Have you recently found yourself stuck in a zombie-like scroll through your smartphone, with hours passing before you remember you were supposed to be ticking items off your to-do list? If so, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with screens. While smartphones can significantly contribute to your quality of life, there comes a time to set boundaries with your technology. As smartphone ownership among seniors skyrockets, it’s essential to empower yourself by curbing your screen addiction.
Find a phone plan for seniors
A phone plan that fits your exact needs can make a massive impact on your day-to-day. If you’re a senior, it may be time to check out a phone plan specifically suited for people over 65. With features like emergency medical alerts, consistently fair pricing, and reliable coverage, there is a lot to love about phone plans for seniors. If you’re plummeting deeper into the rabbit hole of smartphone addiction, take the one-stop-shop approach, and make the switch to a more basic cell phone model while shopping for elderly-friendly phone plans. That way, the state-of-the-art bells and whistles of the modern smartphone can’t activate feelings of loneliness, depression, and incurable boredom.
If you’re not ready to part ways with your smartphone, finding a comprehensive phone plan for your needs makes it easier to know exactly how much data, texting allowance, and minutes you have. Spending a lot of time on your phone can lead to sky-high bills and unnecessary fees, but detailed knowledge about your plan will aid in creating boundaries with your screen. Because you and your wallet will know precisely when to log off, it’s simple to break your screen time terrible habits.
Use your brain elsewhere
While it’s easy-as-can-be to lose yourself in a long round of candy crush, all good things must come to an end. Your brain is beyond powerful, so consider fulfilling its needs for relaxation, stimulation, or a brief escape with activities besides screen time.
Meditation, yoga, and exercise blast your brain with endorphins that cause an even better feel-good sensation than the ping of your Facebook post receiving more likes. Reading a book or journaling can provide a similar escape while engaging your mind in productive ways. Replacing a bad habit with a good one will push you one step closer to kicking that screen addiction.
Ditch your phone in the bedroom
We all know what it’s like to click around on your phone until the clock seems to have spontaneously jumped ahead several hours. When it’s time to hit the hay, 10 minutes on Instagram to wind down can quickly turn into hours of mindless scrolling.
By banishing smartphones from your bedroom, you are not only likely to experience better sleep but will clock far fewer minutes of screen time. Hopping up to read a text or check on the status of your Facebook post is notably less appealing while snuggled up in your favorite blanket. Kicking your screen out of bed may even help you realize the difference between phone use that sparks joy and a mere act of boredom.
Additionally, using an actual alarm clock to wake up prevents a bleary-eyed scroll through social media that gobbles up half of your morning. Say hello to a productive morning and goodbye to your smartphone addiction.
Lean on friends and family
If your family and friend’s favorite group activity is sitting side-by-side and staring at a screen, don’t be afraid to speak up. You may not have noticed that your friends have only ever seen you by the blue light of your screen, but those closest to you likely have. Your favorite people make the best accountability partners because you can chat about your screen time struggles openly while keeping one another in check.
The best part of telling your inner circle about your goals to reduce screen time is that they probably struggle with the same issues. As with any addiction, you are never alone. Being vulnerable about this issue and committing to being present with your family and friends is the first step toward improvement.
Mute unnecessary notifications
As a general rule, cut notifications from anyone who isn’t a real person. Unless you have uncanny willpower to ignore the buzz of your smartphone, picking up your gadget whenever you hear a chime is likely a massive contributor to your screen time.
Chain emails, text advertisements, and social media notifications can all wait. If there isn’t a human on the other end of a message, the beep is likely not as important as being present in your daily life.
Smartphone addiction is pretty typical. No matter who you are, there will always be someone who relates to this struggle. Half the battle is building up a desire to change. With a great support system, a comprehensive phone plan, and more, you’ll be breaking your bad habit in no time.