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Smartphone Addiction
#1
I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to combat smartphone addiction? What do you do (or not do) to be on or use your phone more efficiency and purposely? Or are you addicted to your phone and don't care or do anything to change it? Let me know your thoughts.
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#2
I'm just as guilty as the next person but it helps to "spend time apart." This could mean leaving it in the other room on silent while you work on some tasks like if you're doing school work. Or leaving your phone at home or in your car while you spend some time walking around the neighborhood or doing some hiking. Even walking around outside in a mildly natural setting like a park can improve your mood. Another idea is to leave your phone in another room when you're winding down for the night and especially when you go to bed. This can help improve your sleep.

That actually leads to a nice segue into limiting/avoiding screens, bright lights and especially blue lights in the evenings before bedtime.
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#3
There are actually apps like Flipd (free for as many 30 minute sessions as you want) or Moment that will temporarily lockdown your phone (take down all apps) for as many hours as you’d like. You’ll still be able to make calls (I think text as well). All apps will return to your phone/screen after your session is over. You should check those out, I used Flipd when my phone addiction was getting pretty bad & had to catch up on school work. Moment is the same concept, not sure how theirs works though.
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#4
I combat it by using a separate tablet for most social media and sites like these. Since it doesn't have cell data, I have to actually take it out and connect to do those things. I also turn off notifications for many things on my phone. I do NOT need to know there have been social media posts made as I'm walking around.
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#5
(01-16-2019, 10:28 PM)natshar Wrote: I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to combat smartphone addiction? What do you do (or not do) to be on or use your phone more efficiency and purposely? Or are you addicted to your phone and don't care or do anything to change it? Let me know your thoughts.

I don't have a cell phone- at all - never have, so I told my kids if they wanted one they had to figure it out and pay for it. They've all managed to pay for iphones and service (I don't know the first thing about it) and are as addicted as any teen.

It makes me absolutely crazy to try and have a conversation with someone and they stop to look at their phone or even worse, a phone AT MY DINNER TABLE (ohhhhh don't even think about it) but I have no idea.

I know myself, and I do 100% of my work in front of a pc screen, while it was just a coincidence that I didn't have a phone initially, now I'm determined to not get one because I refuse to be locked to a screen when I'm NOT working. I don't have a laptop either- I don't know- it's such a distracting problem, I hope we find a balance as a society. It's almost pathetic to watch b/c it's so normal that people don't even know they're addicted.
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#6
(01-17-2019, 05:19 PM)cookderosa Wrote: [...] It's almost pathetic to watch b/c it's so normal that people don't even know they're addicted.

This quote resonates with me since I've had a similar conversation with my wife. We both use our mobile devices a lot but we use them very differently.

I personally have a cellphone that is almost always with me, but I almost never use it to talk to someone. My phone is mainly used as a portable reminder system, messaging client, and email access point. I usually only pull it out when I need to kill some time (usually this means playing a game), or when I want to look something up. I generally prefer to be on my desktop computer to my phone so I tend to spend most of my time on there (usually studying) after everyone else goes to bed or when I'm home alone. I also have a tablet I got for school, but rarely see it since my daughter has mostly taken ownership of it.

My wife, on the other hand, has her phone out any time she's not physically occupied (like driving). She's a big Twitter user, so I'm sure this has a lot to do with it. I've mentioned to her that she's addicted, but she laughs it off. She also has a desktop system which she uses for work mainly, but I find her using her phone while using the desktop system too. She's on her phone so much she has to charge it multiple times per day or it will run out of power given the screen is on all the time.

In any case, I enjoy having a smartphone and I use it a lot, but its a tool, not a way of life. I also hope that people find more balance in that aspect. I'm going to try to encourage my daughter to maintain balance as well, once she's old enough to understand and apply the concept.
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#7
(01-17-2019, 05:19 PM)cookderosa Wrote:
(01-16-2019, 10:28 PM)natshar Wrote: I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to combat smartphone addiction? What do you do (or not do) to be on or use your phone more efficiency and purposely? Or are you addicted to your phone and don't care or do anything to change it? Let me know your thoughts.

I don't have a cell phone- at all - never have, so I told my kids if they wanted one they had to figure it out and pay for it.  They've all managed to pay for iphones and service (I don't know the first thing about it) and are as addicted as any teen.  

It makes me absolutely crazy to try and have a conversation with someone and they stop to look at their phone or even worse, a phone AT MY DINNER TABLE (ohhhhh don't even think about it) but I have no idea.  

I know myself, and I do 100% of my work in front of a pc screen, while it was just a coincidence that I didn't have a phone initially, now I'm determined to not get one because I refuse to be locked to a screen when I'm NOT working.  I don't have a laptop either-  I don't know- it's such a distracting problem, I hope we find a balance as a society.  It's almost pathetic to watch b/c it's so normal that people don't even know they're addicted.

