How to break phone addiction ?


Phone is one of the most destructive addictions that any one can have, especially in the case of students. Phone addiction has been held responsible for poor academic performances, poor mental and physical heath, reduction in memory capacity of brain, improper sleeping patterns, poor relationship with people around you and negative effect in other interpersonal skills. Walk in a street or a park and count the number of people not using their phone and actually enjoying. You will be surprised to realise that such people are few. This depicts the intensity of this addiction – which is spread over all the age groups and classes.

Phone addiction is different from other addictions as you cannot expect to live your life easily without phone. You need to check your phone, every day, for various purposes. The COVID and after – COVID era has boosted the culture of virtual learning among students, which has proved to be very effective, but also destructive as it increases screen time and chances of addiction to phone. This article, especially written for teenagers and students, will guide you through some tips to fight and break phone addiction.

  1. Change your phone’s default settings

When do you pick up your phone and start scrolling memes most of the times? Most probably, when you see app notifications (for social media), it triggers you to check that message and you end up scrolling through posts of your friends and celebrities, checking how many likes did you get on recent post, how many people viewed your story and so on. That one notification ends up wasting your 30 mins. Probably, you would not have checked your phone at that time if you didn’t see the notification.

Certain settings of your phone provide you a cue to pick it up. Kill those cues.

  • Turn off the notifications for all the apps that distract you. Most evidently, these are the social media apps that you use.
  • When the phone stops attracting you, you probably will decrease its use. Consider turning the greyscale mode on to remove colours from the screen. This setting will make the screen black and white and thus, less attractive.
  • Turn off app data/Wi-fi for distracting apps. Turn it on only when you have to use those apps and turn off immediately after using.
  • Set time and data limits for certain social media apps. This will remind you to put your phone aside after you cross the time limit.
  • 2. Plan No-Phone sessions

Identify and plan certain hours when you need to work in a day. Challenge yourself to not use phone (unless very necessary) in that time period. These will be your no-phone sessions when you will not use your phone at all, for a certain period of time.

  • Keep your phone far from you. Avoid picking up calls and replying to texts during this time unless it is extremely urgent. You can ask your friend, siblings or parents to answer your calls on your behalf.
  • Use your laptop (if you have one) to access the internet instead of your phone.
  • You can also consider using your parents’ phone to access the internet, if required, while you work. This will save you from time-waste on social media.

Your nights must be phone free. Keep your phone on charging in a different room/away from you. Using phone at night has the most adverse side effects. Similarly, you can also plan and challenge yourself no-phone weeks when you can use your phone only to answer calls and texting. Every other unnecessary activity on phone will be prohibited.

  • 3. Plan Phone sessions

Yes! You read it right! It is equally important to plan your phone using sessions. Plan the time when you will use your phone for social media, memes, videos and other things that you like. Decide time slots before-hand. Do not worry about work and studies at this time.

  • 4. Become aware of your distraction

Most of the time we don’t even realise that we are getting addicted to something. It is only when we get to see the side effects growing, we comprehend the disaster we fell into. It is extremely important to become aware of your distraction, and this can be done by recitation of your actions.

Whenever you take your phone for an unnecessary cause, speak out loud to yourself, “I am going to waste my time by checking my phone. This is not good for me.”

This will help you to resist unnecessary social media scrolling most of the time.

  • 5. Keep yourself busy

Give time to your hobbies, start a side hustle, spend time with your friends and family, do everything to keep yourself busy. You are most probable to waste your time on phone when you have nothing else to do. Make sure you have something to do every time. Decide to pursue your hobbies when you are free, instead of using your phone. Make your free time productive.  

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