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How to Break Cell Phone Addiction

 If you're finding yourself having a hard time breaking up with your cell phone, and are wondering how to break cell phone addiction, hopefully, these tips, tricks, and my own experience can encourage you to know you're not alone in this battle.

How to Break Cell Phone Addiction

My Experience with Cell Phone Addiction:

For years I've had a really hard time managing my screen time and scrolling my phone for hours and hours on end. I think in some ways it was a way for me to avoid things that were going on in my life whether it was personal life struggles, mental health, hard seasons with kids, etc... It's so simple to just turn to your phone and scroll Instagram or TitkTok, and before you know it, an hour or more of your life is gone in the blink of an eye.

I think I denied that I had a problem for a really long time. As someone who works in marketing, I would tell myself it was part of my job to be on my phone, and that my four hours a day of screen time was part of my job. In reality, I didn't need to be on my phone that much, and my actual work accounted for about 30 minutes of those 4 hours each day. If I was stressed, I would scroll on my phone, if I was bored, I would scroll on my phone, if I was at a red light, I'd check my email. There was so much time throughout the day that I was mindlessly grabbing my phone for no reason. 

This all came to a head for me when I went on a mission trip to India in the winter and didn't have access to my cell phone. I essentially didn't use my phone for a week and a half, and was so proud when I got home and averaged 15 minutes of phone use a day, which was mainly me using my camera for pictures and videos. 

The week I had gotten home though, my screen time was up to 5 hours a day and I kind of snapped and decided enough was enough. I started treating my phone like the plague on my life that it really was. From that moment I decided my screen time was never going to be that high again, and three months later I can say the highest average of screen time in a week that I have had on my phone has been an hour and a half per day, although most weeks I'm averaging under an hour per day.  

How to Break Cell Phone Addiction

How to Break Cell Phone Addiction:

Now that you've heard about my experience with cell phone addiction you might be thinking, "But how did you actually break the addiction?", there were a few things that I did, and still do, and hopefully some of these tips will be practical for your life as well. 

Turn Screen Time On:

If you have an Apple phone, go into the settings and make sure screen time tracking is turned on. That way you can get a notification at the end of each week telling you how long you were on your phone each day. I also like to look at this throughout the day to see how I'm doing on my screen time for that day in particular so I can convict myself and know where I'm at for the day. 

Tell Yourself You Will Not Touch Your Phone At All Costs:

Just simply put, consider your phone to be the enemy in this equation, and mentally tell yourself that you will not touch it. I leave my phone near me all day when I'm working because I do need it for work, and when my kids are at school I like to know if the school is trying to contact me, but for the most part, I do not touch it, and that is just a clear boundary that I have for myself. I only reach for it if it's essential, and if it's not, I don't touch it. 

Do What You Need on A Computer:

If I'm reaching for my phone, but know that I can do the same task on the computer, then I will opt to hop onto my computer for that task instead. Scrolling is just way less fun and addicting for me on my computer than it is on my phone, so I know that even if I hop on Instagram on my computer to read my messages, I won't stay for the scroll because the desktop version just isn't as great.

Put Your Phone in Another Room:

If you can, and you feel you need to, put your phone in another room. Out of sight out of mind. Do this while you work, while you read your bible, while you read a book, etc... just get away from your phone and find something else to do. 

Do Something Outside:

Spend time in silence and solitude outside. Lay in a hammock, get some sun, and just sit in your own thoughts. This can be hard for some people, but it's something that I've come to really enjoy. Our minds don't always need to be stimulated by something, and it's okay to just sit with your own self. 

Replace the Scroll with Another Activity:

As mentioned a little earlier, if you catch yourself going for the scroll, replace it with another activity. Read a book, get some exercise, turn to your bible, go outside, and find something else to replace your time. If you don't find something to replace the scroll then you'll have no chance of breaking the addiction. Explore new hobbies and simply be conscious of the times you're reaching for your phone. 

How to Break Cell Phone Addiction

Delete Apps That You're Likely to Scroll:

Delete the apps that are most tempting for you to scroll. For me, it was Instagram and TikTok. I deleted TikTok from my phone and haven't downloaded it since. I need IG for work so it had to stay on my phone, but for the most part, I try to post as fast as I can and get off as fast as I can. 

Turn Off Notifications for Apps:

If you have notifications turned on for any non-essential apps, turn them off. Even if they aren't for IG or another app. The reason is, anytime you get a notification, it's just a temptation to grab your phone and start scrolling. Avoid the temptation by making your phone make the least amount of distractions in your life as possible. 

Set Goals:

Set a time goal that you want to stay under each day, and do everything in your power to make it a reality. For me, I wanted to be under an hour every single day. Some weeks I'm great, some I'm slightly over, but less than an hour per day is the goal. For you, it might be two hours, or simply cutting whatever you're currently doing in half. Whatever the goal, set the goal, and then check in on your screen time throughout the day and adjust accordingly to make sure you're on track for your goal.

Set App Timers:

Set an app timer for the apps you're most likely to use excessively. I have a friend who has a time limit set for IG each day, and only her husband knows the password to bypass the timer, so once she is locked out, she is locked out for the day. This is a great way to practice accountability too. 

These are the ways that I have helped myself overcome my phone addiction. I will admit, once I was adamant about changing the habit, actually implementing it was pretty easy for me to accomplish. I hope that some of these tips and tricks can be helpful for you as you're working through this as well. Remember that you can also pray for the strength and power to be equipped to overcome any habit or challenge you face and that the Holy Spirit can strengthen you when you call upon the Lord for help.

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