With all the interesting stuff we can access with our cell phones, it’s no wonder we can’t put them down. Good Arianna Huffington has a few ideas for breaking this addicting habit.
We’ve all done it- looked at our phones too much. In a restaurant, with friends, taking care of the kids- we’ve pulled it out for one more look, just in case.
How can you tell if you have an addiction to your phone, though?
Experts say if you do the following 6 things, you could be on the risk list.
Check it out. You know you’re addicted to your cell phone when…
1) Checking your phone is the first thing you do when you wake up.
So, your phone sits beside the bed on the side table. So does a packet of Halls and you’re not addicted to those.
But if checking your phone for new updates and emails is the first thing you do each day before you even go to the bathroom, you may have an addiction.
Most messages can probably wait until after breakfast. Or, at least until you pee.
2) You feel the need to check for updates every 5 minutes. Even when you’re driving.
This habit is a truly uber-dangerous one. If you text while driving, you could definitely be addicted to your phone. Don’t die because of a Facebook update!
If you do find that you text while driving, why not place your phone in the glove compartment. Or, better yet, throw it in the backseat.
3) You feel uneasy, tense, depressed and angry when you can’t use your phone.
Maybe there’s no service where you are, or your minutes and data ran out sooner than you’d like.
Whatever the reason, if being without phone use for more than 30 seconds gives you a mental hernia, it’s time to create some distance.
4) You take photos of a parade passing in front of you and then you can’t stop looking at your own pics, thereby inadvertently missing the live action.
OK, we’ve all taken photos with our phone and then checked them out right away. But if doing so is causing you to miss the rest of the event as it unfolds before you…you probably have a problem.
5) You lose your sense of time when interacting with your phone and accidentally get absorbed in it for hours.
Unless your talking with an old friend, if you lose hours to social media, games, memes and emails consider monitoring your own phone time. It IS easy to get lost in cyberspace. Please don’t go forever.
6) One or more of your relationships is suffering because of how much time you spend on your phone.
If you have put a personal relationship at risk or gambled with losing your job because you just wanted to use your phone, reconsider. Is your partner asking you frequently to put it away? Is your boss reminding you time and again? Could be time to lock it away.
And so you’re addicted. What can you do about it? The good news is that Arianna Huffington can assist you. (No this isn’t a sponsored article, we’re just interested in what she’s doing).
Since excess phone use has been linked to an increase in teen depression, distracted driving, general societal angst and decreased work productivity, Huffington, thought it was time to step in.
The past co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, which is now owned by AOL, has invented a device to help you get your phone out of your hands. You can now control how much your devices control you.
The helpful device is called a smartphone bed, and it actually does look like… a bed. It sits outside the bedrooms of the house and acts as a charging station. Complete with satin sheets for your phones, children and adults alike can “put phones to bed” in this device, helping to establish boundaries for technology use at the end of the day.
What does this do to help curb your phone use at all other times, besides bedtime? Nothing. But the more sleep we have, the better we can be at making judgements that help us, when we’re awake.
For other ways to reduce your smartphone use and disable your addiction, check out these apps that let you regulate your use.