokemon Go craze it should be easier to keep our eyes away from our phone screens for at least a hot minute but if you still find yourself consistently mucking about in the mobile phone quicksand then these tips are for you.

1. Do not use your phone right before going to bed

inyminy / Via inyminy.com

Give your brain a rest, don’t do any aimless scrolling when you crawl into bed. I’ve found myself scrolling mindlessly when I’m in bed just because I don’t want to go to sleep yet. I have unintentionally stayed up much longer than expected because I just find myself falling down the social media/internet black hole while lying in bed. According to iKeepSafe.org, “unplugging” an hour or so before bed will result in a longer, better night sleep, as well as reduced stress, mood swings, and depression. Read a book or do an exercise, just try to get yourself tired without looking at your phone.

2. Play the phone stack game when out with friends

Via nifty94.wordpress.com

The game is simple. When at a restaurant or pub or at a friend’s place have you and all of your friends stack your phones face down on the table. First person to succumb to their social media needs and touch their phone gets a punishment. Depending on where you are you can get creative with the punishment. Loser buys the next round or has to complete a challenge for example. It's a great way to keep you and your friends present in each others company, and any chance for free beer or to humiliate a friend is one worth taking. Hey, even the mention of playing the game when out with friends might have people more conscious of their unnecessary phone use. Socialize, face to face!

3. Turn off data during your commute

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On our long, boring, early morning commute we tend to cycle through our apps just to get a sliver of entertainment on the morning trudge. We all do it. Next time you are on the bus or train, or hell even walking down the street, take a look up and you will definitely see the majority of people with their faces buried in their phones. Lets not be one of them! Turning off your data can force you to leave social media alone and could possibly save you money as well. Why not read a nice educational book, like this guy, instead!

4. Download an app blocker or phone usage tracker

Giphy / Via giphy.com

There are many app blockers available to download that prevent you from opening certain apps for a period of time. This can be used to limit your usage during hours you need to focus on studying or work. Sometimes applications that just track the amount of time you have spent on specific apps or your phone in general can aid a lot in cutting down your usage. It is often difficult to know how much time you spend on your phone when you use your phone periodically yet briefly throughout the day, so having that concrete number to see makes it much easier to understand the amount of time you are actually wasting away. Here are some of the best apps to help you limit your phone use.

5. Do not use your phone as an alarm!

Giphy / Via giphy.com

The simple action of grabbing your phone to turn off the alarm can condition a bad habit into your morning routine before you are even up. The phone is already in your hand because you had to turn off the alarm clock, may as well see what the world has been up to, right? This point goes back to the first one, try to avoid using your phone just before bed and just after waking up. If you have an alarm on your phone the first action you make in the morning is grabbing your phone, this can cause you to browse immediately after you wake up instead of getting on with your morning routine. Plus, smacking an alarm clock in the morning is very satisfiying.

6. When doing work put your phone down out of arm’s reach

Psych / Via reddit.com

Sometimes just having your phone within arm’s reach entices you to check it unnecessarily or scroll aimlessly to procrastinate. Putting your phone on silent and in another room, away in your bag, or on another table will make you put more effort in if you want to do any of this habitual scrolling, reducing the likelihood that you actually will. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, you know, getting shit done is great!

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