With the pandemic, smartphones that brought revolutionary changes in human evolution has further become a part of our lives regardless of our financial, social statuses. However, the same is posing some dangerous repercussions. Similar to that of narcotics, it has led to an addiction that is difficult to handle. In this article we are discussing a few ways in which you can get rid of this.

At least 4 of the following signs and symptoms are thought to comprise criteria for cell phone addiction, and the problematic cell phone overuse must cause significant harm in the individual’s life:

  • A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
  • Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.
  • Preoccupation with smartphone use.
  • Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
  • Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.
  • Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
  • Tolerance.
  • Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.
  • Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.
  • Anger.
  • Tension.
  • Depression.
  • Irritability.
  • Restlessness.
  • How to tackle smartphone addiction

Here are the things that helped me stop my phone addiction and resist the distraction.

  1. Turn off notifications

Turnings of your push notifications is one of the first things you need to do to stop your phone addiction. By disabling all app notifications, you control how much you look at your phone. The pings throughout the day distract me, and I enjoy knowing that I can decide when I check my phone.

It’s the same with the red notification badges. For many apps, I don’t need to know how many messages I have. I turn those also off when possible.

  1. Delete your most distracting apps

Which apps on your phone are distracting you most? You probably know the few apps you check most often. For example, I have no Facebook or Facebook Messenger app on my phone. If I want to check something, I do so in the web version.

If you find it hard to part with your social media apps, you can put them into folders. I have put all my apps into a folder, with the most distracting apps on the second page of my folder. This increases opening the app by two taps, which may be all that I need to stop my bad habit on some days.

  1. Set app time limits

With almost any phone, you can check the screen time. More specifically, you can see how much time you spend on your phone and what apps you check most. If you’re using iOS, go to Setting > Screen time to see your report. If you’re using Android, try the Digital Wellbeing function.

Analyze how much you use the apps on your phone and set a daily limit for them. When you reach a limit, your phone gives you a notification. You need to consciously click ‘15 more minutes’ to continue.

While this is not a huge barrier, it may be enough to make you aware of your mindless scrolling and break the behavior.

  1. Leave your phone in your bag

If your phone is not in your sight, it is easier to stay away from it. When I arrive at work, I simply leave my phone in my bag and forget about it for half of the day. When I get home, I also leave my phone in my bag. It is an easy way to use your phone less. If something urgent happens, you will still hear your phone ringing.

Out of sight, out of mind.

  1. Set your phone to grayscale

Make it less attractive to pick up your phone by setting it to grayscale. It reduces the colors and inputs you get throughout the day.

While I don’t have my phone currently set to grayscale, it helped me in the past.

You can spend less time on your phone by turning off push notifications, delete the most distracting apps, set app limits, leave your phone in your bag, and set your phone to grayscale.

Cellphones can be wonderful and helpful tools used for a variety of purposes. When you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your phone, they become a distraction rather than an addition.