Over the festive season, you may be constantly turning to your smartphone to search for holiday destinations, keep in touch with friends and family, and shop online for Christmas gifts.
On the downside, you may also be constantly ‘doom-scrolling’ your newsfeeds for the latest developments on the pandemic or spending so much time curating your Insta photos that you’re losing out on quality time with your loved ones.
Smartphones are awesome tools, but there is also the danger of spending too much time hunched over a screen or getting distracted from other things that matter in life. It’s all about getting the balance right between devices, family and your life. Alcatel suggests some ways to have a productive and healthy relationship with your smartphone.
Use Android’s Digital Wellbeing settings to get the right balance
Android Digital Wellbeing helps you get the right balance in how you use your smartphone. The Digital Wellbeing dashboard gives you a complete picture of your digital habits, so you can disconnect when you want to.
You can see how much time you have spent in apps, how many times you’ve unlocked your device and how many notifications you received in a day.
Use focus mode on Digital Wellbeing
Getting distracted by social media or an addictive game when you should be working, sleeping or studying? Choose which apps you want to pause. When focus mode is on, you can’t use these apps and won’t get notifications from them.
- Open settings.
- Tap digital well-being, then parental controls and focus mode.
- Choose which apps you want to pause.
- To turn Focus mode on or off, at the top, tap turn on now or turn off now.
- To have Focus mode turn on automatically, tap set a schedule.
- To temporarily un-pause apps when focus mode is on, tap take a break and choose.
Turn off unnecessary notifications
Social media, email, gaming and other apps constantly send you notifications that pull you back to your phone when you’re taking a break from screen-time.
Switching off these notifications can limit the number of times you check your device. It’s not essential, after all, to know the instant one of your Facebook friends uploads a photo from their holiday at the beach.
Put your phone away when you’re with others
Many of us are guilty of glancing at our phones when the conversation lulls during a family dinner. But whether it’s a business meeting or quality time with friends and family, you’ll have more rewarding interactions if you put the smartphone away. Even consider keeping it in your bag or a different room if it will be too tempting to look.
Create device-free times in your day
A good way to restore some balance to your life is to create some device-free hours in the day. It’s a great idea to ban the smartphone from your bedroom since browsing later at night may make it harder to sleep.
Likewise, it can be stressful to wake up to a lot of urgent messages from work or bad news on social media. You can also put your smartphone away during mealtimes.
Delete apps that are too addictive or distracting
If you find yourself scrolling social apps or getting immersed in a game when you mean not to, consider the drastic step of deleting them. You can stick to using these apps when you’re at your desktop computer and remove the temptation from your phone.
You might find that once you break the habit, you no longer miss the app you were spending too much time with.
Use an app to manage your app usage
Strangely enough, there are apps for this too. Apps like Offtime and Flipd help you to manage the time you spend on distracting apps, while DTox and Forest reward you through gamification for keeping away from your phone.