Everything in our lives revolt around the internet, specifically our phones. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning to bedtime in the evening. We rely on our phones to organize our schedule, help us remember, document things, and much more.So many activities to be performed by one small device it feels as if our phones are dictating our lives. We are too often tempted to stare at our screen even when there is no need to.
Our dependence on smartphones have created both a fear of missing out and sense of instant gratification that constantly drives us to scroll away. The internet addiction is real, and it is an epidemic affecting all of us. It affects our human interaction capability, day to day productivity, and much more.
While internet addiction is not yet classified officially as a mental disorder, it is still a real recognized danger. Internet addiction can be identified by the following: excessive use for non-essential stuff such as online shopping, video games, pornography; irritability when one can not connect to internet; and loss of interest in real life.
To detach oneself from internet addiction is not an easy task. Since we rely so much on electronic devices to live our day to day life, withdrawing from usage might be hard in the beginning, although not impossible.
Here are a few tips you can practice to reduce screen time:
What do you do when you are bored or have time to kill? You reach for your phone. Next thing you know you will be scrolling through social media timeline or switching between videos. The internet is a rabbit hole that is hard to escape. Similar to any other addiction, you can not overcome it by simply going cold turkey.
Create an alternative that could replace your screen time. Reading, working out, journaling, or doing handcrafts are a few great alternatives. You might find it hard to focus in the beginning because you are used to relying on your phone for instant entertainment. But overtime you will realize that these activities are more stimulating and rewarding.
Every time you are about to reach for your phone take a deep breathe and think again; why would you need to surf the internet? Be aware of any discomfort you are feeling within be it stress, sadness, or the like that you need to address. It might be simply pure boredom.
Regardless, browsing the internet makes you less aware of the thoughts and feelings happening inside you by providing easy distractions and lulling you with false sense of comfort. By being self-aware in the first place you could not only break the cycle of mindless browsing but also get in touch with your self.
Only keep the essentials
Pay attention to which apps cause the most screen time for you. It might be Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or even all the above. While your smartphone might be incredibly beneficial in organizing your life, many applications are nothing but distractions, especially social media.
If you find it hard to control the urge to check them, then get rid of them. Once there is nothing interesting left on your phone, you will be less tempted to reach for it. Combine that with step number one to find better alternatives to spend time with and the urge to browse the internet will decrease.