There are many days when I throw my smartphone down and lament the times when we used rotary phones that took 2 minutes to dial a number.  Heck, I’d even settle for a flip phone from 15 years ago.

Our smartphones consume our thoughts and take us away from doing things that make us feel good like exercise and spending time with people who enhance our lives.  The content we consume can cause unnecessary stress and it’s time to put a stop to it.

The technology and resources we hold in our hands can be a wonderful thing if we respect it.

Here are 8 things you can do to end your acrimonious relationship with your phone and learn to love it again.

  1. Turn off Notifications.  Dings, chimes, bells, and buzzers will compel you to check your phone.  Take charge by eliminating those annoying alerts and check your phone on your own terms.

2. Schedule your Glances.  There’s no need to check your messages or social media 92 times per hour.  Do it once every couple of hours for apps that you need, and twice per day on the apps that you don’t need to live such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter. 

3. Assess Your Apps.  Do you really need all of the social media apps that you have?  Consider deactivating your accounts, or at least take the apps off your home screen.  Making it harder to open will help keep it out of sight and out of mind.

4. People Come First.  When you are in the presence of other people, put the phone away.  Try to treat each individual like they are the most important person in your life. Talking, texting, and scrolling when you should be making eye contact and communicating with another person is a great habit to break.

5. Leave it Behind.  Leave your phone at home when you run an errand, go for a walk, or visit a friend. Do this a few times per week and you’ll feel liberated.

6. Turn Off Work Emails.  Don’t check work emails when you are at home.  You work 50 hours per week and that’s enough time to accomplish everything.  The person emailing you can wait until the next business day.

7. Put It To Bed Early.  Give your phone a quick session after dinner and put it to bed for the night.  The high level of light emitted from the screen and your quick eye movements will hype you up before bed and impact your sleep.  Put it away a couple of hours before you go to bed. By all means, keep it out of your bed!

7. Be Kind to Yourself.  Surround yourself with people and activities that enhance your life, not detract from it.  Don’t beat yourself over the mistakes you make.  Celebrate your victories. We’re all works in progress, so be kind to yourself.

Like nearly everything else in our lives, the technology that we depend on for work and socialization can be very harmful if done to excess. Moderation is the key to everything, including exercise! Be in the NOW or you’ll never see what you are missing.