Breaking the Smartphone Addiction

by Toni Itkin 04/21/2019

While you may not think of it that way, your brain can become addicted to personal electronics to such a degree that it impacts multiple areas of your life. Of course, the physical effects are substantial once you’re aware of them. But worse yet is the impact on your family.

What smartphones do to your brain

While it may not be the same as a narcotic addiction, heavy cell phone users often find themselves compelled to check their mail, group chats, and texts without regard for the people with whom they are sitting. Often, they’ll break a conversation or lose eye contact if they’ve been away from their phones for too long. This needless checking and rechecking their phones steams from the “fear of missing out” on something. Unfortunately for the people they’re with, it seems like “fear of missing out on something better.”

When it comes to family time, reading, watching movies, endlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and playing games often take the place of meaningful interaction. And it’s not just the kids. Increasingly, parents are busy on their phones too, so when everyone is home after a day apart at work or school, they’re still not home together … they’re all in their own little worlds on their own devices.

Breaking the addiction

As with any addiction, recognizing the problem is half the battle. The emotional triggers that cause you to reach for your phone are vast and varied, but mostly you’ve developed a routine or habit that needs to be broken.

Turn on your screen-time statistics to see how many hours per day you spend on your device and the breakdown. Do you mostly play games? Spending time on social media? Read books? Read or watch the news? How about texting? Sometimes phone use is productive. Like where you’re going through work emails so that you can go into the office later in the morning, or when you use apps like Dropbox to check the progress of a project. Of course, we use our phones for banking and bill paying too, so once you know your usage stats, you can start to formulate a plan.

- Create mental speed bumps. That is, force yourself to go through a process before you can randomly use your phone. Make your login harder. Change your lock screen to ask you questions about your intentions. Put your phone is a case that takes the effort to use it for anything other than a phone call.

- Practice reducing your screen time for a week. Check your stats each day and make it a game for the next day to be less time on the clock.

- Go through all the apps on your phone and remove any that you don’t use.

- Then, give it another look. Remove the ones that take up large blocks of time without any meaningful return. For some that would be social media and for others, games.

Keep only those apps that you absolutely need. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a home, keep the real estate apps on your phone until you find the one to buy. Then, remove that one too.

BUT.....IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING REAL ESTATE THERE ARE SOME FREE APPS THAT REALLY WORK - COLDWELLBANKER.COM AND REALTOR.COM, ARE TWO OF THE BEST.  AND ALSO CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE: WWW.TONIITKIN.COM FOR ATLANTA REAL ESTATE LISTINGS AND HELPFUL INFO.  CONTACT ME AT 404-229-8242 OR [email protected]

About the Author
Author

Toni Itkin


MEET TONI ITKIN

Toni Itkin is a licensed Realtor® serving buyers and sellers across BuckheadViningsSandy SpringsRoswellMarietta, East Cobb, and other high-profile areas of Metro Atlanta.

Toni began her real estate career in 1992 with Buckhead Brokers, where she earned "Rookie of the Year” before rapidly ascending to her status as a multi-million dollar producer. Since then, she has been consecutively featured in the Who’s Who of Atlanta Real Estate for many years.

Equipped with sharp negotiating skills, an intuitive marketing acumen, and a strong network of professional relationships, Toni is a fierce advocate for her clients. Whether it’s a one-bedroom condo or a multi-million dollar mansion estate, Toni’s ultimate goal is to find her clients a home that perfectly fits their budget and lifestyle. Toni’s reputation for professionalism and trustworthiness in and out of the brokerage community is of utmost importance to her. As a Certified Luxury Homes Specialist, Toni has a finger on the pulse of Metro Atlanta’s luxury real estate market, and as a Certified Relocation Specialist, she is uniquely positioned to provide support for homebuyers who are relocating.

Toni is a member of Georgia Association of Realtors®, National Association of Realtors®, Atlanta Board of Realtors® and Haute Residence’s Luxury Real Estate Exclusive, Invitation-only Network. Toni is also a recipient of the Atlanta Board of Realtor®’s coveted Crystal Phoenix Award, which means she’s achieved the organization’s "Multi-Million Dollar Club” status for a minimum of 25 years. As a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent, she is consistently ranked among the company’s top one percent of agents worldwide and has been recognized as an honoree of the International Diamond Society, International President’s Circle, International President’s Elite, President’s Premier, and Society of Excellence.

Toni is also very active in local charities and civic organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Best Friends Animal Society and the Atlanta and Cobb County Humane Societies. In addition, a portion of Toni’s sales commission on every closed transaction goes directly to the Cares Foundation, which makes a difference in Atlanta communities by supporting a variety of local charitable organizations.  She lives in East Cobb and enjoys traveling, playing golf and tennis, and spending time with her pets and her husband, Ernie, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.