How to break your mobile phone addiction? By-TRP

In this article, I am going to tell you How to break your mobile phone addiction. Here's the easiest solution to phone addiction.


 Let me tell you about how I recently ruined my morning routine. There's this fun little game that everyone's playing right now called Wordle. If you haven't heard about it, you have to guess a five-letter word. You get six tries to guess it. And with each guess, the game tells you if you got the letters correct and if you got their positions correct. It's a great game. And every morning, since I discovered it, I have been grabbing my phone off my nightstand, playing the Wordle, solving the word, and then I get up and start my day, a perfect little routine. 
But then something slowly started to change. I'd finish the Wordle, then I'd open up Twitter, and I would check my notifications. And then I slowly started checking Instagram as well and then TikTok.

And before I knew it, my morning ritual had completely changed. I wasn't just taking five minutes to play the Wordle and then getting up and actually starting my day. I was waking up and losing half an hour just scrolling before I'd finally snap out of my social media-induced stupor. It was a huge waste of my time, and I'm not alone in wasting that time. 

In fact, there was a study that was recently done that found that people are currently using social media around two hours a day. Meaning, conversely, we are spending a lot less time doing the things that if we're very honest with ourselves, we wanna do a lot more of like reading books or practicing our hobbies or even just finding simpler ways to cure our boredom. One little interesting tidbit along these lines I found is that since the original iPhone was introduced, chewing gum sales have absolutely plummeted, because in checkout lines, people are now just staring at their phones instead of impulse purchasing packs of Big Red. 

Simply put, social media has become a huge time sink. And for a lot of us, that time we spend scrolling the feeds is largely unconscious. It's non-deliberate, and it creates this fundamental disconnect in our minds, because we know there are other things we would rather be doing which better align with our goals and our aspirations. 

So what can we do about this problem? 

Well, the funny thing is that technology is the thing that created this problem, and yet it is a technology that seems to come riding to the rescue, claiming that it is also the solution. Now we've got apps and browser extensions that will block social media. And for the iPhone, at least, there's even this focus mode that will limit how much time you spend on certain apps per day. But there's also a much simpler solution. In fact, it is so stupidly simple that when I thought of it, I thought it would be way too simple to make an entire article about it, that is, until I tried it for myself, and I had some surprising results. So here it is. 

If you wanna stop mindlessly scrolling social media, if you want to break your addiction to your phone and use it more deliberately, then you don't need some app. You don't need some David Goggins video. All you need is to log out.

Seriously, that's it. Use social media when you intend to use it and then log out. If you need to use it again, log back in. Wanna check your DMs, log in. That's totally cool. Wanna scroll through TikTok during your lunch break and watch weird videos of people biting emojis outta thin air? 

Cool, that's your prerogative. I wanna even judge you. Honestly, Hank Green's take on that trend is pretty creative. But let the default state of your phone be logged out. Now you might be thinking there are actually even better solutions to this problem like yeeting your phone across the room or deleting social media apps off your phone altogether or quitting social media, Cal Newport style. And yes, these methods are more effective, but if you've already used them or that's how you think, then this article isn't for you. 

This article is for the much larger group of people who either don't want to or can't get themselves to get these apps off their phone, who can't get themselves to stop mindlessly scrolling. And if that is you, and sometimes that's me, to be honest, then logging out is a much easier solution. 

It's just as effective because it throws up a roadblock, but you're not really losing out on anything, because you're still 30 seconds from being able to log in and do anything you would normally do on a social media app. And your phone's still with you. So if you get an important call or a message or a notification, you can still look at it. 
But it's that introduction of a little bit of inconvenience, a little bit of friction that makes all the difference. You're going from three seconds and no effort to just open Twitter to 30 seconds and a little bit of effort to grab your password, grab your two-factor auth code, which I hope you're using, and actually log in. And that is what makes all the difference, because that unconscious impulse we have to mindlessly scroll, it only survives in an environment of zero friction. And this is an environment that smartphone manufacturers and social media companies have successfully built for us, and a lot of us live in this world. 

But you can also destroy that environment simply by logging out, simply by adding a little bit of friction into the process. This is a very similar idea to one that Michael Pollan actually shared in his Netflix documentary "Cooked," when he talked about weight loss and dieting. He said, "Eat all the junk food that you want, as long as you cook it yourself."

There's a longer explanation to this idea from one of the people he interviewed for that documentary, specifically in the second episode if you are curious, but it's getting at the same idea that we're getting at here with this idea of logging out. 

So many of the bad habits that we just can't seem to shake are only a problem because they don't involve any work. They're bad habits born out of convenience. And if we can add in just a little bit of inconvenience, then we can break them naturally without the need for any fancy apps or the aforementioned David Goggins videos. In the book, "Atomic Habits," author James Clear generalizes this idea with his inversion to the third law of behavior change, where he says, "Sometimes success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard." 

So, as I mentioned earlier, I originally thought that this idea was too stupidly simple for its own article. Maybe it's good for a tweet, but a whole article? 
Come on. But I changed my tune when I actually observed my own results and my own behavior with this, because after I had the idea, ironically, I didn't log out. I had the idea while I was reading a book, and I immediately realized it would be a good idea, but then my brain started throwing up these little objections, like what if I get an important DM or isn't it gonna be a waste of time to be constantly logging in and logging out? Or what am I gonna do when I'm in line at the grocery store. buy chewing gum? 

How to break your mobile phone addiction? By-TRP

No, no. The funny thing is that none of these objections really stand up to scrutiny. They wouldn't actually hold any water, and I don't really think they were supposed to. Instead, it was the dopamine craving side of my brain just trying to delay, just trying to kick the can down the road. And this is the ultimate argumentative tactic of anything that is representing the status quo, whether it be another person or an organization or that side of your brain that just really wants to check Twitter whenever it feels like it. And that side of me, won out for about a full week before I finally sat down, opened up all my social media apps, and actually logged out. But once I did that, the change was kind of drastic. I remember about a day after I did this, I was standing land at the coffee shop. I pulled out my phone, and I felt my hand go through that very familiar routine of swiping over and opening Twitter only to see a logged-out screen. Immediately, I just didn't care anymore, because I wasn't deliberately trying to check Twitter. 

I was just looking for that quick dopamine hit, and there was a roadblock there. And quickly after that, those little cravings to pull out my phone in the first place also started to fade quite quickly as well. So I think that this is an incredibly helpful method. And I think that a lot of you are going to agree with me that this is a very good idea, but you're also gonna have those same objections popping up back in your head, those same little delaying tactics from that dopamine-craving side of your brain. So here's my challenge to you. Ignore those little objections, open up Twitter, open up TikTok, open up any app that you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through in a non-deliberate way and log out. 

Thank you for Reading.