5 tips to reduce smartphone use1. April 2021 Published by Jana Greyling
For many people the first glance at their smartphone takes place immediately after the alarm clock rings in the morning. The smartphone is already in their hand after the alarm clock has gone off and a quick glance at the news that arrived last night after the last smartphone check would be quite practical. However, such increasingly intensive and prolonged daily smartphone use can lead to serious health risks.
Nowadays, we encounter the term “smartphone addiction” more and more frequently in our everyday lives. This addictive behaviour, which was initially not taken seriously, should no longer be underestimated. The constant availability, the countless ways to keep busy and a lack of self-reflection are factors that contribute to the smartphone becoming the most important everyday companion within a very short time. It has been clear for some time: smartphone use can become an addiction.
Fortunately, with a little discipline and some simple tricks, it is possible to reduce your smartphone use early and efficiently. We have compiled five tricks that can help against excessive smartphone use.
In the course of the day, reaching for the smartphone often happens subconsciously and is almost automated for many people. In order to reduce smartphone use in everyday life, users should ask themselves each time they reach for their smartphone: Do I really need to research something important on the internet? Do I have to reply to the WhatsApp message immediately? Am I just reaching for the smartphone because I’m bored?
If reaching for the device is not absolutely necessary, it should be refrained from. In this way, you can condition yourself not to reach for your smartphone immediately and without thinking, and only to use it consciously and purposefully.
Put the smartphone on silent
We’ve all been there: just as we’re about to delve into a task or devote ourselves to an activity, the smartphone vibrates and signals an incoming message or email. Then we immediately look at the smartphone again and are distracted from the actual task. The best solution is to consciously switch the smartphone to mute or leave it in another room when important tasks are pending or a smartphone break needs to be taken. Those who are afraid of missing important calls can leave these notifications on loud and tell family or colleagues to call in case of an emergency.
From Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and countless chat services for work and private life, to dating apps, emails, online banking and shopping at Amazon – the smartphone offers unlimited ways to pass the time. But unfortunately this is not particularly efficient. More apps and more accounts usually mean more notifications, which in turn result in users looking at their smartphones even more often. In order to reduce smartphone use, one should check one’s notifying apps and memberships and decide whether all of them are really necessary. Reducing the number of apps to a few essential ones can help reduce smartphone use.
Determine and adhere to times of use
Now this tip requires strong self-discipline. To reduce smartphone use, you should also set fixed times for yourself that are designated for using the smartphone, tablet or PCs. In the same way, you also need to set times when the smartphone disappears into a drawer or another room so that you are not tempted in the first place.
As mentioned at the beginning, many people use their smartphone as an alarm clock in the morning, but often also as a camera, music player, remote control, cookbook or book substitute. To effectively reduce smartphone use in everyday life, alternatives to the smartphone should be found. Maybe it’s time to buy an old-school alarm clock again, turn on the radio to listen to music or open your grandmother’s old cookbook. In this way, we can directly avoid some temptations to “quickly” reach for the smartphone.