How many times would you say you check your phone a day? A handful of times? Perhaps a couple dozens of times? Get this – according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report, the average smartphone user checks their phone a staggering 150 times every single day!
While the smartphone has made communication, travel, and staying informed on what’s happening around us a lot easier, it has become an addicting tool. In addition, smartphones can also become a hazard to our health, especially when we use it while walking or worse, when we’re behind the wheel. Every day in our nation, there are more than 8 fatalities and over 1,150 injuries in crashes that involve distracted drivers. This includes those who choose to call, text, or check social media or email on their smartphones.
If you find yourself having a hard time staying away from your smartphone, the good news is that you can break your addiction and free up your life. Try these 8 tips to curb your smartphone addiction and stay safe today!
Stop Using It as an Alarm Clock – How many of us use our smartphones as an alarm clock? If you do this, try breaking this habit now. It’s likely that you will visit your favorite websites or email as soon as you shut off your alarm. Do yourself a favor – use a real alarm clock to wake yourself up in time for work.
Don’t Check Emails Before Work – We know that the temptation is hard to resist, but trust us, your emails will be there waiting for you to look at them when you get to work. By leaving your phone alone in the morning, you are giving yourself more time to enjoy the morning and fully prepare yourself for the day ahead. We promise, the world won’t end if you don’t check your emails before work!
Get Rid of Time-Wasting Apps – Do you really need instant access to social media? Chances are that you don’t. Take the time to uninstall time-wasting apps from your phone. When you scale back your apps, you will find that the urge to pull out your smartphone every few minutes will decrease!
Create Defined Tech-Free Zones and Times – If you’re having trouble relaxing or falling asleep at night, you might need to check in on your phone habits. Be sure to cut off your screentime an hour or two before going to bed; the unnatural light can mess with your circadian rhythm, leading to sleeping problems. On top of that, keep your phone out of the bedroom. Your bedroom is a sanctuary – try to keep it that way!
Turn Off or Customize Your Notifications – Do you find yourself hearing “ping!” or “beep!” more than you like? It’s probably time to turn off or customize your notifications. You can customize notifications to appear for only important things like certain people contacting, or you can simply turn your phone on silent and check it later on as you enjoy a movie with your significant other or your child’s musical performance – uninterrupted.
Keep It Away From the Dinner Table – Playing with your smartphone isn’t just rude and an anti-social behavior – it’s also a germy habit! Besides, you can wind up dropping your phone in your food or beverage and causing yourself more stress. You really don’t need to put your meal on Instagram. Instead, put your phone away and enjoy your food with your present company.
Turn Off Email When You Don’t Need It – Once the weekend hits or whenever you take a vacation, it can be hard to say “no” to clicking that mail button, which sports a high number bedecked in red. If you find yourself giving into looking at your email during non-work times, turn your email off completely until you need to see it again. Just go to your settings, then to “mail,” and switch off the green toggle button to cease any notifications from popping up. Remember to turn it back on when you need to see your emails, though.
Hide It When You’re Driving – If you have a hard time resisting the urge to look at your phone behind the wheel, keep yourself safe by either turning your phone off, hiding it in your purse or bag, or even tossing it into the backseat. Your life and the lives of others are much more important than any text message, phone call, or friend request!
Remember, curbing your smartphone addiction is just one way you can stay safe behind the wheel or while you’re out and about on-foot. For everything in between, there’s Madison Mutual. Call your agent at 1-800-766-MMIC to update your insurance policies today!