Well, I’ll not put my efforts in describing the intensity of addiction people have with their mobile phones nowadays (and that includes me). A few weeks ago, I read the news of a baby dying with his encounter with a washing machine, while his mom was busy on her phone. Sounds macabre? Well such situations are uncalled for. While waiting for the metro to arrive, I noticed that every single person standing around me was busy into their phones. I bet that even if a thief would have come and asked for their purse, they would have given it by themselves without a second thought! Every age group is affected by the disease called phone.
When I paid attention to my frequency of using the mobile phone, I realized that I was practically wasting hours on it. According to data from Moment, a time-tracking app with nearly 5 million users, the average person spends four hours a day interacting with his/her phone.
When you notice that you’re in the midst of a phone spiral, ask yourself: What’s your posture like? How’s your breathing? Is whatever you’re doing on your phone leading you anywhere? Do you actually want to use it right now?
The thing is, as a gadget, the phone in your hand should not enslave or cripple your mind. The opposite should be looked up to. The irony is that when telephones were attached with wires, man was free. Now when the phone has become free, man has become attached. Yes, life would be difficult without phones, but it is the need of the hour to redefine our relationship with phones.
- Reframe the way you think about it: Most of us think that mobile phones are status symbols, cool, trending, a pleasure gaining or time pass machine. After a tiresome, boring day at office, you think that phone lets you relax. When you don’t give enough time to your phone, anxiety surrounds you. All you need to feed now onwards is “spending more time on mh life”, instead of “spending less time with my phone”.
- Ask yourself what you want to pay attention to: The people who design apps desperately want your attention. Have you ever wondered, why so many social media apps are free? It’s because the advertisers are the customers, and it is your attention that is being sold. Now ask yourself, what’s your priority in life and where do you want to direct your attention.
- Know that you’re a master and not a slave: A master is one who can have complete control over his instincts, while a slave is controlled by his instincts. If you can understand this difference, you’ll not waste time on social media, despite having apt data services and all the apps on your phone. Remember you have to use your phone and not get used to it or by it.
- Create speed bumps: It’s amazing how we often pick up our phones “just to check”, then look up 20 minutes later wondering how time flies. One solution is to create “speed bumps” which are some obstacles that you’ll create yourself that’ll feed your subconscious mind and ensure that whenever you pick up your phone, it is a result of a conscious choice. A good example is setting a lockscreen that reminds you.
- Practice trial separations: Leave your phone at home while going on a walk. Stare out of the window while commuting, instead of using your phone. Pay attention to your craving. What does it feel like in your body? Keep checking and observing it. Slowly, it’ll fade away by its own.
- Use technology to protect yourself from technology: Time cracking apps like Moment, Quality, OFFTIME, etc measure how much time you’re spending on your screen. Results might surprise you!
- Use the sight of other people on their phones as a reminder: Believe it or not, just like yawns, the habit of using phone is contagious too. Whenever you see someone else using their phones, you can use it as a cue to take a deep breath and relax, and know that you’re a master!
- Get existential about it: If all else fails, consider your own mortality. How many people you think are going to grieve on their deathbeds that if only they’d spent some more time using their phones? Keep on asking this question again and again to yourself. This is your life. How much of it do you want to spend on your phone?