Six Simple Steps to Beat Your Tech Addiction

beating tech addiction

10 Jan Six Simple Steps to Beat Your Tech Addiction

Tech addiction is defined as an impulse control disorder that involves the obsessive use of mobile phones, the internet or video games. Put in a simpler way, it combines excessive use of tech with negative repercussions {such as social isolation} and withdrawal symptoms {such as moodiness, depression or irritability}. Tech addiction can seem like an impossible hurdle to jump, but with the right advice, beating it could be less daunting than it feels. Here are seven simple ways to beat your tech addiction.

1. Admit The Problem

It’s a common cliché that the first stage in fixing a problem is admitting that the problem exists. If you don’t admit you have a problem your desire to change will be lukewarm at best. Be honest and evaluate if tech impairs your ability to function on a day to day basis. If your mood is dependent on “the little demon in your pocket”, then your relationship with tech has become at the very least unhealthy.

beating tech addiction. woman in black long sleeve shirt sitting on blue couch
Acknowledging you might have tech addiction is the first step.

2. Carve Out Screen Free Time

It goes without saying that dedicating time as screen-free is an ideal way to ween yourself off tech. Go for a walk, a bike ride or a run. Read a book or chat with a family member or friend. Or do absolutely nothing and re-calibrate during the day. If you are able to do a task or activity that does not involve a screen throughout the day then you are one step closer to breaking your tech addiction.

3. Switch Off from Work

beating tech addiction. Man sitting on armchair near table with opened coconut

A lot of tech addicts can trace their problems to one place: work. The prevalence of tech in the 21st-century workplace means that it can be very hard to switch off even when your working hours are over. Baby steps are important as you are unlikely to be able to switch off from work-related tech for large periods at a time, at least in the beginning. Try turning off notifications for apps that are non-essential outside work (like Slack, for example). Or set up email labels that filter out emails so that you can reply to them at a later date. These should help alleviate some of the stresses of any potential tech addiction and help you to beat it.

4. Use Tech That Helps You Stay Away from Tech

As the founder of the Digital Citizenship Summit David Polgar puts it “If we were left alone with our devices, we would use them all day”. But technology can be used as a tool against tech addiction by using specialised apps and functionality. For example, the app Space, designed to help you think about how you are using your phone, can send you notifications to log off that get progressively more insistent as they are ignored. And Apple’s Focus Mode allows you to set limits around the functionality on your phone depending on the type of break you want from it. Using tech as an aider rather than an enabler, your relationship with tech could start to become healthier.

5. Design Your Tech Free Zones

By having tech around you every second of the day, the likelihood of a relapse or the temptation to use tech more than you should will always be present. The answer: tech-free zones. Zones at work or in the house where tech is not present. By removing tech from certain physical spaces, you will ensure that those places are where you can truly relax and remove the temptation of overindulging with tech.

6. Favour Face Time

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate. However, communication online is never truly the same as that in person. By placing the emphasis on meeting others face to face, social interaction not only happens more organically but also removes obvious dependence on tech. Just make sure your phone is away when you are with anyone else!

For more about how you can manage tech addiction and on other bad digital habits that are changing lives – pick up a copy of our new book: My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open. Available to order here.

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