Addicted to Your Smartphone? Here’s What to Do

We see more and more articles about Smartphone Addiction. Some contain tips for “how to stop” the addiction, but more times than none I disagree with those tips.

Susan Davis has published a post about Smartphone Addiction and what to do about that. The post is very detailed, acknowledging some research on the subject. And then there’s the “tips” section.

Your phone is beeping. Be strong, don't answer.

Yeah right…

Here are the tips brought there, and my comments on each of those, as someone who is practicing the Digital Diet on a daily basis, trying different methods:

  • Be conscious of the situations and emotions that make you want to check your phone. Is it boredom? Loneliness? Anxiety? Maybe something else would soothe you.

Well, that’s an interesting tip, as it drives you to think WHY you want to check your phone so much. A good exercise indeed, but I don’t know anyone who could “think” philosophically about those things 150 times a day when he wants to reach out to his phone. And “Maybe something else would sooth you” – is not a great tip IMHO for any rehabilitation process. Should I smoke or eat out of bordom instead of checking my phone ?

  • Be strong when your phone beeps or rings. You don’t always have to answer it. In fact, you can avoid temptation by turning off the alert signals.

OK. I always wanted to be strong. Rocky Balboa strong. But I don’t know how to be strong when my phone beeps. I just wanna check out what’s in there.

The second half of the advice is a super smart one, which I personally recommend – turn off the alert signals, and you don’t have to be strong anymore. You can just forget that your phone is there.

  • Be disciplined about not using your device in certain situations (such as when you’re with children, driving, or in a meeting) or at certain hours ( for instance, between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.).

That’s a great tip indeed. These days when I get in the car, I put my phone into “airplane mode”, so when I’m in traffic, I’m not tempted to check my whatsapp. Same trick at night time, so when I wake up I don’t see those 20 notifications that delay me from starting my day with a great shower and breakfast.

Do you have a great tip for how to overcome your smartphone addiction?

UNDIGITIZE.ME and Google Glass

Lots of people – knowing about the project of the Digital Diet – sent me a funny video about Google Glass. The video shows you instructions of how not to be an asshole with Google Glass, because it’s really easy to be one when you got it. They called it “Glasshole”.
Now, their intuition was superb, linking the Google Glass to the project of “Outsmart your Smartphone”. As written in “Who We Are”:

…the new reality that took over our life so quickly, with the predictions for the coming technological developments such as the Google Glass, etc, woke us up

In other words, the fact that Google Glass is out, makes this project even more important. The technology is speeding up, but we didn’t yet come up with behaviours and regulations of how to use it. The next five years will show us many other bionic gadgets – bionic eyes, hands, etc. That is why we need to get more aware and discuss these issues, as soon as possible. In the mean time, we can start by understanding how not to be an asshole with your smartphone.

And now for the funny video, which can turn to be not-so-funny very soon: