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Breaking Free from Phone Addiction

Updated: Aug 9, 2023




Most of us spend hours on end on our Smartphones and they appear to OWN us…

We are virtually seeing an erosion of traditional values (face to face engagements) in our society today.


A lot of discussions about our Digital Wellbeing have been going on behind the scenes to address this REAL problem…


Digital wellbeing is a term used by health professionals, researchers and device manufacturers to describe the concept that when we interact with technology, the experience should support our physical and Mental health in a measurable way.

It should promote healthy use of technology and be able to assist us in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


There are huge possibilities and potential benefits.

• Limiting screen time.

• Reducing eye strain in frequent device users.

• Being aware of unforeseen mental health impacts. Potential causes of high levels of anxiety, ADHD, depression, poor time management and impulsiveness.

• Increasing emphasis on physical activity and nutrition.

• Supporting healthy sleep patterns, especially for users that bring devices with them to bed.


There are various tools in the market that have been created to improve the digital Wellbeing of our young ones, tools such as: Qustodio, Kidslox and now Google Digital Wellbeing… The standout one for me from the list above is Google’s underrated Digital Wellbeing Contribution…


And the good news is that we don’t have to spend a penny on it - It’s FREE!!


Digital Wellbeing is a built-in feature on most modern Android phones - Apple’s iPhone alternative is ‘Screen Time’ which does a similar thing.


Back In the day… if you needed help to work on a bad habit like excessive phone use… You simply hid the phone or gave it to someone you were accountable to asking them not to give it back until a certain time or date.


But in 2019… Technology has found a way to help.


Googles Digital Wellbeing shows you all the apps you have opened on your phone and for how long… The ones you spend a significant amount of time on will take up a large part of the chart or pie as you would see. Armed with this information you can decide what you should do about it and I am hoping like me you’d want to do something about it…


For some of us, it’s Facebook, For some it’s Snapchat and for others it’s Instagram or Twitter… For many of us it’s YouTube, WhatsApp, Netflix etc… I am certain we would agree as parents and young folk, the amount of time we spend on these apps are unhealthy…


With the Digital Wellbeing feature You are able to set timers for your apps… You can set daily timers for most apps. When the app ends, the app is paused for the rest of the day This blog is for those who spend so much time on these little gadgets and either know they are or someone has informed them… And they now agree something has to be done about it…


DIGITAL WELLBEING FEATURES


Usage dashboards – This helps you track how many hours you spend on different apps or websites. This can be used to limit or track average use.

App timers - This limits how many minutes or hours you can spend on certain websites or applications per day. These can also be used to restrict access after a certain time of day. Flip to Shhh - A feature that switches a device to “do not disturb” mode whenever it is placed screen down.

Do not Disturb - This reduces the number of times you get notifications

Wind Down – A feature that flips the screen to grayscale at a specified bedtime.

Grayscale - Built into Android and Apple phones – Our emotions and attention are tied to colour perception, so when these colours are removed from our phones. We are less excitable and are able to spend less time on our phones.

Night Light – Another built-in feature on our Smartphones that changes the screen light on our phones to orange… A colour that relaxes us and encourages sleep. This means at a certain time of the evening… You are not looking at so much blue night before going to bed…


You’d find that if you set all these up like I have, You’d be on your way to making Subtle and in many cases significant changes to the amount of time you spend on your smartphone or tablet and hopefully you can re-invest the time gained..., spending it with your family and friends.


Another term that’s making the rounds in Digital Technology is the word Minimalism and according to the 'Break the Twitch' initiative… It's how we reduce distractions in our lives so we can do more of things that matter… Like spending more time with our family and friends.

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