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Coping with cell phone addiction
September 14, 2014, 12:33 pm

According to research on cell phone addiction, addiction danger signs included running up huge bills and having irrational reactions to being without a phone if you forgot or lost your mobile. If you feel like you can’t part from your cell phone or have run up huge bills unexpectedly, don’t worry, there are some steps you can take to bring your relationship with your cell phone back down to earth.

Track your cell phone use: Yes, it’s a pain to do, but the more you keep track of the time you spend messaging or talking on your cell phone, the better you’ll be able to control it. Jot down in a notepad when you’re talking, messaging, or conducting other activities on the phone. Keep the journal for a week’s time, then review the amounts of time you’re spending on each activity.

Start the weaning: Now that you know you’re spending 10 hours a week on messaging, it’s time to start cutting back. Take it slow and start with the least important activity you use your phone for. Commit to reducing the time spent on that phone activity just 10% the first week. So if you’re spending 10 hours a week on messaging, aim for 9 hours the next week. That means being more conscious each time you’re using the phone for that activity, and trying to cut things short sooner rather than later.

Commit to being in the moment: One of the reasons people use their cell phones as much as they do is to be with another person in another place. That’s fine when we’re waiting in line at the post office, but less acceptable when your significant other or a friend is trying to have a conversation with you. Commit to turning the cell phone off, or at least putting it away out of sight, when engaged in a face-to-face conversation with another person. It’s not only helpful to your addiction, it’s far less rude and you may be surprised to learn you’ll regain these people’s respect.

Turn it off: There’s nothing you need to do in the middle of the night that the cell phone will alert you to that won’t be there in the morning. By turning it off and putting it away, you’re taking back conscious control of your life and this little piece of technology. Set a deadline every evening for a time to retire the technology, and then don’t check or use it again until the next morning.

Technology works for us, not the other way around: If technology is taking control of your life — creating stress, anxiety, arguments with other people in your life, or financial hardships — then you have a backwards relationship with technology. Technology works for us. If it’s not working for you, you’re chosen to be on the losing side of the relationship, and it’s time to put a stake in the ground and take responsibility and control for your use of the technology. Set aside specific times of the day or evening you will use your cell phone, for instance, rather than checking it every moment you get.


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