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Putting the ‘Smart’ Back into Smartphone Usage

WAIT. Stop what you’re doing right now, and take a brief moment to pause. Now think:

How many hours have you checked your smartphone or mindlessly scrolled through a social network or news site today? You may even be doing it this very moment!

You don’t have to feel too bad, though. A lot of us are guilty of it. A March 2018 report from the Pew Research Center showed 89% of American smartphone users go online on a daily basis. Of this 89%, 31% go online almost constantly. 

Personally, at times when I’m engaged with my phone, I notice a certain part of my brain ‘turning off’. This could be caused by many things, including addiction, repeated habits or FOMO (fear of missing out).

The research is there to back it up, too. Americans are addicted to their phones. According to Statista,  Americans check their phones 47 times each day, more than 80% use it immediately before/after bedtime, and only 30% have succeeded in reducing smartphone time.

Perhaps it’s time to put the ‘smart’ back into smartphone. That starts with habits. Try these if you feel your smartphone addiction has gotten out of hand.

Put your phone on silent

The ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ function is useful even outside business meetings. The sound of a notification incoming on your phone could be enough for you to crave more. But vibration may be too much, too. In fact, if you’ve ever felt your phone vibrate only to discover there was no notification, you’re not alone. This well-documented phenomena is called phantom vibration syndrome.

Turn off your phone at a set time

Try not to use your phone late at night or really early in the morning. All that blue light emitting from the screen isn’t helping your eyes or sleep. Also, ask yourself if that email or social notification can wait. Sometimes taking things slower makes life a little easier.

Delete apps you don’t need


Take a look at all the applications on your phone. Minimize your mental clutter and delete the ones you don’t often use. It’ll free up space on your phone (and in the mind).

Be mindful of phone use

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, simply be aware of when you’re using your phone. Don’t let your mind get sucked into the virtual world. Take a deep of fresh air and remember that you’re here, now, in the physical world. There’s a lot to do and explore out there.

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