How to Quit your Phone Addiction
Hacks to help you set down your phone and be more present with the ones you love.
Stuck in the scroll and feel addicted to your phone? Mama, I have been there and I totally understand. That little device can be a powerful tool for business and it is a lifeline to the outside world, but it is also stealing life from you. Henry Thoreau said, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." My friend, how much are you willing to pay for that little screen in your hands?
The addiction may have snuck up on you. When you had your first baby, you spent hours on end with a tiny human who exclusively ate and slept. They weren’t engaging conversationalists yet, and even though you weren’t technically alone, you were lonely. Your phone was your connection to the outside world. To your other mom friends who were sitting in gliders nursing their newborns. Even though you weren’t together, you were together thanks to that little device. There your scrolling habit began. And it is just that, a habit. Maybe now your kids are a little older and you don’t want them to remember you as someone who was always looking down, so you are ready to break the habit. I’m so happy for you. It’s a struggle for me too. I use it for work and I use it to distract me when I don’t want to sit in my own thoughts, but sometimes, I also use it for no reason at all. I just use it, because that’s what I do. If I have a second that I’m not doing something, out of habit I pick up that phone and scroll.
No shame, mama! We all do it, but good news is you are capable of changing your habit. Are you ready?
How to stop scrolling mindlessly and quit your phone addiction.
1. Use an app like moment so you know exactly how much you are using (or just look at your battery usage).
Moment will connect with your device and tell you how much you’ve been on your phone that day. Once you know how bad the problem actually is, you can then adjust and set goals for yourself to cut back. I love this app, and only have one little beef about it. It counts your podcast listening time in those minutes. For me, I don’t count listening to a podcast as “using my phone” because I always do it on walks or while I’m cleaning or driving. I’m more concerned about how often I’m looking down at my phone. Just subtract the podcast minutes from your total and this app will be an eyeopener and help hold you accountable to getting better.
2. Get an accountability partner
Find someone to hold you accountable. A friend or your spouse. Someone who will encourage you and gently keep you focused on changing your phone habits. Send each other screen shots of your Moment results at the end of the day or a screenshot of the breakdown of your battery usage (I know this is an option on iPhone, but not sure about other phones). Maybe set a goal for how many hours you want to be on your phone that week or per day and if you go under you can celebrate with a prize of your choice!
3. Replace the habit with something else
You can’t just get rid of a habit. You have to replace the action with something else. You could get a fidget spinner. Anytime you feel like picking up your phone, grab the spinner and let yourself play with that for a few seconds instead. Set it down and move on. If you pick up your phone when you’re bored, try looking around the room and instead of picking up your phone, find something that doesn’t belong in that room and move it to another room. I don’t care what you replace it with, but replace it with something.
4. Get a flip phone
GASP! I know, I know. This is a hard suggestion and may be extreme, but if you REALLY want to break this habit, getting rid of the device is the best thing you can do. I’ll be honest, I probably won’t ever do this, but I am so tempted to. If you choose to do this, you can accomplish things other ways. How will you post to Instagram? Try scheduling posting to instagram through a website like Planoly (referral link). How will you live without google maps? Get a GPS like Garmin? I have found that you need one of these for road trips anyway because they are connected by satellite instead of relying on WiFi to ensure you have the directions you need. How will you take pictures? So they make these things called cameras. They are great. I had one once. Seriously, get a point and shoot camera and carry that in your pocket. This Canon Powershot G7 is small and takes great pics and videos and is WAY less money than your next iPhone. I’m just saying. You may actually upload the photos to your computer and make those photo books you’ve been talking about for the past 5 years. There are ways to function without a smartphone. People have been doing it since the beginning of time. We can to. I will let you know if I ever decide to do this. If you do it, let me know. I’d love to interview you.
5. Set up a family charging station
Get a powerstrip and put in on the kitchen counter and plan to just have your phones there. You can leave them on so if someone needs you, you can hear the phone ring, but otherwise you can just live your life without the device tempting you at all times. You choose the times that you can have your phone on you, but all other times things need to be at the station. Starting this habit now is wise because the expectation will already be in place for when your kids start having devices of their own.
6. Set up a timer on Instagram.
Did you know you could do this? You CAN! Here’s how:
Go to those 3 little lines in the upper right hand side of the app -> now head to “Your Activity” -> select “Set a daily timer” -> pick your limit -> Set reminder.
No, the timer will not kick you off instagram, but it will give you an alert that you have reached your limit. It’s up to you to set the app down at that time. Good luck!