Check the article link attached for what this post refers to. In this post I am going to talk about bit about our smart devices and trying to not let them own us. I am writing another post for this same article on my personal page where I talk more about the detrimental impacts of our smart device but in this one I will keep it to some simple advice.
I will admit straight up, "My name is Andy, and I have a problem with addiction to my smart device". This is part where you clap, and thank you and welcome me. OK now that is over with, lets talk about my and your addiction, our smart device. Our smart phones and social media have not only been designed to keep as addicted but to also make access to our addiction easy for getting our "fix". There are some simple things you can do to keep your addiction and make sure it isn't being to detrimental on your life. One simple one that has made a huge impact on my life, or controlling my addiction is using the DND or Do Not Disturb feature on my phone. DND is the name used by Apple on the iPhone and I am sure Android has a similar feature. I will use the iPhone DND in my explanation here. When DND is set to On, your still receives all those juicy pieces of addiction that you need your fix from, but it stops the notifications which are what keeps the addiction going. With confidence you know that you are still getting all those pieces of information you have learned to crave but you can take a safe break from them knowing they are not disrupting your life. Oh and for added piece of mind, you can add your children or significant other or aging parent into your favorites for phone contacts. If they call you, your phone will still ring, which means you can relax knowing you aren't missing the house is on fire, your parent has fallen down, or your significant other just discovered that you won the lottery and has to tell you right now. This means emergency phone calls are still going to get to you. I would hope we haven't got to a point of emergency texts. "COME HOME NOW #HouseOnFire". So with the DND feature I can go to the movies and know I can relax for 2 hours and escape from my phone and my addiction. I also use DND before I got to bed at night, so I can get a nice peaceful nights sleep without my phone waking me up for a Facebook notification of one of my long lost school friends has posted their midnight snack and Facebook thought it was important enough that I needed a notification. DND is your first step to regaining control over your addiction.
The next step to controlling your addiction is to go into the Settings section and turn off the notifications that have no immediate dire impact on your life. Do you really need Facebook to alert you when someone comes online? Do you desperately need to know someone has gone off an erratic rant on Twitter in the middle of your day? Find time during your day to sit and really enjoy your addiction at appropriate time and not while driving down the road or while your children are playing in sports and would really appreciate your undivided attention. Missing little Johnnies first goal in soccer because you had to feed your social engineered addiction to Facebook, could lead to expensive unnecessary therapy for you child in their later years.
You can go even further with your notifications, and in the iPhone you can turn off notifications from specific users. So unlike and Ex who have gone straight to block to avoid them disrupting your day, you can take good ole crazy aunt Betty when you are ready without her disrupting your life. You will still get her messages, just like DND and if she happens to spontaneously combust, she can still call you on the phone and your phone will ring, although we would hope she would call 911 instead. There will still be message notifications from these people, but you can deal with them when most appropriate to keep your addiction from increasing to dangerous levels. Which can come back and really haunt you later if you do not deal with them later.
And for our final look at controlling our smart phone addiction, lets talk about why gaining control is so important. If you don't learn to control your level of addictions, you will at some point start cause disruptions to your normal social life and I am just talking about the fact you will text your partner to ask if they are going to join in bed for the evening, but how people will become more attune to your addiction. I have already seen people who are known addicts try and lie to others with excuses for failing to interact. My favorites are; "I missed your message", or "I never got your message", or my personal favorite from the extreme addict "I was too busy and meant to reply later". I think I love that last one best because people who have realized the extent of your addiction, have also realized you'd stop to reply to a text message while trying to run out of a burning building.