Stop Your Cell Phone Addiction
Just say no to your cell phone.
You have seen them; they are everywhere. People obsessively staring into their crotch as they drive, teenagers blindly walking into mall water fountains. Make no mistake, the living dead are among us, and they are not eating brains; they are gobbling up phone minutes, devouring text messaging plans, and dining on bits and bytes. They are always drawing something, cursing autocorrect, making words with friends, LOLing, WTFing, and clinging onto their phones like a Titanic survivor clinging to a life jacket. (Too soon?)
I understand why we do it; after all, this is the information age, and people dig visual interaction. Cell phones bring us a constant stream of information from the outside world. We email, shoot video, learn what our friends are doing, learn about our favorite celebrities. Cell phones can allow us to attend college classes, find something to do, get discounts, and the list goes on.
However, there is a darker side to all this accessibility - addiction. Merriam-Webster defines addiction as: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance, characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. If you would rather be late for work than miss having your cell phone for the day, or if you have felt a physical pang of hurt because you miss your cell phone, you may well be addicted.
Are you addicted to your cell phone?
You can stop being a cell phone zombie, and fortunately, it does not take a lot of BRRRAAAIINNNSSSS. The first step in any problem is, of course, recognizing you have one. The symptoms of being a cell phone zombie include:
- Turning back around to get your cell phone from home even though it might mean that you are late for work.
- If you have ever gotten angry because your cell phone was slow, or tossed your cell phone because you felt it was not working right.
- If you glance at your cell phone even though you have not received any new notifications.
- You have been in a traffic accident because you were too busy paying attention to your cell phone.
- You have walked into someone because you were too busy paying attention to your cell phone.
- Someone has mentioned that you are on your phone too much.
Kick that Cell Phone Addiction
No need to worry, help for your cell phone addiction is pretty simple, if you have the willingness to try. At the very least, you will be able to pay more attention to the world around you, rather than the world that is held in your favorite mobile device. Remember, your cell phone is a tool, not a necessity.
- Reduce the amount of notifications you receive. Facebook, for example, will not only send you a notification when someone interacts with your account, they will also send you an email. This will ping you twice on your phone, causing you to look at your phone more often.
- Locate the 'silent' tone on your phone and assign it to all non-essential notifications. This will make your phone less likely to interrupt your day.
- Leave your cell phone at home. The world survived without the cell phone, and so will you.
- When you find yourself clicking idly at your phone, put it down and find something to do.
- Reduce the amount of social networks to which you belong. You do not need a Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp and five other accounts. Determine which one or two reflect your interests and stick with those.
- Clean up the cell phone clutter - remove old applications that you do not use, or those that are duplicated on your device.
If you have tried the above suggestions, and still have problems leaving your device, consider getting a cheap cell phone to use when you are not at work. You will still be able to make phone calls and send off a text message, but fewer features will mean fewer interruptions. Maybe you will even decide you do not need that $30 data plan that your cell phone carries and save yourself over $400 a year.