Combat Digital Addiction

Texting with friends, scrolling through social media feeds, and checking our email just one more time: Every day we become a little more reliant on digital technology to do our work, stay informed, and remain connected with friends and family. The more we lean into technology, the harder it can be to get away from it.

Having a digital addiction means having the inability to control our use of technology — an affliction that approximately two-thirds of the population appears to have to some extent, according to Trend Hunter. Break the habit (or avoid it!) with these four tips.

  1. Track tech habits. Measuring and acknowledging how much time you spend on technology puts the problem into perspective. This information alone may be an incentive to cut back. Apps like Moment (InTheMoment.io) and QualityTime (QualityTimeApp.com) help you track and manage time spent on technology.
  • Don’t trust yourself. We may think we can just kick the digital habit at any time, but that’s the problem with a habit. Avoid temptation by removing digital devices from reach. Lock them up or give them to someone else to hold on to for a certain amount of time or at certain times of the day. Also, keep them out of the bedroom at night.
  • Turn off notifications. Every time you’re notified about a new email, message, or news update, there’s a compelling reason to drop what you’re doing and check in with your tech. Disable all but the most urgent notifications from your web and mobile apps.

Ease into a digital detox. It’s healthy to take a break from technology, but like any addiction, start small. Have a meal without your smartphone at your side. Then go for a shopping trip without it. You don’t need to quit using technology altogether; instead, focus on easing up on your dependency