July 29, 2018

You have a smartphone addiction and you are in denial. Okay, maybe “addiction” may come off with having too much of a negative connotation and you will not read this article to the end. But, do you obsess over who liked the Facebook status you uploaded mere minutes ago, and who didn’t? Who commented on your Instagram photo of you on your vacation? Or maybe your phone is going off the hook with all the email push notification? Where do you draw the line and just stop reaching out for your smartphone for that momentary dopamine-induced pleasure?

One recent study suggested that we look at our phones 220 times on average per day. Even more alarming is that a study from America says that we touch our phones over 2000 times a day. So, for an average person, this amounts to spending approximately 3 hours a day on their smartphone.

The effects on your body is profound. From the minute you wake up and more often than not till the time you fall asleep you are constantly bombarded with a stream of information in today’s day of a go-getter’s life. This information overload is a big problem because it stresses you out and stress raises your cortisol levels. Cortisol is our bodies’ principal stress response hormone and raised levels of cortisol interferes with our regular brain functions, which inadvertently affects our performance at work. It’s not only work, it hampers our personal relationships and impacts our home lives at evening.

Rather than falling prey to all the glitters of social media and technology and allowing it to control our lives, we should utilize it in a way that it helps us to become better versions of ourselves. Here are two simple tips that you may use.

Dedicate one hour of your time, every morning, where you completely cut out the usage of your smartphone. If that is too much to ask, you may choose to put your phone on airplane mode to use the basic functions like accessing the music app or the calculator app.

This might be quite remarkable in limiting the constant stream of noise you receive and reduce your propensity to look at your smartphone. Turn-off all notifications that do not require immediate action. You may keep your call and text notifications on and turn off everything from Facebook, Instagram and all other notifications that do not require your immediate attention.

You can also turn-off your email notifications and establish a “call/text in case of emergency” policy.

If there are some notifications that seem to matter, make them silent and hide them from your lock screen.

The sooner you address the extent to which your smartphone has control over you, the better you can limit its usage and utilize the many benefits it possesses.

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