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World Wide Group™

Breaking Your Smartphone Addiction (Yes, even you!)

Two hands, holding a smartphone in the dark.

Yes, smartphones can be distracting and take up hours of your time before you realize it, but they’re also tremendous tools. Smartphones give us access to loads of information, ease of navigation, and several avenues for communication. With all of these features, plus the ability to download thousands of useful apps, smartphones are a must for anyone in business.  

 

Although the smartphone has made parts of life easier and more organized, it also has the tendency to be addictive. 

A hand, holding a smartphone with a colorful Lock Screen up against a dark background.

Designed to Distract

Smartphones and the apps within them are created with human interaction in mind. Most of the highly rated apps are filled with color, exciting animations, visual appeal, and unique sounds. And we love it! Not only are these smartphones enjoyable to look at, but we can physically interact with them. 

 

No matter what app you’re using, your experience is guided by various taps, swipes, scrolls, and rewards. When you like a post on a platform, you’re often presented with an animation of some sort. A heart beats, changing from white to red, or bursts with colorful confetti. Or perhaps a little thumbs up emoji shakes and changes color. Whatever the app’s response is to your action, it’s rewarding.  

 

Even if you’re not interacting with specific content in the app, it finds a way to give you an immediate reward. When you swipe down to refresh certain apps, they present you with a loading wheel at the top of the screen. The wheel spins for a moment, then the page refreshes to reveal new posts that you haven’t seen yet. And when you’ve gone through all of that content, don’t worry … just swipe and be quickly rewarded with more content! Depending on the app, you can do this all day and be shown new posts every time. Some apps take different approaches on the instant reward concept.

Decide when to give in.

When trying to cut down on your smartphone usage, there are several methods proven to be effective. Some of these methods include the following: 

  • Put your phone away for one day of the week.
  • Try giving it up for a month, only using it for texts and calls.
  • Use the “Do Not Disturb” function, allowing you to silence your notifications for any given time frame.
  • Keep your phone away from you when you get home. Put it in a drawer or leave it on the charger in another room.

The more you get used to not having your phone at the ready, the less dependent you become. Eventually, when you do keep your phone on you, it won’t be as enticing as it was prior to your separation from it. 

Want to keep your phone’s functionality but make it less enjoyable and inviting? Consider changing some of your settings. Turn off the fingerprint or facial recognition scan functions and create a long password. This will increase the time it takes for you to unlock your phone and make you truly think about what you need when you pick it up. This website also recommends putting your device into airplane mode or making the screen less colorful and intriguing by changing it to grayscale. 

Someone reading something on their smartphone.

See it as a tool, not entertainment.

However you choose to separate yourself from your phone, do it with the intention of building up your self-control. Remind yourself that you have power over your phone, not the other way around.  

 

Although they’re often seen as a source of entertainment, smartphones are even more valuable as a virtual assistant. They don’t have to steal your focus and leech your productivity. Instead, your smartphone can help boost your productivity. It can also help you manage your time more efficiently. On top of those practical uses, your smartphone can act as a library for every business material you want to get your hands on. Whether you want to read a book, listen to an informational audio, or watch a lecture, you can do it all from a smartphone!  

As you're redefining your relationship with your smartphone, take the time to truly determine where the issue lies. Is the phone too distracting, or are you allowing yourself to be distracted?

Because your smartphone isn't the only distraction in your life, check out this blog on five key distraction blasters.
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