What’s that one thing you can’t leave your house without? Ask anyone, yourself, your parents, best friend, colleagues, an influencer, or even a stranger, the most common answer would be ‘my smartphone.’
For better or for worse, we all are suffering from ‘Smartphone Addiction.’ While they may have many benefits, they are also harming your health in more ways than one. So our 2020 resolution should be to quit using our devices or exercise digital detox ever so often.
This may be a brilliant idea on paper, but I know for sure that it isn’t possible. We need our phones for communication, work, entertainment, sending SOS, and much more. However, we can surely resolve for smarter, healthier smartphone usage habits in 2020.
Smartphone Addiction is Worse Than Dr**g Addiction
Similar to other addictions like dr**gs or gambling, you get an instant dopamine high during your phone usage. After all, everything is simple, surprising, and a ‘must-do.’ However, it also starts numbing you slowly and steadily.
The situation has come to a point where it is compared to the ‘obesity epidemic.’ It is high time we stop taking our obsession with smartphones lightly. We are slowly tossing everything out the window, whether your mental, physical, emotional, and social health.
Psyco-social Issues Due To Excessive Use of Smartphones
- Mental health issues – Sleep disturbances, Depression, Anxiety, Irritability, Restlessness
- Reduced memory retention
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Massive ill-effect on Interpersonal relationships whether family, friends or love life
- Negative influence on parenting
- Lesser productivity and efficiency
Physical Effects of Smartphone Addiction
- Digital eye strain
- Text neck
- Smartphone tendonitis
- Texting thumb
- Smartphone pinky
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Studies have revealed some shocking facts about how this addiction is harming you and your kids. By any means, these stats aren’t healthy, so why aren’t we opting for a full-on Smartphone Detox?
Not Everyone Can Afford a Smartphone Detox
Agreed that it’s not healthy, but what can we do about it? Whether for work or personal reasons, we can’t leave everything and disconnect from the phone.
For example, using a smartphone is my passion, and as a blogger, it is a major part of my job. So should I compromise my health? Obviously not! All is not lost yet; we can still make some simple and some not-so-simple changes in our lives for a prosperous and healthy 2020.
The Smarter and Healthier Way to Use your Smartphone
The real trick behind keeping the resolutions you made is to keep realistic goals. Start small by understanding what the harms are and how you can circumvent them without spoiling your work routine.
Instead of just devising a plan to use your smartphone less, start using hacks to reduce the negative impact. For instance, physically, the chief harm of smartphone addiction is borne by your eyes, back, and hands.
So, let’s start the year with some initiatives to negate the ill-effects of smartphone usage, such as:
Step To Reducing Digital Eye Strain – Screens around you emit blue light, which can cause fatigue, pain, watery eye, and even permanent damage if you have excessive use.
- Enable Dark Mode
- Use correct brightness
- Rest your eyes from time-to-time
- Blue eye lenses/Anti-blue light screen protector for your phone
- Limit eye strain by using accessories such as pocket projectors or screen magnifier for leisure activities
Protecting Your Back and Hands – Muscle and tendon fatigue or injuries are quite common with over-use. When you use smartphone excessively, such issues are practically unavoidable.
However, there are a few ways to strengthen your muscles and minimize the chance of any severe injury:
- Try yoga or other forms of activities to gain muscle strength
- Do not stoop while using your phone
- You can try either a posture training belt or an electronic device to maintain correct posture
- Ensure proper eye-level, so you don’t have to bend your neck
While these actions are significant, the usage that I have needs some stricter solutions. I guess most of my readers are also sailing in the same boat. So, here are some of my resolutions that you should probably think of adopting as well.
My 2020 Resolutions
Better Night and Morning Routines – Finding that Middle Ground
Everyone will tell you that it is terrible to use the phone just before you sleep and immediately after you wake up. So, why aren’t we able to abstain?
Simply because we are addicted to videos, news, social media, chatting, and whatnot. So, I opted for a middle ground this year.
If I can’t sleep, I listen to music, podcasts, and audio novels, instead of exploring social media for funny videos, jokes, and debates. Like me, if you need news first thing in the morning, opt for a newspaper or daily news podcasts.
Occasional Detox – Schedule Daily/Weekly Time Out
How about a Screenless Saturday like The Minimalists? With the device of your mind, you can spend time with family, read some new books, cook something yummy, explore new places or chill in that rocking chair.
To further utilize the ‘free-time,’ I call up and chat with my family and friends. What’s more, my team knows that I won’t check notifications, so they call, and I don’t miss any critical updates.
I am still trying to fine-tune the concept to suit my needs, but I must say that the last few Saturdays have been amazing.
Ask your friends and family to help – No Phones Allowed
If you are even half as entertaining as me, your loved ones would love to have you around without your gadgets. Jokes aside, this is a smart way of reducing your screen-time.
Instruct your parents, partners, kids, and friends to give you a gentle reminder to keep the phone down. Personally, my wife loves snatching my iPhone at the dining table every night and on Saturdays.
This resolution has an underlying benefit as well, especially if you have kids! During your down-time, your loved ones will use their devices less, reducing their screen-time in the process.
Use Technology To Stop Me From Using Technology
Paradoxically, we have to use technology to prevent ourselves from using it excessively. But some apps can help you in digital detoxing. They stop you from abusing your phone and keeps a check on your screen time.
My Most Important Resolution For 2020 – Sticking to The Rules
These resolutions are surely not meant for breaking. You may or may not take care of your physical health, but when it comes to digital, social, mental, and emotional health, we take them for granted. This year, I have decided to make my life a priority over my smartphone.
I have decided to make my memories, instead of spending time on seeing someone else’s. This year, I am determined to see, feel, and breathe in real beauty, instead of setting a mere wallpaper.
2020 is the year when I, my wife, kids, and my friends will have a record-breaking lesser screen-time, keeping my fingers crossed!
What about you? What’re your resolutions this year? Is there any smart and healthy 2020 resolution that you would like to share with us. Just spill the beans in the comment section below.
Here are some more worthy reads, perfect for tickling your brain cells:
- Print vs. Digital Medium: Which is More Reliable?
- Why the iPhone 4 Is My Favorite Gadget of the Decade?
- 2021 iPhone Will Have No Port: Are We Ready For A Totally Wireless Phone?