5 steps to help you use your cell phone less and have more digital well-being

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Concern about the topic is growing. Proof of this is that the main developers of mobile operating systems – Apple, with iOS, and Google, with Android – have included in the latest versions of their products tools to facilitate the control of the time dedicated to the cell phone.

If you’re one of those users who don’t know how to deal with excessive smartphone use, try following some of these tips.

1 – Use the native control tools

Both the latest version of iOS and the latest version of Android included tools for monitoring and controlling application usage. In addition to finding out how many hours you spend on each one, you can configure alerts and blocks for when daily usage limits are reached.

For example, if you don’t want to spend more than 2 hours a day on WhatsApp, just configure the OS so that it automatically blocks the messenger when that period is reached. You can even continue using the app after that time, but you will certainly feel a burden on your conscience because of this.

2 – Use Airplane Mode more

There’s nothing more irritating than sitting in a bar or restaurant and trying to chat with friends or family who don’t leave their cell phone. As long as notifications are active, there will always be an excuse to take a peek if there’s nothing new.

To allow yourself a little more quality time, make it a habit to use Airplane Mode. With a simple press of the button your device goes offline and, without notifications, the chances that you get distracted and want to look at the device decrease. Enjoy time with other people in the real world and disconnect from the virtual for a while.

3 – Remove the apps that distract you the most from the main screen

Which apps are responsible for taking up most of your time? For most people the list includes WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can start by turning off notifications for all of them. We often use an app because we are reminded that it is there.

When accessing the smartphone, we tend to use the applications that are on the home screen more often. Removing them from there, leaving this area cleaner, is also one of the ways to practice digital well-being. Allow yourself to pay more attention to things that happen in the real world.

4 – Keep your cell phone away from the bed

Before going to sleep, that urge to take a last look at social media and the news of the day hits. However, in the comfort of the bed, what was supposed to be a few minutes turns into more than an hour. Cell phone use before bed is one of the main reasons why people sleep poorly.

The light from the screen that falls on the eyes makes us stay alert at a time when we should already be “turning off”. Therefore, to have a good night’s sleep, the first step is to leave your cell phone away, preferably charging, and only see it again the next day after getting up.

5 – Have outdoor hobbies

Also avoid conditioning your hobbies to cell phone use. Dedicating your free time only to games, listening to music or watching series invariably makes you depend on your cell phone for these programs to happen. It’s not about putting them aside, it’s about having options for them.

Practicing a physical activity, walking in a park or swimming in a lake are alternative hobbies that do not require a cell phone. Encourage your friends to do the same at leisure and little by little you will see that there is a lot to be enjoyed that doesn’t fit on the small screen of a smartphone.

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