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Change How You Use Your Smartphone

 How many times do you check your smartphone during the day? It is reasonable to assume that you do this a few dozen times, if not a few hundred times, and of course, it’s not just to check the time or whether you missed a call... Smartphones are used by many of us as a refuge from unwanted feelings, but is it a healthy use of the mobile device? Many experts will say that it’s not, and in fact they may even say that it’s no different from any other addiction used to escape reality, but unlike addictions to other things, it is easy to limit the use of smartphones if you know how to, and the next practical method will help you do just that.

smart phone use

Some statistics on smartphone addiction

According to a Gallup study in 2015, 81% of Americans who own a mobile phone keep it on hand at all times, and 72% check their mobile devices at least once an hour. The vast majority is American youth, but the statistics are not encouraging for the older population. 47% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 glance at the smartphone screen several times an hour and 12% of them look at it every few minutes.

Smart use of smartphones

Gil Brand, an Israeli teacher, set himself the goal of raising his students' awareness of the widespread use of smartphones by default, and in order to succeed in this task, he did a very simple thing. He made a picture listing different feelings, among them:

  • Boredom 
  • Indifference 
  • Depression 
  • Carelessness and more...

Gil instructed his students to set this picture as the background image of the lock screen and the home screen of their smartphone for a week, and each time they looked at the smartphone screen they had to pay attention to their motives for using it and whether they were related to one of the feelings in the picture.

Some of the students reported that most of the times they looked at their smartphone, they experienced boredom. Some of them claimed that although they had strong will, the smartphone overpassed it, and some said that when they turned off the screen afterward they experienced great relief and peace of mind. It seems that Gil's mission was successful and the students became aware of their feelings, which helped them stop using their smartphones by force of habit.

smart phone use

You can get the same results

In order to make your mobile phone use healthier or even to stop using it, you should follow these instructions:
Save the photo to your mobile phone by long pressing on the picture below and choose “Save image” (iPhone) or “Download image” (on Android) from the menu that pops up. 

  • On Android devices: Long press an empty part of your smartphone screen, click on "wallpapers" at the bottom of the screen and select the image from the folder where you downloaded the background. Tap the "Set as wallpaper" button and choose to use it either as your lock screen or home screen wallpaper (it is recommended to set the picture for both).
  • For iPhones: Go into the settings and click on "Wallpapers and Brightness". Tap on "Select background image", select the same folder where you saved the image, select the image and click "Use Picture" at the bottom of the screen. Now select whether to use it for the lock screen, home screen, or both.
smart phone use
From now on, whenever you look at your smartphone screen, try to check what motivated you to do so. If the motive is described in one of the words in the background image, ask yourself: "Is there anything else that can make me happy or is there someone else more important to me than the smartphone right now?" Your answer will help you know what you need to do to avoid using your mobile device.
This method will help you re-learn what really makes you happy, improve your relationship with the people that matter to you, and gain peace of mind in a time full of unnecessary stimuli. Slowly and automatically, your brain will learn to rewire itself and avoid regular use of a smartphone by default, and you can regain control of your life. Ultimately, the goal is to turn your smartphone into a tool that works for you, not a tool you work for.
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