My phone is completely out of control. I thought I was someone who had balance. I’m not one of those people who constantly has to have his phone in his hand. Or least I didn’t think I was but apparently, I am. And unfortunately, I am not aloneThis is a problem of smartphone imbalance. And it is a very common problem. A recent New York University study had some disturbing conclusions. They discovered that smartphone use leads to compromised relationships and an unbalanced life. and physiological implications. So what do people do who are frustrated by their spouse or child who never puts down their phone?
Turn It Off
One of the ways we can address smartphone imbalance is by turning them off. The implication is that something is going to happen in the world or in my social circle that I am going to miss out on. I’ll miss a text, a Facebook post, or a call. This type of thinking leads to imbalance, and that imbalance affects many areas of life. However, you can turn it off. You don’t have to have your phone out 24 hours a day. Are you really going to be taking calls and responding to texts in the middle of the night? No, you’re not. In most cases, the messages and calls we receive are not time sensitive. They can wait. Try to find a time that to turn your phone off or put it away.
There’s An App For That
If you’re interested in correcting your smartphone imbalance, one of the things you should be aware of how much you use your phone. This is a problem of measurement. Although you should ask yourself things like “do I always need my phone in my hand or near me?” there are other more scientific ways to measure whether or not your smartphone has taken over your life. And as they say “there’s an APP for that.” There are APPs both on the Apple Appstore and the Google play area for measuring phone use. I find that searching “smartphone use” will pull up a variety of options that can help measure phone use habits. The APP I use measures the number of times I pick up my phone and how long I use each time.
Plan for times that your phone isn’t needed
If you do find that you do struggle with smartphone imbalance, there are some things you can do about it. Just as well plan our lives and schedule for activities and responsibilities that are important, we can plan for times we don’t have to be on our phone. Is it necessary to have your phone when you have dinner? There was a time when doing something like messing with a phone or answering texts at the table would have been unheard of. However, our culture has clearly changed. You can also change your phone habits when you go out socially. It is possible to plan to put your phone away in social situations. And it is possible to plan to decrease your phone use at home. Another situation that might warrant decreased cell phone use is bedtime. Late night phone use can interfere with sleep and relationships.
Plan For Offline Activities
Finally, planning for offline activities can help with a smartphone imbalance. One of the problems excessive phone activity can create is physical inactivity. One of the things you can do to combat this problem is to plan for more offline activities. Spend unconnected time with family. Go to the park or dog park. Go hiking. Get involved in some kind of group. Take a class with someone. There is an endless number of things you could do that are disconnected.
The core problem with people who have a smartphone imbalance is one of connection versus disconnection. Research shows that the more connected one is online the more disconnected one is to other people. And smartphone use can affect mental and physical health. Click here for the companion article about the health effects of smartphone use.