Social media apps that we find ourselves endlessly scrolling through are designed to hook us. We needlessly check our phones just to see if we got a notification and when we do, it’s like a reward that we need to keep checking to be “rewarded” more. Phone addiction and social media addiction has become all too real in our lives and so are its mental health risks.

So if you, like millions of other people, find yourself sifting through #hashtags and trending topics, or scrolling through images on Instagram, not really spending more than a few seconds on each one, then a change may be worth your consideration. Even checking your phone with every intention to complete a task then get distracted and completely forget; maybe it’s time to try a detox.

Take some time to understand your relationship with your phone, tablet or laptop. What are some of the things you want improve? Your digital detox is up to you. It does not mean you can’t use any of your devices in a given week, but instead to become more aware of HOW you’re using your devices. It’s okay to use it them, they are here to make our lives easier, but if accidentally spending an hour on Instagram is a daily occurrence, your phone is becoming a crutch.

Watch this video from Dr. Ryan Todd about the significance of cellphone addiction.

What can you do?

  • Create a No Phone Zone.
    • This could be around the dinner table, or in the bedroom. Set physical boundaries so that you can be present in the moment and not distracted by your phone.

  • Manage screen time
    • Thanks to some new features on the iPhone you can track just how much time you are spending on your phone. It’s a fancy new feature that lets you quantify just how addicted to your phone you are.
  • Delete addictive apps
    • This one might be hard for the social media users out there. In many cases this is where we are spending most of our time. Deleting those apps will remove the temptation to mindlessly click on them and get sucked into the infinite scroll.
    • If cutting off from social media seems like an impossible task, you can still access them through the browser (safari, chrome etc.) it just takes longer so you have to consciously process what you are doing rather than clicking mindlessly.
  • Do not disturb
    • Set that feature! You can set it on a timer as well so after a certain time each night you the do not disturb feature turns on and you won’t be receiving constant notifications.

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