How To Break Your Phone Addiction Right Now

Not all of us are feeling so good about the hold our phones have over us.

There is a lot to be said for having your phone on you at all time -- and being easy to contact, have access to services you need and yes, yes, like those Instagram posts, too.

Over the years, we've become increasingly dependent on our devices, to the point that they're often the only way we communicate -- and too often we scroll mindlessly on them when we're not communicating. Well, yes...

So if you want to extricate yourself from that... well, it ain't easy.

Larry Rosen, PhD, a research psychologist who is looking at our relationship with technology, says that over time we've created a sense of social responsibility based around our phones.

We feel that we need to fulfill a social obligation that we have set up, and we have been reinforced for over and over (or punished for), meaning that if you 'like' something immediately, people are happy," he says. "If you don’t like something, people get upset with you."

But that doesn't mean it's not possible to stop.

First up, says Dr Rosen, if you want to limit the amount of time you spend with your device,  it's a good idea to let people know that you're trying to lessen your time on your phone. That way, you won't offend them by not answering an Instagram DM immediately or texting back quickly enough. And you'll be breaking the cycles of that social obligation.

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Then, he says, if you want to stop all that mindless scrolling action, turn off all your notifications so that you're not alerted if someone's trying to get in touch with you. If you feel you can't miss something from your partner or parent however, then most of the apps will let you filter their messages out.

Dr Rosen then suggests moving all your social media apps into one folder -- and then putting that folder into another folder, and moving it to the last screen of your phone.

Yep, the idea here is to make it harder to access these apps, so do as he says. He also suggests you don't save your passwords -- gasp! -- but rather enter them each time you use the app.

"The more effort we have to put in, the more likely our brains will click and go, why am I doing this?" he told Refinery29. "And then you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Then you start to get this sense of, do I need to be doing this all the time?"

Once you've done all that you can get a very clear picture of how often you're mindlessly scroll on the phone -- and realise that you're on the way to stopping doing just that.

You're welcome.