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Bethany Ainsley

Bethany Ainsley, Wellbeing Specialist

Are you suffering from smart phone overuse?

A lot of us are guilty of spending too much time on our phones and are aware that this time should be reduced. However, with smart phones constantly being developed to increase functionality along with notifications of social support triggering happy chemicals in the brain, are we becoming addicted to our handsets?

Ofcom’s annual communications market report found that overall, people claim to spend an average of 24 hours each week online – double the amount of time spent in 2007.

Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, rising to 65% of those aged under 35, while 37% of adults check their phones five minutes before lights out, again rising to 60% of under-35s.

Signs that overuse could becoming problematic include;

  • A series of failed attempts to use your smart phone less often.
  • Needing to have the latest device or an increasing number of devices.
  • Consistent excessive use.

 

Showing signs of withdrawal when your phone is out of battery or network is unavailable.

Both Apple and Google recently launched a series of digital wellbeing features that enables us to track the time we spend on our phones. By managing our digital wellbeing we can make best use of digital technology whilst also knowing when it’s time to disconnect.

Here are some top tips on how to manage your own digital wellbeing:

Manage social media notifications

Cut down on social media notifications which can be an unnecessary drain on time and energy. Change your settings to only show notifications when the lock screen is off. Alternatively, turn notifications off completely and check at a set time each day

Take control of your emails

Stop checking emails throughout the day which can be time consuming and a distraction from your current task. Instead try reading emails at set times in the day. Unsubscribe from any unnecessary email lists to reduce your inbox and save time reading and deleting.

Switch off

Switch off and prepare for for sleep more effectively by sticking to a set time when you will stop looking at your phone. Instead of using your phone as an alarm clock next to your bed, use an actual clock and charge your phone in another room. This will help prevent looking at your phone during the night when checking the time and also first thing in the morning.

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  • Handy tips and advice to improve your personal wellbeing.
  • A monthly wellbeing activity.
  • Discounts on wellbeing training, events and products

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