How to Reduce the Time Spent on Your Mobile Phone
In today’s modern world, you are more connected than ever before. Always on the go, you are most easily reached by your smartphone, with its social media apps, web browsers, email, and even its phoning capabilities. The average person spends about two hours per day on their mobile phone, which adds up to over four years over the course of a lifetime.
The time spent on your mobile phone can be the essential lifeline for running a small business on the go, or connecting with loved ones in times of crisis. Most likely, however, your time spent on your mobile is spent refreshing your social media pages, or looking at funny pictures while waiting to catch the train. All of that connectivity can increase your daily level of stress, as you feel the need to remain constantly updated about the status of people’s lives. To break the cycle, you will need to reduce the amount of time spent checking your mobile phone, whether gradually cutting back or limiting your use all at once.
Reasons to Cut Down on Mobile Use
Not everyone wants to cut back for the same reasons. The stress of being always online, combined with the edginess you may feel when you forget your phone at home, is enough of a reason for some to rein in their mobile time. Health concerns about the ties between mobile phone use and radiation convince some to take precautions, while others stay up late checking their notifications, preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.
Some people feel that spending too much time on the phone prevents them from socializing with people face to face. With two hours a day spent on smartphones, the average person only interacts with their partner about 97 minutes per day. Dining out is no longer the rewarding activity it once was, with everyone at the table affixed to their phones. Concerns over children’s developing minds have parents seeking out ways to minimize their screen time while educating them about the potential benefits of modern day technology.
In order to cut back on your mobile time, you need to know how much time you are currently spending. Most people greatly underestimate their mobile use, as a few moments here and there quickly add up. Moment for iOS allows you track how many minutes you spend on the phone each day, and notifies you if you go over the time limit you set for yourself.
For Android users, Menthal tracks your time in more detail, showing you how much was spent texting, on social media, or making calls. You can compare your information against other users, which adds a bit of social pressure to cut back on unnecessary tasks. This can be the boost you need to regain control of your mobile phone habit.
Set Your Available Hours
If you use your mobile for work, you may feel the pressure to always be available to answer co-worker questions or to meet your boss’ needs. However, you will want to set the hours you are available, so you are not tempted to start a new project minutes after bedtime. Align this time with your personal priorities, such as not answering calls or checking email during meal times, or not when at a family function.
Social smartphone users may want to try this in reverse, by scheduling the times they will check their notifications. You may find out that you can get by with only checking your email twice or thrice a day. Social media time could be summed up in a ten minute session, rather than sporadically throughout the day. You will need to make adjustments to find what works best for you.
Quit Completely for a Day
The thought of going without your mobile for an entire day is enough to bring fear to almost anyone. However, you may want to try it for a day, if for no other reason than to discover that the world will not end. If you cannot bring yourself to leave your phone at home, leave it turned off and not readily accessible. Keep it in a desk drawer or handbag to prevent you from constantly looking at it.
Once you have proven to yourself that you can go a day without checking your phone, you will want to establish a personal set of mobile use rules. Although using a mobile while motoring is illegal, many people still do, so you will want to refrain from using it then. For a proper night’s rest, it is recommended that you turn off your devices an hour before bedtime, so turn off your phone early. Commit to not checking your phone when spending time with friends, and post it on social media for the added social pressure to succeed.
Limiting your phone time is not easy. The rush of checking your notifications and always staying in touch is a hard feeling to control. With a bit of planning and commitment, you will be able to get a handle on your mobile use. Your health and your friends will welcome the change.