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Five Tips on Curbing Tech Addiction

Technological advances have improved people’s businesses, communications, and lifestyles — though not without impediments. Tech addiction is an obsessive urge for the excessive reliance on technology. Healthwise, tech addiction can lead to sedentary lifestyles. For some, this could lead to dependence, social isolation, and depression. There is debate among experts on tech addiction; however, authorities agree if tech habits impact daily life negatively, there are effective strategies to help. Here’s what experts suggest for curbing tech addiction.

Set Limits for Tech Use

Researchers suggest that completely avoiding technology is an ineffective strategy for tech addiction. Instead, they recommend regaining control by monitoring individual usage. Set time limits. When you follow through, reward yourself with something small. Try sticking to a routine that works for you. Along with setting time limits for tech addiction, it is important to recognise that establishing new habits take effort. Lasting change requires time. Be patient with your progress. Remember, you are in control.

Do Not Depend on the Internet

Researchers have found that a high percentage of people depend on the internet as a psychoactive resource. Psychoactive substances, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, affect brain function and alter moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Heavy internet use can lead to isolation. Rather than surfing the net, experts suggest exercising, gardening, or going outdoors. Use the time away from screens as an opportunity to get together with friends. Consider taking up a new hobby — one that does not involve technology. It is important to remember there is fun in activities offline. 

Leave Your Phone at Home

Leaving your smartphone at home is difficult for most. Start small. Go for a ten-minute walk, but don’t bring your phone. Over time, it will get easier to disconnect. Increase the time gradually. The good news is that giving up screen use is not the goal. This practice is for regaining control over tech dependence — short-term solutions for long-term issues.

Do Not Sacrifice Sleep

Is technology the culprit keeping you awake at night? Tech addiction can lead to poor sleep routines. As alluded to earlier, set time limits. The same applies to healthier sleep schedules. Keep your phone out of reach while resting. Stay off the internet an hour before bed. Blue wavelength light from computer screens lowers the amount of melatonin in the body, which is responsible for good sleep. The outdoors is a wonderful way to recharge, get the melatonin from sunlight, and feel the fresh air for better sleep.

Focus on the Benefits of Controlling Tech Addiction

Reframe your thinking: remember, you are not giving up technology; you are gaining freedom. Replace overuse of tech with interactions with supportive people. Keeping control over tech habits can help you enjoy technology more. Tech addiction heightens dopamine receptors in the brain, which creates the sensation of an award system — like gambling. When you know you are in control, you will regain your freedom.  

Jason Waddle | Contributing Writer

Winter 2023

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