Do you remember a time when addiction meant drug abuse? Now, it goes beyond that to include technology. While it was built with good intentions, some technologies are built so well that people have become hooked.
In the book Irresistible, author Adam Alter found that more screen time tends to make people less happy and healthy. In fact, people who use multiple social media platforms have three times the risk of depression and anxiety.
How then do you break this tech addiction?
1. Avoid distractions
Email is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to work. Alter says that the average work email takes only 6 seconds to open, but it can take a person as much as 25 minutes to get back to work at the level they were before checking their email. Oftentimes, you may just be checking your email as a distraction or a way to soothe yourself in a moment of boredom. Instead of trying to distract yourself all the time with technology, Alter suggests that you not only tolerate boredom but embrace it.
2. Set physical boundaries
Curbing your tech addiction probably won’t happen overnight, but you can take it step-by-step and increase your offline time as you go. Alter recommends: “When you go for a coffee at work, leave your phone in the office. It makes it physically impossible to do the thing that you’re trying to get over or avoid.” Eventually, try to have the device near you physically, but resist the temptation to use it.
3. Use downtime proactively
It has become commonplace for people to pull out their phones and start swiping when they are in the elevator with strangers, waiting in line at the store, or in any situation where they might feel uncomfortable or bored. Use that time to think about something instead. Alter says: “I’ll pick a problem that’s been nagging me, and then I’ll use that 15 or 20 minutes to think about that.”
Whether it’s at work or during down time, technology consumes huge chunks of the average person’s day. The problem many suffer from is that they don’t know when to put the screens down.
Instead of interacting with strangers or thinking about important problems, people pull out their phone automatically, comforting themselves without even realising it.
The constant connection to technology can prevent you from connecting with others in real life. With these three techniques, you can begin to limit your screen time and notice a change in how you use your time.