*GASP* I didn't even know people without a cell phone still existed! But seriously that is rare most Americans these days have some sort of cell phone, even if it's just a flip phone. You do at least have a home phone right? People have to contact you somehow.


I'm not sure how people young these days can function with a cell phone. Some jobs and schools even require a phone for the work, and if you don't have one, it makes life significantly more difficult. For example, my last job used a messaging app to communicate and I think it would be difficult to do this without a smartphone. My friends on college campuses remarked that when people want to hang out they post their plans or opportunities to meetup on snapchat, twitter, facebook, etc. Even the colleges themselves are forgoing billboards and paper signage for events and posting on social media instead. People on college campuses have told me that, ironically, if you don't a smartphone you might be spending more time alone, due to missed opportunities. My sister is in college and on the executive board of a student group on campus which requires she has constant access to a facebook group and a few other apps for keeping track of finances and meetings and things. For young people, the world is designed for those who own smartphones. Many people have told me it isn't possible for them give up their smartphone, because work, school, hobbies, etc, basically require it.
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#8
(01-17-2019, 06:37 PM)natshar Wrote: *GASP* I didn't even know people without a cell phone still existed! But seriously that is rare most Americans these days have some sort of cell phone, even if it's just a flip phone. You do at least have a home phone right? People have to contact you somehow.


I'm not sure how people young these days can function with a cell phone. Some jobs and schools even require a phone for the work, and if you don't have one, it makes life significantly more difficult. For example, my last job used a messaging app to communicate and I think it would be difficult to do this without a smartphone. My friends on college campuses remarked that when people want to hang out they post their plans or opportunities to meetup on snapchat, twitter, facebook, etc. Even the colleges themselves are forgoing billboards and paper signage for events and posting on social media instead. People on college campuses have told me that, ironically, if you don't a smartphone you might be spending more time alone, due to missed opportunities. My sister is in college and on the executive board of a student group on campus which requires she has constant access to a facebook group and a few other apps for keeping track of finances and meetings and things. For young people, the world is designed for those who own smartphones. Many people have told me it isn't possible for them give up their smartphone, because work, school, hobbies, etc, basically require it.

My kids get ALL notifications for their HS sports teams via different apps - text & email for parents; Remind, TeamSnap, etc. to the kids from the coaches.  When the kids on the team want to communicate amongst themselves they use social media (usually Snapchat I think): "wear your blue practice jersey to practice, we're going to scrimmage Team X"; or "remember that we're dyeing our hair blond after practice tomorrow at so-and-so's house" (boys Varsity wrestling, and yes, it's hideous).  It would be almost impossible for my teens not to have cell phones at this point.

And yes, my kids are glued to their phones.  When they're not playing sports, which is luckily a lot.
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#9
About 10 years ago before everyone had a smartphone, I had jobs that required clocking in on your cell phone because there were no landlines around. Luckily, all the employees had regular cell phones. My last job had a smartphone app for clocking in and out, and it was a godsend because the VoIP phone system in the buildings kept going out. It was either clock in and out on the app or depend on the "landlines" that were really IP phones.

Most payphones are gone; I can't remember the last time I've seen one. I would go as far as to say that it's kind of dangerous to travel without a cell phone. I wouldn't go hiking in the woods without a cell phone. If you fall and break something, you'll have to wait for other hikers to come by. If you're driving in the middle of nowhere, and your car breaks down, you're going to have to wait for someone to drive by to ask for help. Even if you're driving in the city at night, since there are no payphones, it would be dangerous to walk around looking for a phone to use.

Regarding the smartphone addiction, I can give you a clinical answer. These things typically help with addictions: support groups, cognitive-behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and willpower. You'd have to determine if you have a smartphone addiction or an Internet addiction because keeping a tablet or laptop around won't help you stop an Internet addiction.

There likely aren't any smartphone or Internet addiction groups near you or most people. Getting support online would defeat the purpose of cutting down your phone use and Internet time.

Cognitive-behavior therapy - This should only be done by a licensed mental health professional. If your phone use is not having a substantial negative impact on your life, then it doesn't make sense to pay for a therapist. But, then again, if your phone use is not having a substantial negative impact on your life, then you don't really have an addiction.

Motivational interviewing - Any trained person can do this, including life coaches.

Willpower - A lot of drug addicts and over-eaters quit on their own. You have to learn how to deal with triggers and cravings. Whenever you have a craving, you have to remind yourself of why you're quitting and find something to distract yourself. You can always get yourself one of those cheap cell phones with no Internet access.
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#10
I should have mentioned, although I am personally interested in cutting back my cell phone use, I mostly posted this out of curiosity. The effect of constant smartphone use has been an interest of mine recently and just wanted to hear some thoughts.
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