Expert advice How to’s Mind
Could u be addicted to UR phone! Simple tips to manage digital addiction.

Dr Roshan Jain

Senior Consultant - Psychiatry. Deaddiction. Psychotherapy

5 min read

We all know that using our smartphones makes our life convenient. Who would disagree? Technology makes it super-easy to keep track of live updates, weather, stay in touch with our loved ones and follow the latest news & scoop on our fav celebrity’s life!

Have U ever thought how being glued to UR phone is a type of addiction by itself? This can be more of a problem than they’ve expected!

Use of mobile phones and other digital devices are here to stay! Realistically speaking, U can’t just switch off the phone and internet and pretend like it never existed. It’s not about going cold turkey, but more like controlling UR use of technology!

Use these simple tips to modify UR mobile phone usage. Make UR relationship a positive one!

1. Schedule mobile phone use, just like we schedule our days and the week. Try and use the phone only at certain times of the day or after you have completed essential, daily chores or studies. If UR work is requires U to be on UR phone, then stay disciplined. Don’t get tempted to browse other content.

2. Avoid phone use at certain times of the day and at places. E.g., don’t use the phone when UR with UR friends, family, at work, in a meeting, at the gym or in a spiritual environment. Try not to use UR phone when UR in the washroom and certainly not when UR driving or stationed at traffic signals. Leave the phone behind when U go for a walk or jog, we all need and deserve uninterrupted time with yourself.

3. Skip the use of phone before going to bed. The blue light emitted by UR phone screens can disrupt UR sleep if it is used within two hours of bedtime. Equally, the content U consume can crowd UR already cluttered mind and prevent sleep onset. Instead choose soft calming music or a book to retire, unwind and relax before going to sleep.

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4. Stay away from phone on waking for at least 1-2 hours. Choose to meditate for 10-15 mins, so U start the day being calm, clear and collected, rather than being an unnecessarily informed mind.

5. Avoid walking distracted. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise because there are more people who are texting and messaging while they walk! Make the Switch from phone to experiencing the beautiful world around U.

6. Avoid Phubbing- this is defined as ignoring UR companion to check UR phone or other devices. Delete unnecessary social media apps in order to not get compelled to experiencing FOMO. Try and avoid using these apps when UR in a social setting.

Limiting checking UR social media will give you time to live URLife, rather than have it driven by comparisons. Updating/forwarding/sharing of information that will only clutter UR mind! When U have time with yourself try and avoid using UR phone, then UR Fear Of Missing Out will turn into Joy Of Missing Out.

7. Switch phone use with healthier activities. Take part in indoor activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, reading a real book or listening to music. You can also travel and chose to see the world with UR eyes rather than through UR phone’s lens. Capture the moment with the eye and embrace its phenomenal experience.

8. Real-world’ meet & greet’ to be preferred over messaging/texting. Call people or better interact with them in person. Communicating with UR loved ones can make UR relationships stronger.

9. Be a role model. Reduce the time spent on UR phones and other electronic gadgets. A parent who tends to use their phone excessively is the first one to complain about their children doing the same. Remember the saying “Monkey See Monkey Do!” Put UR phone down and see the results in you and the people around U.

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10. Educate and encourage kids about the importance of using social media moderately. Reduce and monitor UR screen time, use it to learn new skill sets, explore new countries, or read positive affirmations.

11. Access social media apps on fewer devices. Remove some apps from the phone (if possible) and access them only on the computer. We all know that social media is full of fake news and falsified exaggeration of people’s life. The lesser access, the better!

12. Turn FOMO into JOMO. Limiting checking UR social media will give you time to live URLife, rather than have it driven by comparisons. Updating/forwarding/sharing of information that will only clutter UR mind! When U have time with yourself try and avoid using UR phone, then UR Fear Of Missing Out will turn into Joy Of Missing Out.

13. Unplug to reconnect. Sometimes we need to switch off! Consider unplugging, much in line with UK’s most massive digital detox movement – National Unplugging Day (held on 25 June each year). A gadget-free day of celebration and fun, where everyone comes together and breaks free from using technology to reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. We can also try to do this once a month, if not every week!

14. Above all, reconnect with nature and choose a real-world activity. See the world through UR eyes and not via a small screen.

15. It’s Ok to seek help. If the digital life and obsessions are overwhelming and self-help methods have not yielded change, then seek professional for reverting to healthy use of technology. Consultation may include therapy like; motivational intervention – a psychological approach to address barriers for growth. For some, a course of anti-obsessive medication may accelerate engagement in psychological work or self-guided change.

Locking technology away, even if just for a short period can give you uninterrupted ‘here and now’ waking moments, bring U closer to UR friends and family and can shatter UR illusion of being connected to something when UR glued to UR screen. It’s time to take charge, declutter and reclaim URLife. Let’s pledge to put our phones down, live in the moment and reignite our passion for real over virtual experiences! The Formula is relatively simple – unplug to reconnect!